The Outrageous Indian

In the “new” India not love, not hatred, not fear, not courage, but outrage is the most common and strongest emotion that anything evokes.

Be it a tennis player not knowing an Indian cricket player, oops I meant a tennis player not knowing god of cricket, a daughter-in-law, sorry a daughter first, nominated as a state icon. A person being force fed, I am sorry I meant a Muslim being force fed during Ramadan by Hindu right wing politicians. A woman CEO who can’t have it all and a lady in a telecommunication ad having it all, we “new” Indians can express outrage at anything.

I asked a friend who was expressing outrage at Israel, Palestine conflict to enlighten me about it. I asked him if he knew what it was about, and he expressed an outrage at me, he said to me, “I don’t care why they are fighting, innocent people, children, women are getting killed.” Fair enough I said, your posting and sharing fake images from some fake war on Facebook may actually help them resolve the issue. My asking him to look closer and see resemblance in India and Kashmir evoked more outrage.

A book published by someone which claims Hindu rishis were scientist and Pushpak Viman was the first airplane can evoke outrage, and a book taken off shelves because of an outrage can evoke outrage too.

We outraged on corruption and everyone became a crusader. We outraged at winning of a newbie IRS turned politician, we outraged at losing of the same person.

Younger generation feels expressing outrage makes them look cool and is the “in” thing to do. And older generation feels left out if they don’t join in.

While some outrage is justified, most of it is uncalled for. The problem is that the news media doesn’t report things that are outrageous; instead whatever is reported by news media becomes an outrage. I get outraged by media when it includes religion in every news piece be it relevant or not.

The ease of access to internet, cheap smartphones have helped such news content and unverified news stories a far wider reach and it can create a larger impact. The trouble is not using it enough to create a positive impact. I personally do not think liking a post on Facebook or retweeting a tweet can do much good. The counter argument is we are doing our bit; at least we are spreading awareness.

Most of the times this unverified and unreliable spreading of awareness does more harm than good. HIV positive blood in packaged fruit drink or a Nigerian king leaving all his money behind for you, you winning a big lottery is still able to con people.

Go ahead, feel free to be offended by this post and call it outrageous.


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