On the 5th of April, at 8:40 pm, my phone rang, it was my mom calling. I clinched the phone between my tilted head and neck while switching off the table lamps that gave a soft, warm glow to every corner of my bedroom. Shutting the doors with the other hand, I swiftly moved from one room to another with trailing darkness under the busy clicks of my hand. She could sense a movement around me and asked what I was working on. I told her I was putting in order the planned blackout at 9:00 pm. “Are you doing it?” she asked with a hint of disapproval in her voice. “I’m a Modi-Bhakt,” I retorted laughingly. I’m far from that, given my ballot exercising history; never have I ever voted for the BJP. 

The “Thali banging” and “Diya lighting” affair, has been looked down upon by many. From the intellectual strata of writers, columnists, and authors. From making unequivocal comments shouting their ‘no supporting for the staged drama’ to the ones writing cynical one-liner ironically bordering the indecent insinuations. The staunch anti- Modi/BJP faction supported the cause with their party agenda caveats, while others took to digging grounds for logical questioning on whether the virus could be gotten rid of through these monkeying exercises.

 The opposition’s political compulsion to blab- talk is comprehensible, it’s perhaps their mindlessness connected to their entire belief system over the years. Also is understandable the defiant remaining many Indians, with untamed discipline issues.

I see a motivator and a spartan leader in our Prime Minister. The task assignments were meant to bring people together and infuse the power of energy- like the drawing of warmth from a flickering Diya surrounded by darkness. The impact was expected to be purely psychological- lifting the spirits amidst a confused state of fright and exasperation.

However, the hysteria and the hyperbole around this got me thinking- why has it become a fad to hurl defiance and give bad press to every effort made by those who call the play to handle the pandemic. Are we becoming a society of cynics? Or are we bloated with unverified wisdom to make loud judgment calls?

Every story on social media is skinned alive by those for and against. Overwhelming posts and reposts spatter around on the social account holders’ timeline or tweets to ensure their rage is passed on with full heat. 

Now this begins to amuse me just a bit, and I have some reflective questions I think each one must ask oneself:

  • Are you posting or reposting something congruent with your thought process in letter and spirit?
  • Are your posts a plan to spread the emotion for your gain?
  • Have you objectively analyzed the situation before voicing it so fervently?
  • Are you consciously coloring others’ vision to gather support?
  • Do you have your facts lined up before forming an informed opinion you want to send live? 

To all those inspired by an inviting “What’s on your mind today,” please consider writing the entire content on a scribble pad before posting or reposting something. Chances are it might look as ugly to you as it would to others. Remember why punishments in school included writing lines such as “I’ll always pay attention in the class”? Or why learning through writing was considered better than rote memory. Writing down your thought processes allows you to introspect your thoughts and give yourself the space to disengage from somebody else’s hardline. Reposting is endorsing somebody else’s agenda, and your lack of originality in scripting your thoughts is not the same as having your voice heard, but a herd noise. 

If you’re so passionate about voicing something, do your research before you dabble on the vocalizing romp. Organize your thoughts, become mindful of your social or political inklings, become well informed about the issues, take up constructive criticism over it, and see if your perspective on it changes if you traded places, and lastly, ensure that your statements give a balanced view.

 In these challenging times and hard to defeat calamities, it is wise not to propagate hate speech groups and have a tinge of flickering faith.