As we hear about the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, there are several ways to react. Your point of view can stem from your belief and I am not discussing that here. But before you make public what you want to convey, please think twice before doing so and if in doubt, you can use some techniques. It is prudent to be better safe than sorry. As they say, Prevention is better than cure and all that, you see.
A lot has been said about the arrests made by Mumbai police due to the Mumbai college student, Ms Dhada expressing her views on Bal Thackeray and that the reactions from people, about the possible bandh etc was more fear driven than out of respect. Another girl, possibly a serial offender, who ‘likes’ comments made by anybody and everybody, loved this status update and decided to ‘Like’ it. This was obviously enough to trigger a reaction from the cops, who are extra vigilant at all times. The policemen decided to prevent a mass revolution. After all, status updates in Facebook can be shared. Since there are absolutely zero crimes in this city the cops wanted the peaceful state to continue. They swung into action and arrested these ladies. How could they post such content and incite others? What if the comments appealed to the people and they shared the status update with others and people all over Mumbai and possibly the rest of the country stepped out on the streets and fought with each other?
To be fair to the cops, they just got an ‘Excellent’ rating for controlling a mammoth crowd of about 20 lakh people, without untoward incidents. That must have been such an exhausting exercise. Well done! Bravo!
As soon as this exercise was over, the cops did not have the physical or mental stamina to handle another such rally or possibly a potential riot within such a short gap. Obviously, the arrests had to be made to defuse the potential civil war dynamite. After all, the common people just never understand, do they? Hockey sticks have to be used sometimes and for that also, people will never understand that it is for a larger good that such actions are taken. People, after all, will keep complaining and never do a thing. The common populace is so lazy that most of them do not even vote. But irrespective of who is running the Government, they will complain and forget about events very soon. An officer can be transferred or asked to disappear for 4 or 5 days or some weeks depending on the nature of frenzy that the media can generate. A new issue will come into limelight and life will go on happily or unhappily ever after … who cares?
Who cares?? The cops, of course, they must!
But as a common man, whether you are in Mumbai or anywhere else in the country, it is important to feel scared. Today, when people go on a vacation or even when they go to a relative’s house, they carry cameras. Camera phones are taken out and pictures clicked. A setting sun, a samosa or a plate of rice with fish curry, your old car, new car, mountain, kitten, bad road, sleeping cop … just click and share.
I know I am being hypocritical, Blog, but allow me to just go with the flow, ok! After all, I am so ecstatic when I see my best friend from Cuddalore … yes, that best summer vacation friend whom I used to meet every summer vacation from classes 3 to 7!!! He goes to Disneyland La in Thannikulam and poses with his 3 children in front of Mickey Mouse along with his beautiful 140 kg wife. Wow! I am so thrilled because it is such a cute family picture that I have been dying to see it and am dying after I see it too. But can I comment on it or even like it? Think twice, at least …. I probably should or at the least, bring myself to click on the ‘Like’ button so strategically placed below the update, that I need not say anything. ‘Like’ is a way of sharing excitement, nodding approval and patting on the ‘friend’ to share more of such pictures. Now ‘Like’ can also land you in jail??
Therefore the best way to express your mind would be to use certain phrases that are meant to express the speaker’s views in such a way that it is fairly open to interpretation. For example, what if this Mumbai girl had said, “Bal Thackeray died and a sea of people and all that. Bandh proposed but not sure if this is because of people and everything. And all that!” While she has expressed what she wanted to, the cops hopefully interpret it their way and do not cause pain and all that. Silence is golden and everything but even a quiet, reclusive person has an online extrovert avatar. But, why bother about freedom of speech and get into specifics of speech, when you can use a dot dot dot or a wonderful phrase always pregnant with meaning like ‘and everything’ and ‘all that’ or a combination of both these phrases!
So, you could say something like, “Ajmal Kasab hanged … Pune …. If you MUST type any further, then add … And what I feel about this is all that and everything …”
Freedom of speech …. remove M, replace with F and voila, you get Freed oF Speech and everything. Go figure and all that!