A VIRUS THAT KNOWS NO CURE: RISE OF COMMUNALISM AND RACISM IN INDIA AND ACROSS THE WORLD

By- Aaditya Sinha

In today’s time, I have observed one thing which has become the actual concept of “Trending”. In the age of social media, everything is now very quick. There are memes, roasts, and all those things which we would probably 20 years back have never imagined.

Through the past 6 months or say 1 year, I have deduced the fact that in every month, a specific topic trends, there would be memes about that topic, there would be roasts on that topic, someone will try to make sense, somebody will move forward in others flow, in short, everyone is into this phenomenon called “Trending”.

In this noisy atmosphere, if you ever get the time, then think, one thing which you cannot deny is that whatever is happening on social media it may be good, it may be bad but one thing is for sure it’s highly “objective”.

Let’s take an example if I ask you “do you think nepotism still exists in our society?”, now we have to think that why are we even asking this question, because, if we want an answer to this question there cannot be a single objective answer, there may be arguments, cross arguments, and many sub-points.

This is the thing which social media reduces since everyone has to see so many memes and videos that they hardly get any time to think about these things, they just know one thing “I am either against this or I am supporting this”.

Now, this is the most disturbing aspect because we are in a situation which we would have probably never imagined, it’s a situation which has taught us that in this world anything can happen anytime if you get time think for just one minute quietly, whether you ever thought that there would be a time when the whole world will be on a standstill, students would be learning from home, courts would be on virtual mode and many more.

The idea of “Normal” has changed and it has been proved that whatever you do, there are certain things which you cannot change. This has been proved by this deadly virus, called COVID-19. However, people across the globe have interpreted this virus in a very different manner.

First of all, people started blaming a specific country, and please don’t misinterpret me, I completely agree that there should be a full investigation on this entire issue and the whole world should know how this has happened, but when there is no investigation then I don’t understand what was the need to abuse a country. Now again please don’t think I am trying to give moral lectures on cyberbullying, because frankly crime never needs any moral policing.

Communalism and COVID 19: Tablighi Jamaat

I strongly believe that India is the best country in terms of tolerance because I cannot imagine any other country which can be very vast in the area, having so many languages, cultures, and religions; we are still together a “Nation”.

In political science, we have studied that a state is something that has four elements: Sovereignty, government, territory, population.

Whereas a nation is a psychological concept, which means that in a nation there should be a feeling of unity, like in our country there is one National Anthem, we are divided by religion, caste, culture, language but are united by the National Anthem.

Now many people believe that because of “one political party” our secularism is in danger, I completely don’t agree to this line of argument. I believe that if religious tolerance is increasing it is only because of “us”.

We all are becoming so objective in this social media era. For instance, Tablighi Jamaat, on 22nd March 2020 it was reported that there are around 2500 people who were gathered in an event around 13-15 March, 2020. After this news broke out, controversies, speculation all were raised.

Again in this highly binary age of social media, there were two points, first, COVID-19 happened because of Muslims, and second, “Our media is so bad that it even found the religion of COVID-19.

As I said earlier if you want a proper discussion the answer can never be in one word. It has to be elaborated, there is no doubt that people need to understand that all these religious practices can wait in this pandemic, because as I said earlier the idea of “normal” has completely changed.

People need to understand that with time, everything has to be changed. Also, media people should realize that their job is to state facts and not discuss sitting with 4-5 persons and having a debate that doesn’t even have any conclusive result.  We should not have an objective approach but we definitely should think about “Conclusions” if we are having a debate. 

The biggest problem, however, was the treatment which was done in the social media. There were many videos which were showing that a Muslim vegetables and fruits seller was spitting on the vegetables and fruits, but the video was termed as a “partial truth” because it said that the man’s mental health was not stable and also it’s an old video. 

However, I am not going to talk about every video because the main issue is not the videos. Also, to be very honest I don’t think the real culprits are those who are posting these videos but culprits are those who blindly believe anything on social media.

Maybe this video was uploaded for fun, but the reaction was way too much horrible, many people refused to purchase things from Muslim shops, and also many people refused to take home delivery from Muslim delivery boy.

Rise of Racism in India and across the world

In Kirori Mal College, Delhi University several North-Eastern Students complained that they were facing harassment since in our country some people consider North-Eastern students as Chinese. Around eight students from the north-east alleged that they faced harassment in TISS, Mumbai.

According to Pew Research Centre which is a non-partisan think tank located in Washington DC, a report said that 55% of Asian-American and 45% of African-American felt that racism increased more during the pandemic.

In the USA, President Donald Trump referred the virus as a “Chinese virus”, it was criticized by some magazines, but trump later argued that it’s not racist and he is stating the fact.

My opinion is very clear, there should be an investigation regarding the “Outbreak of the corona Virus”, but if there is no investigation then, as a law student myself I think we should not blame anyone, because unfortunately or fortunately there is a legal principle, which is known as Presumption of Innocence in which there is a term “Innocent Until proven Guilty”.

There is one more very important aspect. We all say something as a joke which may be inappropriate for someone. There should be a fine line between making a joke and insulting someone, but, if you are a “head of State” then certainly there should be a filter, and the head of the state should speak only sensible and reasonable things. There was also a very shameful incident in Florida when a Rapper made an Instagram video; he was seen chasing the Asian women shouting “Sanitize your ass”.

Conclusion

I believe that human beings don’t fight for religion or racism. The main reason according to me is that there is a feeling that “if you are not with us then you are against us”. When this ego comes to a saturation point then any person belonging to caste, religion, culture tries to prove his or her point.

In this age of social media where everything has become white and black, it is very difficult for people to think about their actions. The mentality has become “Either 0 or 1”, they don’t understand that we have made a device called “Computer” to do this job, just try to become a human and not a “Binary Machine”.

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