HYDERABAD: Unlike on Twitter, Facebook debates are tricky because the tyrannical censorship amongst friends is far worse than that any dictatorship can hope to achieve and more excruciating are rules of compliance within emotionally-connected groups. As most of those who opposed the Hyderabad encounter learnt on Friday, irrespective of whether they could be labelled liberals, bhakts or those lost and confused in-between.
Consider Monica Rajendran, actor, musician and singer, who has been leading a #ItsNotMyFault campaign from the day the new of Disha broke out. Her response to the encounter did not meet the expectations of many.
She had written, “I am relieved the four have been put down but I don’t support state-sponsored encounter. There was an encounter because this case attracted public outrage. Rapes are still happening and rapists are still roaming free. Will they encounter all of them? No, right? So same speedy justice must have done through fast-track courts. They must have been hanged to death in public on orders of court. Now, we have underplayed our own legal system and that’s not the example we want to set.”
The admonition was stern, fast, and ruthless.
Far worse was the case of someone who said on his FB page, “Why, let’s just dismiss all courts in the country. Punishment after fair trial is a utopian concept, eh?” “Don’t you feel the pain of the lady who was gang-raped and murdered,” one asked in response. More savagely dealt was the man who wrote, “The equation is becoming simple in dealing with rape cases. If accused is an inconsequential, kill him. If he is well connected, kill the victim.” On another day, one might have advised that he go to the police to complaint against some of the replies he received.
“Killing criminals like this isn’t what Indian democracy is about. This is a dangerous path we are treading on. It’s failure of judiciary. Wake up call for all, emotions and filmy endings can’t overrule democratic pillars,” said a political activist.
However, strongly the responses came, voices of reason stood rocksteady. But the voices of reason were drowned in the tsunami of irrational outrage, blind hatred and a vicarious bloodthirst....