Let’s get one thing clear – you and ONLY you are responsible for your actions. If you see something on Facebook, get offended and kill someone, don’t blame the social network for what you did. I’m shocked and astounded at the way the media and many bloggers are talking about the killing of a man by a mob in Pune. While they all say it’s a bad thing, the common thread is “It was due to an abusive post on Facebook talking about Shivaji”. No, no, no. This is the wrong way to think about it.
When deciding on cause and effect, what do you prioritize? When someone gives an excuse for a rapist saying that the woman was wearing “provocative clothing” or “she was drunk” or whatever, do reasonable people view that as a cause? No! The cause is the rapist is a dangerous criminal – a person who doesn’t deserve to be walking around freely amongst decent individuals. Such a person needs an excuse – any excuse. The fact that the police don’t register FIRs properly and that court cases take years to resolve adds to it.
Similarly, when a bunch of people attack an innocent person who poses no threat to them, for god’s sake don’t be stupid and blame something as innocuous as Facebook. Forget the fact that the victim had no connection to what was put online in the first place. That is irrelevant. Even if he was responsible, the mob still made a choice to kill him. It’s not as if what they saw inflamed their passions to such an ungovernable extent that they completely lost control over their actions. That line of reasoning is bullshit. No one just “loses control” like that. How fortunate for the mob that they were so many and he was just one! How fortunate that there will be very little in the way of immediate repercussions. How fortunate that they “lost control” only in India!
Violent criminals and thugs are just waiting for an excuse to hurt you. Don’t be deceived into thinking they care about their declared reasons. You think these lunatics actually give a damn about Shivaji? Or that the political goons beating up people over Marathi or whatever give a rat’s ass about a language? To care about such abstract stuff you need to be intelligent, and study the subject matter at least a little bit. I’m willing to bet any amount of money that 99% of the people who go on riots because of some author’s book have never even seen a copy of it – let alone gone through the offending text!
And I’m willing to bet that the mob who murdered this innocent guy in Pune had never even read the Facebook post in question. This is all manufactured outrage. A power play. Normal people with jobs and actual lives don’t bother about Shivaji, or some stupid language. And if they do, they don’t go around assaulting individuals.
So don’t play into the mind and language trap of attributing these violent assaults to Facebook. The social media has nothing to do with it. When a person needs an excuse to bully, create fear and grab power, any excuse is good enough. Facebook is just a convenient scapegoat. People who go on a riot and kill others are murderers plain and simple. I don’t care what their excuse is – and we don’t need to listen to it either. Stop trying to create excuses and take responsibility for your actions. You can’t blame anyone but yourself.