Empowered with voices, born with freedom to zoom our voice in the era of 4 G and 5G, broadcasting at our fingertips, unlike before independence time, it was a matter of voice then. What about after independence?
Independence Day is not a ritual of saluting the tricolor flag, rising up and chant our national anthem with pride. Numerous freedom fighters, unsung heroes, sweat, blood and sacrifices have all made this possible for us today.
Independence Day has been a reflection of struggles and hard work of our freedom fighters, so introspection of India comes as a natural gesture. Born empowered but are we doing enough to use the voice, the power house at our fingertips, yes the information revolution - the internet?
A Matter of Voice Before Independence
Indian freedom struggle was not similar to any movement in the world. Embraced by thirty crore people and the only non-violent movement for freedom struggle. This brings me to Gandhi ji, who empowered the most oppressed and given them strength to rise up against the mighty British Empire.
He largely succeeded in changing people from demoralized, timid, bullied, voiceless, and crushed by dominant interest of the British into resisting tyranny, capable of standing for the larger cause, voicing their rights and coming together for united action.
He made people think about political and economic issues, gave them hope and new dreams for a better future. This was an amazing psychological change.
To all the Indians, he represented the honour and spirit of India. His epic leadership and life has taught lessons to all of us that find even more meaning in free India on the 75th year of independence. I am not just an admirer of Gandhi ji but follower of his revolutionary ideas that changed the course of history.
A revolutionary leader whose ideas still find freshness and originality in whatever he did.
“Gandhi ji combined truth with fearlessness in his fight for freedom. All his struggles, which lasted almost half a century, was so conducted that it left no trail of bitterness or hate against the opponents.” – K. V. Archarya
Today we have more ways to voice than one could ever imagine.
The world is revolving around clicks and forwards. India tops the world in forwarding messages, are you thinking of celebration? This of course calls for celebrations that we have bandwidth of so much data yet the COVID -19 has opened up layers of digital divide. It calls for quiet self-introspection for all.
From Good morning messages to inflammatory rumors every message gets those fingers as carriers that can’t resist forwarding to family group chats, school moms group, neighborhood community to official WhatsApp groups, we are one forward crazy nation.
So much of freedom yet our brains are chained; we run with the speed to be at the top of the fastest finger first game. The instant global messaging app aka WhatsApp banned 2 million accounts, reasons were over exceeding the limits of forwards and to prevent harmful behavior and spam on this platform from May15 and June 15, 2021.
Does it shake India?
Our freedom is paramount in “forwarding only”, after all, we top the list in the world. The news of WhatsApp account bans erupted with frenzy posts by people on Twitter, making merry with hilarious memes. Probably this time, celebration was from people who aimed at those who loved forwarding bulk messages or unverified news.
All in all forwards continue…
The freedom struggle was fought by a pluralistic community, bonded with hope of a united Bharat, endless power of ultimate tolerance, combined spirit of morality, social justice for all, religion entwined for ethics at those times when sharing messages was a gigantic task, mass media was virtually absent and print media’s reach had many barriers mainly due to the lack of education. Yet there was mass movement, self- realization and introspection by our ancestors who were not armed with education and modern know-how. All this resulted in mass movements - Swadeshi, Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha ultimately ending the British rule and gifting us a free nation.
On the contrary today, our brains are chained by forwards; technology has created bonds with isolation chambers leaving little room to welcome out of the box thinking. Easy sharing has left us log jammed of our own inspection of processing the information. A ready made forward has become 4G and 5G like speed to hurl the opponents and we just PISH.
What is PISH? “Pride In Sharing Forward (PISH)” and have you heard of ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO)? No, they are not the abbreviations coined by netizens or slangs used by teens but internet disorders or syndrome named by psychologists.
Gandhi ji could bridge gender inequality during freedom struggle, when for the first time women came out of seclusion and took part in the freedom movement. And today women are regularly facing cyber stalking, online harassment and fighting for equality at every front.
It was a matter of oppressed voices before who gifted us free nation and now it is a matter of excessively privileged voices who are not critically thinking, consciously forwarding, fairly self-reflecting and unbiasedly sharing.
What are your views? Do share it in the comments.