Frankly, a domestic dispute is none of our business. But with so much dirty linen being aired for public consumption, most of us could not hold back our holier than thou attitude and scorn.
Twitter is a cornucopia of opinions (often dipped in vitriol), breaking news, wisdom and wit that follows no hierarchy and worships the informed, wittiest and the most acerbic. This is where I get my priceless news-bytes from, getting to read the inside stories that rarely surface in the mainstream media. A place where I get to sharpen my claws, get inspiration for many of my posts and my 2 seconds of fame. It’s like having found my voice and an audience that’s willing to lend me their ears on every issue that may or not may not concern me. Not just me. Mr Sehgal, the over-worked executive who commutes 2 hours to get to his office and can air his angst at AAP that’s out to ruin his city… Savita, the homemaker from Indore who has taken Twitter by storm with her Coelho like philosophy…it’s as if fame, trolls, worshippers and stalkers were waiting all their lives to find you on Twitter.
There lies the catch – everyone gets to air their opinions on Twitter, regardless of their maturity, sense and sensibility, most of them in a hurry to give their two cents of wisdom before bothering to verify facts. It’s like – look I’m trying to rant her, stop bothering me with logic and facts. After all, it is the early bird that catches the maximum eyeballs, correctness be damned. But just like it is in real life, the shallow have the loudest voices, with everyone dying to play the judge, jury and executioner. The few sane voices are drowned in the cacophony of accusations, counter-accusations and LOLs. A platform that doesn’t think twice before targeting a public figure like Alok Nath, ridiculing his girth, his body of work, making him sound like a joke just because it’s so much fun! Ironically, at some point of time, we have all been a willing participant to the ridicule public figures are routinely subjected to without even realizing it.
That’s Twitter – it makes a joke out of serious issues and takes jokes seriously.
But we cannot digress from the fact that it is Social Media that has often played the Knight in shining armour. Often it has come to the rescue of instances of injustice, harassment or apathy that would have been shushed up had it not been for our active voices demanding action. Public opinion coming together as one on public platforms like these has made our leaders grudgingly accept that they can no longer take the electorate for granted. Precisely why it’s trying so hard to stifle it by choosing to focus on the few jokes in poor taste ridiculing the ruling party and their policies….
Before the advent of social media, who could have thought that an anonymous blog by a law intern recounting sexual harassment by a much revered, senior Judge could lead to a judicial inquiry! The founding editor of a newspaper being sent to jail when he tried to act hot and heavy with one of his staff, something that was for long regarded as one the perks of the powerful. Victims of sexual harassment who swallowed their pride and fought their battles for justice with little or no support, are no longer ashamed to share their private trauma in public spaces, knowing they will find understanding voices willing to fight on their behalf. Think Jyoti Singh Pandey, Priyadarshani Mattoo before proceeding to dismiss Social media as irresponsible that derives pleasure in heckling others.
It has now emerged from the emails exchanged between Mr Tharoor and Mehar Tarar that theirs was a friendship based on mutual admiration and respect. Their affair was in all probability a figment of Sunanda Pushkar’s imagination. Ms Pushkar was herself in immense pain, both physical and mental, before she went to Twitter to vent her angst. A fragile state of mind knows no logic or reason. I’d rather not speculate the reasons behind her shocking death. The Tharoors deserve privacy in their moment of grief. Sunanda Pushkar was a feisty woman who lived life on her own terms. I pray that her case does not go the Arushi way, her dignity torn to shreds with idle speculations.
The last few days of her life were terrible. Her distress magnified by the national coverage her public meltdown got, exposing her more to ridicule than understanding. Perhaps her case was a reality check Twitter badly needed.
She died feeling unhappy, unloved. I hope her soul finds peace.