A popular film actor, Salman Khan, writes a few words on popular social networking site, Twitter, and a furore is created. Immediately, famous and expert tweeps are on Twitter with their 140 characters of feedback, advice. Some have even made it to the news channels. The news channels immediately camp outside Salman’s home as there is no other ‘Breaking News’. Seeing an opportunity for publicity, people from various parties also reach the venue and create a ruckus making it a law and order issue.
By evening, Salman retracts his statement and deletes the tweets. It is effectively a gag order for anybody else who is famous. One can just see the kind of attacks and abuses being made on another vocal actor who speaks his mind, Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap).
What it says about our society is a bit frightening? Does it mean, one cannot have an opinion outside of the majority opinion? It may probably silence the opinion for the moment, but is it also the end of it?
Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the nation’s constitution. Of course, it doesn’t mean one can say any rubbish and get away with it. One has every right to be offended too. But, can we be more civil about it? We have every right to protest, but in a civilised manner without going against the law of the land. There is no excuse to abuse anyone, though that is also freedom of speech, isn’t it?
In a society, diverse opinions are needed for its evolution. We have a great democracy in India which is able to withstand all these issues and it is, thankfully, still the people who matter. Let us be proud of it and follow it’s rich legacy instead of getting down to pettiness.