India is a country of a billion lives, a billion perceptions, and a billion thought processes. But what unites us all, apart from “Integrity”, is the art of getting offended. We are, by far, the most easily offended breed amongst all breeds in this world. We have made the stereotypical angry Red American look like a puny god in front of us. We have made Mohammad Ali Jinnah look meager to our offense taking abilities. The situation seems so bad that an argument on social media has to be ended with a tag of no offense, or my dear you might just reprimand for speaking your heart out.
Snapchat, Snapdeal and Sonu Nigam and Sonu Sood are the latest victims of a long list of offenders to the largest democracy of the world. Among these four, two were caught for their bold statements out of which only one has credibility while the other could just be another stone in the river. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was claimed to have branded India as “too poor” to expand his business operations. An Indian employee at snapchat claims to have heard Evan Spiegel make this statement, while Sonu Nigam today felt disgruntled on the fact that he was woken up earlier on a Monday morning. I don’t know about Evan, but I can totally sympathize with Sonu Nigam. Jokes aside, below was his original tweet, after which he went on a rant as to how the loudspeakers everywhere need to stop prophesizing religion as if we didn’t have enough.
In support of Sonu Nigam came The frustrated Indian with the most logical statement –
While this was happening, snapdeal’s ratings were plummeting. But it was snapchat’s CEO, right? Well, my fellow Indians, we f****d this up big time. We confused snapchat with snapdeal and while snapchat’s rating had already plummeted to 1 star with some really interesting reviews on the play store, some of us took out the brunt on snapdeal’s ratings and reviews.
Now, the question arises, with this story now being 2 days old, Was it logical for us to get offended at that? Was the brutal lash out on the apps of Snapchat and Snapdeal justified? I would love to disagree. With 95% of the Indian population not even qualified to pay taxes, we are poor. With more than 13% of the India’s population Below poverty line, India is poor. With world’s largest slum in Mumbai, India is poor. But the worst part is, while we may not be poor at heart, we have lost our senses. The news of the statement broke the whole mass, and it had no proof, no backing by Snapchat or the CEO that the statement was in fact made by him. And if this was not enough, people went ahead and abused, attacked and reprimanded Miranda Kerr, Evan’s fiancé, for no fault of her own. We were so easily offended that all it took was for somebody to call us poor and we were floored.
In the case of Sonu Nigam, however, religion played a major part, and in a country like India, with such a sensitive topic, he was bound to be slammed by the social media. But was it fair? No. Everybody has a right to speak towards or against something that either pleases them or displeases them. It’s a basic right, and it’s very ironical as to how in the largest democracy in the world, we have forgotten that it is. He was just angry about being awoken earlier on a Monday morning. Can’t you understand this simple fact? Loudspeakers can’t speak to god, or the poor outside the temples/mosques/churches wouldn’t die of hunger.
India, once upon a time, brimmed with patience. We acknowledged each other, we listened to each other, we epitomized patience and understanding. If not for that, The Mughals or the English wouldn’t have looted us of our own possessions. But I guess, when you look at it, it’s the anger from the past that is ruling our present. The anger that we let anybody run over us, anybody to oppress us, anybody to call us “poor” or “land of the snake charmers”. But, as they say, one should never let the past rule your present, it hurts your future. Let’s get past this pain, and come back to our senses. Let’s be architects of a better world again, not pessimists and especially let’s not allow the world to run over us again.