On a personal level, I am against Twitter boycott calls for products endorsed by celebrities you don’t agree with, just to prove yourself a self-respecting Hindu or Indian or whatever. Because there are people other than that celebrity you disagree with who are associated with the product, and why should they suffer because of one man/woman? Basic empathy towards commoner, just like you and me.
Having said that, when the other side is not playing by the rulebook, for how long should we follow? Recently, someone associated with a website supporting non-left politics was hounded for writing there. A bunch of self-proclaimed liberals, including a journalist associated with a leftist propaganda website and an unfunny, abusive troll masquerading as a ‘stand-up comic’ who uses ‘comedy’ as a new propaganda tool, got together and very silently got this writer removed from this artist line-up where he was associated. No calls for boycotting his shows were made, no one shouted ‘if you want to save democracy, ban this artist’, no one downrated his app.
Another rather unfunny female comedian who took an offence to being called unfunny started claiming how an ‘abusive’ comedian was part of the lineup. She started crying sexism and bullied the comedy space to kick out the artist just because he belonged to the other side of political spectrum. Strings were pulled and he was out. They used ‘sexism’ plank to get rid of someone because of his political views.
No one celebrated his ouster either. They went on with their business of making Modi memes and jokes like any other day. We never see these ‘woke’ feminists call out unfunny bullies masquerading as comics because rubbing these bakchods the wrong way could hurt their oh-so-flourishing careers. Oh, and they won’t even call out another hater and bigot because he’s ‘one of them’ and on the same side of the political spectrum as they are.
Everyone had a bone to pick with a mobile wallet when demonetization was announced by Prime Minister Modi on 8th November 2016. The mobile wallet had issued an ad with PM Modi’s image on the front page of leading newspapers the next day for the bold move. Clearly, they were trying to cash in on the demonetization effect, with cash crush across the nation and ensure people get on their platform for payments. Nothing wrong with trying to take advantage of an opportunity, right? But then rumours were spread that demonetization was brought in only to benefit this particular mobile wallet brand. There are over a dozen such apps, but only this was targeted and everyone raised their eyebrows on it for Modi government being ‘soft’ on ‘some corporates’. Now when the app is again in news for an alleged security breach, everyone is saying how they want to ‘delete’ their accounts. You don’t see anyone leading an online mob to ‘downvote’ the app. They are busy hounding the management associated with this mobile wallet over ‘security concerns’ despite them denying media reports of a security breach. For every denial, they will deny the denial and build a narrative. Building narrative is something they are brilliant at.
For example, a foul-mouthed troll who also likes to identify herself as a ‘journalist’ wrote an entire propaganda material and published it as a book, targeting private citizens and labelled them as ‘abusive trolls’ who give death and rape threats to ‘journalists’, forgetting she herself has displayed bizarre, bordering on psychotic behaviour quite a few times. Coming back, the propaganda material was used by a Rajya Sabha member, bringing down the dignity of the House, when the accused were not present to defend themselves. Armed with parliamentary privilege, the constitution virtually allows the MPs the freedom to malign ordinary citizens as they can not be dragged to courts for their deeds and statements issued on the floor of the house. Hundreds had written a letter to the employers of Rahul Raj, OpIndia’s co-founder, asking them to sack him. And that is how the Modi supporters were ‘shown their place’.
They’ll make wild allegations, tweet almost libellous stuff, but get away with it because they are in the offensive while you are left either defending yourself or counter attacking them. You forget that you are playing their game. You are not setting the agenda. They know how you will react. They play you to get desired reaction to cry when they get ‘abused’ for ‘speaking out against Modi’. Their taunts will be like, ‘oh, is it anti-national to eat mutton now?’ and you are left defending how even Brahmins in some part of the country eat non-vegetarian food. All this while, they are laughing at your responses and setting the next agenda to keep you busy with your outrages so they could quietly pick on your livelihood, silence you into oblivion.
And they’re winning.