I came home for a while to celebrate a festival with my family.
Like always, I already planned on going to my previous workplace to meet all my brothers and former colleagues there. However, something different happened this time. I was strictly asked not to go to such faraway places by my family members because they believed it was not at all safe and if I go there then I’ll get beaten up by a Mob of Men who won’t stop until I do not chant their Religious slogans. I asked my friends working there and they said that it’s a commercial area and no one has time to form a group and attack you. People are too much occupied and busy with their own lives.
It was my younger sibling’s birthday and we planned to go out in the evening but were again asked to cancel because of the same reason though there was no problem anywhere.
This “it’s not safe for us here” thing got under my skin and I decided to find out why did they felt this way. I noticed that they all watched the same thing all over social media all the time. Be it Facebook, YouTube or WhatsApp, all they were watching, and sharing was how a group of people cornered and beat up a guy till he was half dead. Another video wherein a guy was pulled out of his car and was beaten up by men. They were sharing and receiving images of some random dead body who was said to have been a victim of communal attacks.
There were voice messages being sent and received about how these people were becoming friends and luring people only to beat them up based on Caste or Religion till they succumbed to their injuries. But I came across the same set of videos 5 or 6 years back when it was being used for a different reason. So basically, people have been made to believe that they’re all unsafe in a place where they have been living since they were born and where their ancestors have been living for more than thousands of years. I decided to take a stand and make them believe that they’re all just being brainwashed and nothing else.
The first thing that I did was I deleted all the apps from their phones. Now it can only be used for making and receiving calls and for SMS text messages and no other stuff. Since everyone was stuck with their phones, no one bothered to pay the TV bill since it has been disconnected after the World Cup. So thankfully they’ll not be able to watch any news as well. I know we should be updated about the latest happenings but all they’ll be bothered about will be religious and communal debates. So better keep them away from that shit.
It just took me 3-4 days to make them realize that they have been living in the most beautiful place in this world which is completely safe. I agree that I was a bit harsh and there are problems in some parts of the country but that’s something which is there everywhere we go and cannot be avoided. Some people have this bad habit of spreading stories and rumours all over for no reason. They’ll make you believe that there’s a person right outside your house who is about to harm you as soon as you open the door but that’s never the case. And there’s no specification here. You will find such people in every age, religion, colour, caste and community.
Bollywood Actor Randeep Hooda said “…Stay away from social media. Stay away from debates on religion. Just look around you at your friends who belong to different castes, communities and religions. And you will find that you are living in one of the best countries in the world.” and this is what I read and did.