Get Those Facebook Girls!

Is the media as much to blame as the Sainiks in persecuting the two girls in Mumbai?

right to freedom of speech and expression in india

We live in a socially aware world. If you are not on Facebook – you’re nobody. Today, your Facebook profile is what ticks and makes or breaks your social status. Acts of posting, poking, updating and tagging have replaced the age-old traditions of calling, writing, meeting – and in some cases, even dating. Your Facebook “timeline” is your very own 2D trailer to the motion picture called your life.

Is it any wonder then that in the wake of impending global calamities and a local movie-style shootout, the one thing that has caught maximum media attention and hit it big in the world of so called 24X7 news is a 21-year-old’s Facebook update?

Not surprising. But still, appalling.

At 21, I can vote, drive, marry, give birth, fight in the Army, fly a plane – but I can’t be trusted to update my Facebook status. Very soon there will come a time when signing up for Facebook will require you to submit a bunch of certificates: address proof, age proof, sex proof (maybe the UID can make this process slightly simpler), as well as sign an undertaking – thou shall not mention anything political, hysterical, sensational or even remotely thoughtful in your updates… and the list will be so long that my husband’s life-long wish of terrorising the world with his potty humour will come true because that might be the only thing you can freely write about.

The fear of Shiv Sainiks banging on my door surrounds me (even sitting here in Delhi) as I write this. But the fact of the matter is that it was plain and simple ridiculous, and the two girls should not have been penalised for updating their status.

But what is worse is the fact that some newspapers and TV channels were trying to, and have now interviewed those two unfortunate souls. Overnight, we have gone from describing them as “two girls” to naming them and dragging out from their closet any lurking skeletons. As if it wasn’t enough that they were dragged to a Police Station at 10 pm only to be released at 2.45 am, the media is now giving the Shiv Sainiks a hand in their foolhardiness. Should the media not have protected their identity which then might have been incentive enough for like-minded youth to continue tugging at the leftover threads of their fundamental “right of freedom”, which by the way includes “freedom of speech”?

The news flashing now reads – 9 vandals arrested. But having a Facebook account is obviously a bigger crime than vandalising an innocent man’s clinic. Thanks to our slipshod media, the girls have been named, faced and booked. The vandals and Shiv Sainiks however don’t make an interesting enough story, and will continue to enjoy their privacy. Unlike the girls, they’ve only been booked but not faced.


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Contribute Your Views
  • Santdaveed

    These FB posts have become more newsworthy than the sad demise of Balasaheb Thakery. It is time to ponder over his lif and achievements and lessons that can be learnt form his life.

    Are we not trivialising the life and death of late Thakery? His popularity among masses was evident from the millions of people who gathered to mourn.

    FB censorship is not Sivsena idea. It was a grand plan of Congress and Mr Kapil sibal. Maharashtra Police under congress government has just implemented that policy, albeit expanding the scope of censorship from congress first family to other first families

    • mugilan

      nowhere in the post updated by the girl mention anybodies name………… then what takes it so offensive……

      • Jeet

        The Media who likes to read minds, between the lines and spread their valuable thoughts

  • Paromita Das

    Dear Kavita,

    You say, “I can . . . give birth, fight in the Army”. Well, you can JOIN the Army but not fight – women are allowed only in the non-combatant branches of the Armed Forces.

    With regards,