Understanding Abuse on Social Media

Note: Some of the abuse examples may be offensive/disturbing to the reader. The BBC published an article titled ‘Why are Indian women being attacked on Social Media?‘ It featured television anchor Sagarika Ghose, politician Kavita Krishnan of the CPI (ML), and poet/activist Meena Kandaswamy. Having interviewed them, it seemingly drew the conclusion (voiced by Ms.Ghose) that women abused on Twitter in India tended to be “liberal and secular”, while the abusers were mainly “right wing” males. The article was slammed in various quarters for being sub-standard, partisan and reliant on unverified opinion. Blogger Sunanda Vashishta was upset enough to write … Continue reading Understanding Abuse on Social Media

Influnece of Social Media on Politics

Journalist Rupa Subramanya tweeted, “Social media is flavour of the mnth. If you think it’s going to influence 2014, it might be a sign u need to be in the real world for a while!” A lady named Prerna Bakshi added to the discussion by tweeting “Why on earth do people go on about ‪#socialmedia when only 11% of people have access to web in ‪#India.” Then the proverbial twitter floodgates opened. The abovementioned tweets were essentially in response to an article in the Hindu by Shalini Singh, where she stated, “Leveraging social media is top-of-the-agenda for many political strategists”. This was based on data that by 2014, social … Continue reading Influnece of Social Media on Politics

You are not as logical as you think

Many seemingly intelligent people often hold completely illogical or dogmatic views about certain issues. There are topics on which a person is unable to move beyond their initial opinion even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This is not about  behaviour derived from personal interest. When politicians defend their stance, often by making ridiculous arguments and accusations, it is a part of the political game to defend their party line or follow the laws of expedience. Sometimes the mainstream media promotes views, say by presenting facts selectively, but it is for compulsions that are usually business related. Pressure … Continue reading You are not as logical as you think

Why motherhood is uncool

“Yaar, tumne toh ek seat waste kar di” (you have wasted seat!). This was a statement made at a party by an otherwise gracious hostess, to gently rebuke an errant guest. The seat in question was a management degree from one of India’s top business schools, and the guest stood accused of wasting her education by opting to be a stay-at-home mom. I found the statement judgmental and offensive. But I was aware that it reflected a viewpoint that is prevalent in many people, in varying degrees. This mindset is troubling, as I believe that it is one of the … Continue reading Why motherhood is uncool

Why do men rape?

This is a sample of what India is reading about, almost daily now: An eight-year-old child was raped by her neighbour, in Baranbaki (UP).[1] A five year old in Delhi was raped, tortured, mutilated, and left to die with a slit throat.[2] A four year old was raped and strangled in Seoni (MP),[3] leaving her with critical brain injuries. As the number of reported cases continues to rise, the victims seem to get younger. Many are minors, some barely out of their diapers. In some incomprehensible cases, they are mere infants. As people struggle to come to terms with such … Continue reading Why do men rape?

Will the anti-rape bill make me safer?

The Indian parliament is debating an anti-rape bill. The bill has various provisions, which include changing the term “sexual assault” to “rape”, and adding voyeurism and stalking to criminal offences. Some of these are welcome measures while others are open to debate. However, as a woman I wonder how much the bill will really change the ground realities? At the India Today Conclave 2013, Dr. Arun Shourie had said, “instead of tougher new laws, we need to implement the existing laws.” I agree with this view and believe that laws are meaningless unless they can be enforced and paired with … Continue reading Will the anti-rape bill make me safer?

Last stop to Siachen

“Remember us. We guard your borders.” This was a poignant sign put up by the Indian army, along one of the many winding mountainous roads in Ladakh. As one drives amidst the stark, breathtaking and ethereal beauty of Ladakh, for short periods of time, it is easy to forget that the plateau is one of the most militarized zones in the world. Due to its strategic location, the region has witnessed bloody battles and the army has repulsed repeated attacks by raiders through the years. The omnipresence of the army is evident everywhere. The land is dotted with camps of … Continue reading Last stop to Siachen