I want to say what I want to say #RaiseYourVoice

This blog that you started is not a small thing.  I realised this when I saw the impact bloggers can have on significant events and the power to change history.  It gives us the biggest weapon.  V.O.I.C.E.  It lets you state an opinion,  debate an issue,  support a good cause and even to take a stand against an issue.  It could be a popular or unpopular voice.  But, it is yours.

Just like in Facebook / Twitter,  it is very easy to write a blog post.  You sit in the comfort of your home,  write about something and then just hit the Publish button.  Well, you can do it from anywhere.  And bam!  The post is on internet for millions of users to read.  It is unedited, unrestricted and straight from the heart.  All you need is a smart phone or computer with an internet connection to send it out to the whole wide world. 

As long as, there is no abuse,  but a reasonable, logical and methodical voice,  it is a strong voice.

The voice is quite far reaching with the combination of other social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube.  It is no longer a fad.  Blogging has been around for more than a decade and looks like it is here to stay.

The recent Salman Khan movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan also demonstrated the use of popular social media which is used to help the girl find her family.  Perhaps,  if Bajrangi were a blogger,  all he needed to have done was make a blog post with a YouTube video and send it across to Pakistan,  he would probably not have had to endure the hardships he faced, not to mention the risks to the child.

So, when I read news about bloggers being attacked/lynched/killed by some obscure activists,  I always thanked myself that its not in my country.  There is a long list of countries that has attacked/killed/lynched/kidnapped a blogger in recent times.

But, with the recent killings in India of emminent writers like Kalburgi, Dabholkar, Pansare,  it will be just a matter of time before some of these activists start reading blogs and get offended.  Soon,  we may hear about some blogger being attacked in the country.

Does the thought scare me?  Of course! It does.  To the extent that my family has warned me from writing about anything against popular opinions, community, religion, politics.  In effect,  virtually gagged.

So, this is what it looks like now.  Do I have the right of freedom of speech?  Yes.  Can I use it?  Yes.  Only, if it is to support me.  Else.  You maybe attacked.  But,  for this you are to be blamed.  What you wrote infuriated me so much, that I had to attack you.

My only wish is that my country does not spiral down that path.  India has thrived on pluralism and diversity.  It is because we were more receptive of such diverse ideologies due to trade, invasions and influence of various religions, and taking the best knowledge and learnings from them,  that we are still standing tall with our culture since pre-historic times.  Surely, without change,  we would have stagnated and died along the way.

Let there be voices of dissent.  Let there be an argument.  Let there be a debate.  And let the best idealogies win.  Let us all progress.

I am participating in Blog Action Day 2015 and this year’s theme is “Raise your voice”. Write Tribe, a writer’s support group has got us all together for this initiative. If you are writing, you can link up your post there.

Image : Pixabay.com

12 thoughts on “I want to say what I want to say #RaiseYourVoice

  1. Public taking the law into their hands (irrespective of issue) is a sad state for any country. More than anything, it reflects upon the weakness of the country’s judiciary. We live in a country with a more-or-less non-existent judiciary. That automatically translates to “sawaari apne jaan maal ki khud jimmedaar hai”, i.e. we should be careful of what we say and do.
    – Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

  2. Voice of dissent matter. What is happening right now in India is not only scary but should concern all of us with voices muzzled but stoned to death. My post on Blog Action Day, later today, will be on the same theme. Congrats. Such a powerful voice.

  3. Thank you for speaking out today, Lata.
    Our fundamental right to speak our opinion seems to be at risk today. It’s sad too see the trolls abounding on social media! Often they don’t understand the point of view that they attack! Worse still, when the law seems to side with them.

  4. Freedom of Speech is a very tricky and important issue. Good that you chose to write about this for this Blog Action Day. I have had some personal experience with it 🙂

    While I am all for freedom of expression and everything, I also realize that we can’t live harmoniously in a diverse society making any one particular value an absolute value disregarding every other value. That’s because ideological, mind-constructed values like everything else also operate in the realm of relative truth. No one mental value has ever been able to capture absolute truth. With freedom of speech (freedom of anything as long as it is in the mental, intellectual realm) comes great responsibility. I donot buy into the notion that anyone can unnecessarily and without any provocation abuse, throw muck at anyone’s faith or belief and then defend that with the argument of freedom of expression. I recently read something by a well-known writer/commentator Tufeil Ahmad where he basically argues that in a country like India as long as there will only be made movies like PK which ridicules some of the irrational aspects of Hindu belief system and not the corresponding movies presenting the irrationality in other belief systems of Indians, we can never really have a peacefully democratic society which is open to healthy debate, discussion, etc. The point he makes is very important, because he speaks of the asymmetry and selective nature of the so-called rationalism of our intellectuals. I am all in favour of healthy discussion, debate on anything. Everything is open to debate, even religious faith and beliefs. But this should be done with a certain sense of responsibility and respect for the diverse view point. Often I find that the so-called rationalist and liberal voices in our society are the most ideologically biased and conservative and rigid voices. That is a dangerous thing, in my opinion.
    Of course, none of this means that violence is ever acceptable. Violence can never be the solution to any problem in society. So while condemning all such violent attack in the name of “being offended”, I still say that those who champion for an absolute freedom of speech should also look within themselves and see where such absolute ideological values have also led to extreme and horrendous violence (physical – e.g. Maoism, Naxalism, mental/psychological – in the name of religious coversions, absuse of one’s religious icons by vandalism, breaking of murtis etc.)

    1. Thanks Beloo for your wonderful comment. Movies do reflect our culture to a large extent. PK probably ridicules only one religion because it is more tolerant. Imagine him ridiculing his own religion. The movie would have been banned in some states, with a fatwa to boot. And even though the movie makers would have wanted to add something, the producers and censors would have declined fearing a backlash. This itself negates freedom of speech. But, the law should be able to protect this fundamental right.

    1. You are right. It is scary. I may be wrong but I want to say whatever I want to say. The absolute clamping of trolls on social media is disheartening.

  5. Great post and I agree with you there. Progress is possible only when each one is willing to listen to the other’s opinion and not deem it as incorrect.

    1. Thank you Parul. Atleast in a country like India, where the language, landscape and food habits change every 100 km, people are used to being tolerant. Thankfully, that is the majority.

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