Dear people, there are times when you should just stay quiet

Kalyani Prasher
Kalyani PrasherAug 11, 2016 | 15:34

Dear people, there are times when you should just stay quiet

There are times when one must speak out: like I am having to now, after a couple of weeks of observing social media commentary on Kashmir, and then Shobhaa De's outburst over India's "inability" to win Olympic medals. However, let me rid you, dear reader, of the burden of commenting on every single thing that happens.

Here, sit down, have a soda, relax. There are a few times when you don't have to express your opinion; no one really cares what you think of anything anyway.

There are times when you don't have correct or full information. It takes the intelligence of a five-year-old who fell on his head when he was two to realise that Kashmir is a sensitive and severely complicated issue.

It's also the fad topic for intellectuals, who feel they must have an opinion on something as important as the Kashmir conundrum. But hey, you don't have to. You really don't have to take a stand on things you don't understand - and you're unlikely to understand it from social media because you can't trust any narrative on it.

If the Kashmiris, the few who do live in Kashmir, are to be believed, the Indian Army is injuring hundreds of innocent bystanders for offences such as "sitting and chatting" - this boils your blood, you want to condemn the Army, you want to question our country's ethics, but the fact is that you don't know what's really going on in Kashmir on the ground.

If you had just actually ignored Shobhaa De, her tweet on India's "lack of ability" at the Olympics would have died a natural death. 

You don't know the circumstances in which these seemingly gross injustices are occurring. A tweet is not gospel truth - you are not in a position to judge or comment based on reading all the stuff that's being said on social media.

Before the bhakts start following me on Twitter in droves for saying this, let me swiftly add that this also goes for the unrealistic narrative that every five-year-old in Kashmir is pelting stones at the Army. Come to think of it, Mr Modi was better off being silent as well - then he wouldn't have had to say "India loves Kashmir" in answer to the question "why are you blinding our young people?" and appear just a bit silly.

It's distressing to read about young people being killed, blinded, riddled with pellets; it's also distressing to think of individuals whose identities are lost as they join the "big bad wolf" called the Indian Army in Kashmir - surely they don't want to blind young people?

It's not an easy situation to grasp or understand, and comments such as "we won't let go of Kashmir" (who's asking you, dude?) or "bloody Indians go back" (the Army is not reading your tweets, y'know) certainly do not add anything to the conversation. It makes my head spin even as I write about it; so it is with some relief that I move on to Shobhaa De. Ah, here is a light frothy topic, very different from Kashmir. No complications here - just pure and simple clickbaiting.

When a person, whose intelligence is at least as much as our young friend mentioned above who fell on his head, says outrageously insulting things about our sporting heroes WHILE they are out at the Olympics competing, what comes to your mind?

Yes. Mostly everyone saw through De's clickbaiting but did that stop anyone from tweeting, commenting, writing articles, or posting on Facebook about it? No. "She just wants to be noticed!" everyone screamed in one voice of derision and promptly went about aiding her in that inglorious agenda.

If you just ignored her - and "who is Shobhaa De anyway" or "she is a bitch" or "why don't you run 40km" or updating Facebook with posts about ignoring her is NOT ignoring her - if you just actually ignored her, her stupid tweet would have died a natural death and she wouldn't be laughing at you for taking her so seriously right now.

I mean, you don't have to look very far to know how to do this - just look at her timeline and how she ignored all of you after you retweeted her 800 times and tied yourself in knots thinking up innovative insults for her, which she probably did not even read.

When you have nothing to say, say nothing; it's a very simple rule to follow.

When you free up your mind and choose to comment only on a few selected topics that you feel you can contribute to with wit, humour, advice, information or anything that adds a little something to the narrative, you can then have the time to learn more about things you don't know and return with something more substantial to say.

Last updated: August 11, 2016 | 16:18
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