The sparks that light a fire are the most dangerous . The Taj controversy , cow Vigilantism , moral policing etc are (in my opinion ) sparks that the BJP can do without . These sparks might not light the fire on their own but the hawkish sultan’s of social media and their troll army will do their every bit to ensure that the spark conflagrate into a roaring fire in no time .
Neither the crass comments by zealous BJP supporters nor the subsequent brouhaha by the anti-BJP trolls make a difference as far as governance is concerned , but it does dent the image of the saffron party in general , and Modi in particular . A dent here and a dent there can take the sheen off the gleaming bandwagon that Modi has so tiringly polished to perfection . The government cannot afford to allow the attention seekers to occupy the front pages , if they do so then the achievement and hard-work will, at best will end up as footnotes .
Gone are the days when acidulous and sardonic statements were ignored by media for fear of causing a furore that could disrupt peace. Such responsibilities are a thing of the past , in today’s dog-eat-dog world , statements that hurt sentiments , speeches that spew venom and actions that are intended to demean are magnets that attract the paparazzi in droves . The niceties of journalism have been buried deep in the quest to sensationalise, because sensation sells . Like the ‘Playboy’ magazine that sells because it titillates , in today’s world , it’s become mandatory for a inanely crass Media to pack it’s programmes with titillative content to sell it’s newspaper and Primetime .
But, can they be blamed? Are they complicit?
The answer is – Yes and No;
‘Yes’ because what interests them is that one voice that provokes and that one action that is violent .
‘No’ because the media or the troll army cannot be blamed as long as transgressors intentionally transgress , or threaten to transgress , with a blatant disregard to the laws of the land .
Another platform is the social media; where it’s become fashionable for anybody to talk anything and get away scott free, because we live in a free world and free speech is our entitlement . But Paradoxically , the free speech advocates who have no qualms blurting out anything that comes to their mind, cry foul when people voice criticism . They fail to understand that the power of free-speech that empowers them to criticise also empowers the opponents to hurl back criticism , but for them , critics are invariably Trolls & Bhakt’s .
Be it the Media or the social media the government cannot afford to feign helplessness in regulating them . The controversies , the subsequent debate/discussion on the propriety or impropriety of statements and actions and the consequent reaction could be beyond its control , but the government has to take a resolute stand on such matters . The onus is on them to initiate stringent action against reckless voices that threaten to infringe laws .
Picture Credit: Screenshot from Twitter. @narendramodi