“1 like = 1 prayer”
“1 like = 1 salute”
I see this caption under thousands of photos that have the ability to visibly shake you or move you to extremities. A man with no hands, writing with his legs might be a story for inspiration for thousands. But isn’t the above mentioned trend reducing him to just his disability? A girl whose life was destroyed because some asshole didn’t understand the word “no” in school neither did he remember his chemistry class on acids. A little 10 year old carrying his 3 year old sister in his arms deprived of food.
Someone finds a photo, puts it up in his/her page and people start liking it and commenting “respect” everywhere. But are we just supposed to sit in our homes and upload pictures or “like” pictures put up by others?
Before you argue with me that “who am I” to say all this, let me tell you that I’m nobody. I am a selfish, spoilt brat who doesn’t like getting his hands dirty. I’m someone who sometimes wants to go out there and lend a helping hand to people but my grades, my career and my life are significantly of more importance to me than anyone else’s. Yet I feel that social media has reduced words like “compassion” and “empathy” to nothing but a mere click of the mouse and an addition to our Spelling-Bee vocabulary.
We have become shameless. A girl in some part of the country was violated. Hundreds of girls face it every day. But as the friendly paan-shop owner in my neighbourhood said on seeing the candle rally in my town showing solidarity to Nirbhaya, “Our wives, sisters and daughters face such torments everyday, saab. Do you see rallies for them? Do their sufferings matter, saab? The paper stays quiet because they are not some medical or engineering students from some big city. So do you. And we stay quiet because we are helpless, poor slum people. Everyone forgets the slums, saab. Everyone”
I do not say here that we shouldn’t express our solidarity. But do we really need to put up posts and pictures and “share” how she was tormented? Isn’t that being indecent? Isn’t that being insensitive? Why not remember her as a sister, as a daughter, as a friend? Why don’t we put up and share posts which will diminish this patriarchal society’s ego and bring forth some sense into the lurking wolves? Why don’t we first try to fix ourselves and then make sure others follow our lead? Why don’t we acknowledge incidents like Nirbhaya which happen EVERYDAY?
The world is riddled with problems. And we do have our share of upcoming saviors. I see my friends working for NGOs and I feel belittled. Yet I promise to make something out of myself and then lend a helping hand. Because then I’ll truly be able to help anyone anyhow. Not tied down my social norms and the shackles of “conventionalism”. IF you really want to help, think beyond sharing photos and getting likes for them. Think beyond the social media. Find NGOs and charities. Let us reach out. Let us contribute 10 bucks a day to those saviors so that the little 10-year old and his sister can get a decent education until we have the courage to go outside, grasp that little boy’s hand and teach him to be Human.
Let it never be said that we were there, watching mutely. Let us revive humanity again.