- The reaction or overreaction following the tweets over Republic Day violence when rampaging rioters posed several challenges to the law and order machinery must be observed introspectively as to whether the situation warranted the government authorities to respond the way it chose to. Of course, the majority of the farmer unions agitating over the three farm laws for the past more than two months had quickly disassociated from the rioting lot no sooner than the visuals started making rounds. The government lost no time in terming the hooligans as anti-nationals and Khalistani sympathizers hell-bent on creating troubles in their inimitable but anarchist ways.
PC: Adnan Abidi
- People in the know would nod in agreement that the agitating farmers have succeeded in hogging the international limelight as supporters from many overseas countries are expressing their concerns, mostly uninformed and half-baked, towards the Indian law enforcement agencies as their actions to quell the unrest draws attention. A couple of internationals viz a pop star and a teenage climate activist did tweet questioning the modus operandi adopted by the Indian authorities whilst handling the sensitive issue. As those tweets received tremendous traction owing to retweets and tagging, all hell broke loose setting the stage for virtual war in the digital world.
- It is one matter when the opposition, activists, concerned citizens, and anti-establishment proponents raising difficult/tricky questions to corner the government in power. As one of the custodians of democracy, the opposition is expected to raise concerns, apprehensions, and motives associated with any moves of the government. This ensures democracy thrive and flourish on expected lines. Rather astonishingly, the government’s ministry of external affairs ripostes to such international tweets with a lengthy elucidation highlighting the by now mundane sovereignty, territorial integrity, and upholding the democratic rights were grossly unnecessary.
- Few of the renowned film stars and sports personalities jumped in as if on cue quickly followed by the opposition baying for blood to pounce on these celebrities questioning their supposed bias towards the ruling dispensation. In no time, the entire issue got muddied with the society divided vertically for and against the government move. Make no mistake, every single individual of the country including celebrities has an opinion to share and would never let go of an opportunity to support matters of nationalism or national interest. Nobody should question such an honest intent even if it is viewed as siding with the government or opposing it.
- However, the government jumping in to justify alleged police high-handedness defies logic. In hindsight, the ministry of external affairs could have resisted the temptation to post a lengthy retort against those tweets. Embracing the power to ignore is also a virtue that comes in handy in sending across a message without ever expending energy or falling into the urgings to respond. Alluding to the dictum silence also speaks louder should have guided the policymakers rather than resorting to issuing with the rejoinder. Once bitten twice shy! Exercise restrain next time around!