Yuva - India

Social Media’s Role in Undermining National Integrity

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Rihanna’s tweet about the Farmer’s protest was hailed by the entire left-liberal ecosystem. The fact that one of the most famous singers in the world took notice of the cause they had been trying to amplify for 2 months gave them the validation they had been seeking for months. After all, if Rihanna is supporting the protests, then there must be something wrong with the bills, right?

Soon, Mia Khalifa, Amanda Cerny and Greta Thunberg also spoke up for the protestors. While the Indian Left cheered loudly, it was not taken well by most people.

How is it justified that a few celebrities, from another continent, who cannot even locate Delhi on a map, feel entitled to comment on India’s agricultural laws and the protests?

While I do not really have a problem with the fact that they did so, considering Bollywood celebrities were quick to extend their support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the USA without really knowing the nature of institutionalized racism in their country, I do feel that those who consider Rihanna, Mia and Greta as greater authorities on farm laws than Gita Gopinath, IMF Chief, are simply misusing their comments to further a much more sinister agenda. (Also, it makes me question their intellect.)

This is how narrative building works. Each time a Rihanna or a Greta speaks up, a George Soros makes hefty payments to these celebrities. The toolkit put up mistakenly(really?) by Greta Thunberg on twitter was what gave them away. I personally went through the screenshots a few twitter users had swiftly saved and shared, it was disturbing how well-planned this was. No wonder the tractor rally on 26th January quickly turned into a violent, riot-like situation. It was all planned.

In moments like these, I wonder if social media is as good as people say it is. While it gives one considerable freedom to express their opinions, opens the society up to debate, facilitates sharing of ideas and information, it also allows Break-India forces to tighten its grip on the minds of youngsters.

Starting from the militancy issue in Kashmir, to the present-day controversy, famous woke Americans have never shied away from intervening. The intervention is always on behalf of one side though- the side which would love to see India rotting in poverty, illiteracy, and terrorism. Recently when twitter suspended some famous accounts for spreading false information,

There was nationwide outrage regarding the same, with people accusing twitter of suppressing voices of dissent, stifling freedom of speech and expression as well as being biased towards the Indian Right.

What nobody cared about was the fact that these accounts had indulged in sharing hateful content and false news, which was aggravating the violent protests in the National Capital.

I am all for freedom of speech and expression, as well as protests and demonstration. And social media has made it easier to exercise these rights. As someone who is vocal on both Twitter and Instagram about her political beliefs, I would never push for curtailment of these rights, even if they are exercised in order to voice an opinion contrary to mine. But my allegiance lies with my country first. All the rights in the world are important to me, as long as they are not misused and abused, as long as they do not call for the destruction of my country.

Which is why I feel that the Indian Government today needs to take a hard stance. While I don’t believe in going full China on social media and the internet, there needs to be a mechanism to monitor the content posted online. Anybody indulging in hate speech, sharing fake news, inciting the public to take unlawful means for a cause, etc. needs to be taken to task. Social media platforms, essentially the Big Tech needs to be told that while they hold immense power, it will take the present Government a week, or maybe even less, to undo that.

Those who advocate for separatist causes, anarchy on the streets, breaking up of the country, annihilation of any caste, class, community, etc. should be instantly suspended. Those who operate such pages/accounts should, in addition to suspension, also face legal consequences. While jailing anybody would be unnecessary (unless the statements made are explicitly problematic), it is important that the system takes cognizance of such instances.

Since we are living in an increasingly political era, it is not uncommon to come across Twitter debates where each party is trying to attain moral victory over the other. We human beings can never accept the fact that at the end of the day, our opinions are immaterial and therefore, in these ego battles, it is easy for people to share fake news, data, content, etc. just to prove a point and have the upper hand. But the consequences are often disastrous. Facebook posts have often led to riots, Tweets have caused attacks, Instagram stories have often made people vulnerable to threats from people who don’t like what the person has to say.

It was heart-warming to see many Indian cricketers and celebrities come out in support of trends such as #IndiaUnited and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda. But the damage done by people like Rihanna, Greta and Mia is graver than we like to believe. Had Greta not posted the toolkit on her timeline, and had people not decided to play detective, we would have never realized that there are, in fact, more sinister forces at play.

There is a major chunk of people trying to stall India’s growth and development. A decade ago, no celebrity would have even looked at any internal affair of India, as we were languishing in poverty, our talented youth was flying out to use their skills for the development of the West, our education system was failing us. We were in no position to compete with the developed, or even developing countries.

However, India is now rising. Under the present leadership, India is changing and how! They fear this change and development. Their hegemony is threatened, their religious, economic, social and political dominance is at risk, the India of snake-charmers and ratcatchers is no longer so. Hence, they continue to toy with our internal affairs by pumping money into anti-India organizations, and then they hire prominent faces to disguise their evil designs.

While the Biden administration rushed to do damage control by welcoming our farm laws, the question arises: how much power should be given to the global left-liberal ecosystem?

The average Indian youth today gets most of their information from unverified sources on social media. They turn against their own country because of the filth fed to them through social media. That their favourite activists and celebrities come out in support of something they mindlessly believe in just makes it easier for them to put their weight behind all unlawful activities going on in the country in the name of exercising one’s democratic rights.

I would like to reiterate- I am absolutely not against the use of social media to express one’s views. Tomorrow there may be a law I don’t agree with and would then like to express my displeasure over social media. But when the cabal of anti-nationals takes to these fora, while steering impressionable young minds in their direction and getting help from outside forces, with no strong and reliable ecosystem of nationalists on our end to counter them, the government must step in to control this narrative building. Otherwise, social media, which should ideally be building India up, will turn out to be the cause of its ruination.

Bhavya Jha

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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