The Xinjiang autonomous region in China’s far west has had a long history of discord between the authorities and the indigenous ethnic Uighur population. Most Uighurs are Muslim and Islam is an important part of their life and identity. Their language is related to Turkish, and they regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
Persecution of Uighurs Muslims
The Chinese government has destroyed tens of thousands of mosques and graveyards in the Xinjiang province. One million Muslims are being held right now in Chinese internment camps, according to estimates cited by the UN and U.S. officials. Former inmates—most of whom are Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority—have told reporters that over the course of an indoctrination process lasting several months, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, and recite Communist Party propaganda songs for hours each day.
There are media reports of inmates being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which are forbidden to Muslims, as well as reports of torture and death. Tahir Imin, a U.S.-based Uighur academic from Xinjiang who said he has several family members in internment camps, was not surprised to hear his religion being characterized as if it’s a disease. In his view, it’s part of China’s attempt to eradicate Muslim ethnic minorities and forcefully assimilate them into the Han Chinese majority. “If they have any ‘illness,’ it is being Uighur,” he said. In addition to Uighurs, The Washington Post has reported that Muslim members of other ethnic groups, like the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz, have also been sent to the camps.
While some religious sites in Xinjiang have been razed, some have been turned into official tourist attractions. Last month, Radio Free Asia had reported a public washroom being constructed on the site of a demolished mosque in Atush of Xinjiang province.
Communism was able to set foot in Kerala as early as in 1930’s owing to movements lead by the local peasants and labour community. Later, the Communist parties were able to establish a strong foothold in region with the help of radical section of the anti-colonial native Muslims in the Malabar region which eventually led to rise of fascist regime in the region.
For years now the systematic movement of ethnic cleansing started in the state with Hindu Dharma at the receiving end of it. In the recent past, the region is not only proactive in actions against Hindu Dharma but also funding and providing valuable human resources to different International Terrorist Organizations like ISIS, Al-Qaeda etc.
“Love-Jihad” in Kerala
Love Jihad remains an “alleged effort” by Muslim youths to convert non-muslim community girls/women to Islam for many big media houses and newspapers, but the ground reality is shocking and an eye opener for Hindu community. According to media reports, many non-muslim girls were forcefully converted to Islam and were sent to different parts of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq where the caliphate(ISIS) was operating. Now many of those girls/women are in the jails of Kabul, Syria pleading to Indian government for their safe return to their home states.
Similar type of incident was brought to limelight from a Kochi Marriage Registrar office, where almost 72 cases with Hindu or Brahmin girls/women of age between 18-30 years were married to Muslims youths who are indulged in petty jobs like Coolie at Railway station, Construction workers etc. Such extent of ethnic cleansing is prevailing in the state that soon Hindu dharma will be completely eradicated.
On similar grounds, a forum of Catholic Bishops representing Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala have accused that scores of Christian women in Kerala are being lured by the Muslim youths on pretext of love or marriage and are forcibly converted to Islam. The Church even stated that the Christian girls/women are even being killed in the name of Love Jihad and accused the Police and Local Administration for not taking cognizance of the rising cases of such forcible conversions and killings in the state.
A statement was given by junior Home Minister G Kishan Reddy in the parliament that – “The term “love-jihad” is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of “love-jihad” has been reported by any of the central agencies.” After reading several media house reports about Indian women’s in Kabul jail, data leaked from Kochi registrar office, serious concern by the Syro-Malabar Church, this statement from the government official rather seems preposterous in present scenario.
Increasing footprint of Islamic State in Kerala
A small group of survivors which emerged from the remnants of the Al-Qaeda in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2004 led to chaos and destruction in the larger parts of Iraq and Syria, popularly known as ISIS(Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Since the uprising of this group in 2013 across the international circles, it has attracted youths from all across the globe to join the caliphate. In Bharat, the hotspot for the ISIS recruitment was Kerala where several news related to Kerala Muslim youths joining the caliphate have emerged in recent past.
When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi got killed on 26 Oct 19 and American forces along with other rebel groups were able to recapture the larger parts of Syria and Iraq from the ISIS grip, the fighters got disintegrated into rather small modules which are now operating in different parts of the world. Now many of these youths and women want to return back to India which could be catastrophic for internal security as intelligence agencies suggests that many of them would work as sleeper cells for the caliphate thereby strengthening the IS module in Bharat.
Recently the UN report on terrorism has warned that there are significant number of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. According to the reports ISIL Indian affiliate(Hindu Wilayah) has between 180-200 operatives active in Bharat. Delhi Police on 22 Aug 20 captured an ISIS operative from Central Delhi’s Ridge Road area, who was planning lone wolf attacks on national capitaL. Recently 09 terrorists belonging to Al-Qaeda Pakistani module were also captured of whom many belonged to Kerala. This news validates the UN report and is a wakeup call for our security agencies against the rise of ISIS in India.
Killing of RSS activists
This fascist regime in Kerala is slowly killing the RSS activists who are working for betterment of Hindu culture and society in different parts of Kerala. Between 2000-2016, in Kannur district alone many politically motivated murders were registered. Data available shows that there have been 160 political murders since 2000, where the person belonging to Hindu dharma and RSS activists were targeted by the perpetrators.
The Central Govt. is taking considerable efforts in West Bengal where the condition has deteriorated to the level that the proceedings of festivals like Durga Pooja, Diwali are being hampered by the other local communities and even the local administration. Central Govt. is determined on bringing changes in the state and efforts are quite visible. The UN report has already suggested the extent of spread of radical Islam in the Kerala state, but still no efforts are visible by the central govt. to curb this menace. A state which is slowly turning into a heaven for the terrorists and ethnic cleansing is on rise, it’s time for Central Govt. to interfere in the workings of the State administration and push the state govt. to bring in “Anti-Conversion” laws or India Freedom of Religion acts that are enacted to regulate religious conversions.
In recent times Munambam, Kochi has become a hotspot for illegal migration into foreign countries like New Zealand. Munambam was used as a major transit point by LTTE for trafficking refugees to Australia and other countries when it was active and now it is being used by mafias to illegally migrate people to various countries. Munambam is preferred by the mafia since more than 300 fishing boats are operated from the harbour everyday and there is no system to track them and due to absence of CCTV or any other tracking mechanism, criminal and illegal migration activities are on a rise in the area. Intelligence inputs suggest that if the authorities fail to set up fool proof security along the coasts, they could be used by terrorists and anti-national forces to carry out their illegal operations and carry attack in India equivalent to 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Further considering all the facts above, the intelligence agencies need to increase their footprint in the region and efforts to be made by central govt. to revive the dying Hindu population in the region.
“THERE IS A SUFFICIENCY IN THE WORLD FOR MAN’s NEED, BUT NOT FOR MAN’s GREED.”
Enormous amount of efforts are being made all across the globe to produce viable vaccine for COVID-19. Russia being at the forefront of this race has already come up with “Sputnik V” as the possible cure for treating corona virus. Research is still going on in other countries to come up with the vaccine with rare blue blood of “Horseshoe Crab” being the key ingredient for this process of vaccine production.
Blood of Horseshoe Crab for Vaccine
Each spring, guided by the full moon, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs clamber onto beaches across the U.S. mid-Atlantic to lay their eggs. For hungry birds, it’s a cornucopia. For drug companies, it’s a crucial resource for making human medicines safe.
That’s because these animals’ milky-blue blood provides the only known natural source of limulus amebocyte lysate, a substance that detects a contaminant called endotoxin. If even tiny amounts of endotoxin—a type of bacterial toxin—make their way into vaccines, injectable drugs, or other sterile pharmaceuticals such as artificial knees and hips, the results can be deadly.
Every year, pharmaceutical companies round up half a million Atlantic horseshoe crabs, bleed them, and return them to the ocean— after which many will die.
Why Over-dependence on Horseshoe Crabs?
Catching crabs and harvesting their blood is time-consuming, and the resulting lysate costs $60,000 per gallon. In 2016, a synthetic alternative to crab lysate, recombinant factor C (rFC), was approved as an alternative in Europe, and a handful of U.S. drug companies also began using it.
But on June 1, 2020, the American Pharmacopeia, which sets the scientific standards for drugs and other products in the U.S., declined to place rFC on equal footing with crab lysate, claiming that its safety is still unproven. Starting in July, Swiss-based Lonza will begin manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine for human clinical trials—and they’ll have to use lysate in the vaccine if they plan to sell it in the U.S.
Destroying the Habitat and Population of Horseshoe Crabs
Meanwhile, conservationists are monitoring the impact to the species that rely on horseshoe crab eggs as vital food sources. Sport fish that once were numerous, such as striped bass and flounder, have plummeted in number in the region, in part due to fewer horseshoe crab eggs. Human greed is slowly consuming nature around us and we still can’t predict where this “Greed” will end or will it stop before eradicating Human Race from Planet Earth, only time will tell.
A cyborg, a portmanteau of “cybernetic organism”, is a being with both organic and bio-mechatronic body parts. The term was coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline. In 2020, a breakthrough in this technology is being taking rounds in the corridors of the Global Scientific Community where scientists funded by the United States Navy have revealed they have successfully augmented locusts and hijacked their ability to sense a wide range of chemical odours, including explosives.
The Locust Cyborg
Until now Locusts were a menace for farmers across the globe for having an extra appetite for farm products and their ability to reproduce fast thereby consuming large areas of farmlands and the crops growing in them. For more details, read the article below.
According to a pre-print research paper published on February 11,2020 in BioRxiv, the insects have been used to detect gases released by substances like ammonium nitrate, commonly used by terrorist groups for bomb-making, and the military explosives TNT and RDX. Individual locusts were able to successfully sniff out incendiary material, but the results improved when the scientists compiled data from seven or more locusts, where the detection capability was distributed across a mini-swarm.
The Washington University scientists cocooned the locusts in tiny wheeled robots that could be positioned at will. The researchers chose to work with American locusts because they are “sturdy” and “can carry heavy payloads,” the preprint paper reveals. The real challenge was finding a way to read the locusts’ minds without subjecting them to extensive surgery. The procedure involved making a “minor” incision in the locusts’ heads that allowed the insects to continue moving their mouthparts and antennae freely afterward.
The robot-bound locusts were exposed to five different explosives and a few other chemicals. Within 500 milliseconds of exposure to each substance, a discernible and distinct pattern of activity appeared in the insects’ brains. Good-quality signals can be picked up by the electrodes for around seven hours after locusts receive their implants but fade beyond that, the researchers write. However, that there are still practical challenges in keeping the augmented locusts alive.
After reading this article I felt happy enough to know that these “small buggers” could be useful in some way rather than destroying our crops and fields.
Brain development is a complex process that lasts up until adulthood, and highly depends on sleep. A sleep study on fruit ﬂies, published by US scientists in March 2020, revealed how the brains of adolescents actively halt the development of the area that is important for sleep. This allows them to snooze longer, which is […]
In an UN report it was estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence. However, some national studies show that up to 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
In order to curb such menace, China has come up with an innovative idea where the city of Yiwu in eastern China is set to begin a pilot programme that allows residents to check whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse before getting married.
Sexual Abuse by Partner
It is estimated that of the 87,000 women who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half (50,000- 58 per cent) were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner.
This is just the data of the developed countries; the count may be even more if we consider the poor and developing countries. Bringing transparency in the judicial and policing system is the need of the hour.
The Way Ahead
One of the most developed countries in the world USA, not only maintain the database of Sexual Offenders but it is also available in public domain. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is an unprecedented public safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data.
But there have always been debates about that how one could misuse such data for their own interest which could affect the society and how it could severely dampen the self-correction chances of the persons who are been charged with sexual assault.
On similar grounds in China the database is going to open soon for the public. Zhou Danying, Vice Chairman of Yiwu Women’s Federation said that in many cases, the parties involved only know about domestic violence after marriage. By establishing an inquiry database, partners can know beforehand and consider whether to marry.”
National Database On Sexual Offenders(India)
India also have a database of sexual offenders, but it’s access is limited only to some of the police and administrative officers. India became the ninth country in the world to have a National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO).
The Information on “Arrested and Charge sheeted” Offenders will be available only to Law Enforcement Agencies, whereas the Data for “Convicted” Offenders will be made accessible to the public.
In the United States, the sex offender registry is available to the public, whereas, in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago, the registry is available only to law enforcement agencies.
In China, those using the database must provide their ID as well as the ID of the person they intend to marry, their application to the marriage registry office. They must sign a confidentiality agreement. Those who disseminate or use the information in the database for any purposes other than their own matrimonial decisions will “bear legal consequences”. Users can only search the database twice the year, to look at the records of at most two people.
Such kind of framework need to be structured in India as well as other countries which could go a long way in safeguarding women rights.
Since the creation of planet Earth, there have been 05 massive extinction level events and around 15 small scale extinction events. Scientists and researchers have predicted that presently we are facing the Sixth Major Extinction Event where many of the species are almost on the verge of extinction or already extinct.
History of Extinction Events
The great oxygenation event which occurred around 2.45 billion years ago, was probably the first major extinction event and following events followed :-
Ordovician–Silurian extinctionevents (End Ordovician or O–S): 450–440 Ma (million years ago) at the Ordovician–Silurian transition. Two events occurred that killed off 27% of all families, 57% of all genera and 60% to 70% of all species.
Late Devonian extinction: 375–360 Ma near the Devonian–Carboniferous transition. At the end of the Frasnian Age in the later part(s) of the Devonian Period, a prolonged series of extinctions eliminated about 19% of all families, 50% of all genera and at least 70% of all species.
Permian–Triassic extinction event (End Permian): 252 Ma at the Permian Triassic transition. Earth’s largest extinction killed 57% of all families, 83% of all genera and 90% to 96% of all species (53% of marine families, 84% of marine genera, about 96% of all marine species and an estimated 70% of land species including insects).
Triassic–Jurassic extinction event (End Triassic): 201.3 Ma at the Triassic–Jurassic transition. About 23% of all families, 48% of all genera (20% of marine families and 55% of marine genera) and 70% to 75% of all species became extinct.
Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (End Cretaceous, K–Pg extinction, or formerly K–T extinction): 66 Ma at the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)– Paleogene (Danian) transition interval. About 17% of all families, 50% of all genera and 75% of all species became extinct.
Sixth Extinction Event
Scientists and researchers predict that “Sixth Mass Extinction Event” is already underway and this sixth wave is first which is caused by human interference.
Einstein apparently said “Extinction of bees will eventually lead to a global extinction event”, as bees are responsible for pollination and in recent years bee’s population have fallen significantly.
Scientists found that 1/3 of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that upto 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades. Nearly half of the 177 mammal species surveyed lost more than 80% of their distribution between 1900 and 2015. And about 515 species are on the brink of extinction. More than 400 vertebrate species became extinct in recent years, extinction on this level could have taken upto 10,000 years in the normal course of evolution.
The research analysed data on 27500 species of land vertebrates from the IUCN(International union for Conservation of Nature) found that about one-third have shrunk in recent decades.
Causes for Sixth extinction event
You must have come across swarms of dead insects almost everyday on your window shields, but recently all those insects have disappeared owing to enhanced use of fertilizers in the fields, eventually depleting the food source for birds and thus their population have also depleted significantly in recent years. The entire food cycle have been disrupted, affecting almost every organism.
In the last few decades, humans have taken over vast areas of animal habitat causing pollution and global warming which have led to catastrophic declines in population sof botyh common and rare vertebrate and invertebrate species.
Palaeontologist Doug Erwin told that “ I think if we keep things up long enough, we will get to a mass extinction but we are not in a mass extinction yet, and I think that’s an optimistic discovery because that means we actually have time to avoid Armageddon.”
Mass extinction or not, but we are definitely based on a road to Sixth Mass Extinction Event. The COVID-19 lockdown have definitely benefitted the environment and significantly brought down carbon footprint, but on other side events like Oil spill in Arctic, Oil well blasts in Assam(India), Forest fires in USA poses new challenges for the environment.
India, Yemen, East Africa as well as Gulf countries, Iran, Pakistan are now suffering from one of the worst locust infestation in decades. There are around 08 different varieties of locusts out of which the Desert Locusts are the most dangerous, which are now responsible for eating large amount of vegetation and crops in different parts of these countries. Experts predict, if the conditions aggravate this infestation will result effecting atleast 10% of the world population. This article focuses on current locust crisis and measures taken by governments to curb thus menace.
Origin and Growth of Desert Locusts
Generally desert locusts originate every year in deserts of African countries but due to lack of favourable conditions like appropriate moisture and water sources, they die down unable to form big swarms. However, this year due to heavy rains in these parts acted as an activator for their growth leading to production of these large swarms.
The insects which feed on crops can consume their own body weight in food everyday, a single swarm(population ranging upto 10 billion to 100 billion) can consume food equivalent to minimum 35,000 persons in a days.
They easily travel at a speed of 16-19 Km/Hr and can cover a distance upto 130 Km in a day. Sometimes these swarms have even covered distances of about 250-300 Km in a day. Pakistan has already declared Locust Emergency and plans to hire aircrafts from UAE and China to fight locust swarms by spraying pesticide on larger areas.
In India and Pakistan, only small swarms of 02-04 Km have been sighted till now but in Parts of Kenya and Sudan bigger swarms covering an area of about 2000 Sq Km have also been sighted which may eventually move towards India and Pakistan.
Another cause of concern for India will be the approaching Monsoon which is likely to hit Kerala coast on 05 Jun 20 and in a span of another 07-10 days will move towards other parts of the country. The rains will provide very favourable condition for the growth of the locust swarms and condition will aggravate eventually as Kharif crops like Rice, Maize, Millet will be sowed by the farmers in upcoming monsoon. Swarms have already affected 06 states of India, if the situation goes out of control India would see a biggest loss to agricultural economy in its history. Other countries will also suffer as India is the biggest exporter of Rice in the world. The swarms have already affected many parts of India and caused a devastation on wide scale which can be seen in video below.
I wrote an article about “COVID-19 EFFECT ON GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY” on 21 Apr 20 and discussed about the approaching swarm of locusts from East-African countries which may affect parts of India and Pakistan. Sometimes I fail to understand that till when Governments will try to hide away or keep a blind eye to the situation on pretext of natural disasters. If a miniscule blogger like myself could address this critical issue then why a powerful Govt. backed by scientists and team of researchers fail to act on time leading to agricultural losses to poor farmers who are already suffering from backlash of COVID-19 spread. I personally blame Govt. for this fiasco that after having Locust Warning Organization and warnings from the FAO no pre-emptive measures were taken and consider this not a Natural disaster but a Man-made disaster. The link of the article which I published is shared below.
However, the helpless Govt. is not trying to hire Drones but nothing have come up on ground till now while the Locust Swarms keep rallying in different parts of India. Govt. is now half-heartedly trying to control the swarms by playing Loud DJ Music and banging utensils which is just a temporary solution for this problem as the swarms only relocate by high frequencies, does not die down. Effective measures need to be taken, otherwise amidst this COVID-19 crisis and Locust attack, the domino effect will take us back to the stone age.
“Modern Technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”
It is the 21st century and no one would have thought, that we would need the technology to such extent that it become a tool for survival of entire human race in a fight against COVID-19. Governments are sharing advisories, Dos and DONTs on various social media platforms, cable TV, Radio and all possible media sources are being used to spread awareness. But the question is, if everyone has the capacity to afford smart devices/phones on which such information can be read/shared, what is the level of penetration for technology in current scenario.
Importance of Technology during Pandemic
The most effective and protective measures against COVID-19 is to maintain social distancing and wash hands on regular intervals. A technology which can help eliminate the need of touching such surfaces which are used by multiple users is IoT(Internet of Things) which includes smart devices like AC, Fridge, TV sets etc. which can be controlled by various AIs(Artificial intelligences) like Alexa, Google Assistant etc. Smart water and beverage dispensers are also being used at corporate houses to avoid any kind of human touch and thereby curb contagion at work place.
Not only IoT, several governments across the globe have come up with various applications on smartphones which indicate any potent infected area or person nearby a user thereby giving warning.
Even hard cash/money transactions are being banned in many countries fearing the spread through currency notes and only online payment gateways and internet banking practise are used for any type of transactions.
Due to closure of schools and educational institutions, online classes are being taken by teachers and faculties to make up for the losses of students and to continue their studies in next standard or semesters.
Scenario in Poor and Developing Countries
Countries like China( 1.45 billion population), India(1.3 billion population), Pakistan, Bangladesh, African countries where high population density has dragged down the development rate, Technology still seems a long ball game for these countries.
According to World Bank, Rural population in India was reported at 65.97% in 2018 which is around 0.86 billion people residing in areas where the technology awareness as well as cover is at minimal rates. Many of the villages suffer from critical shortages of electricity with 12-16 hours of power cut in a day, by this one can imagine the extent of technology cover in these areas. The situation in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Kenya etc. is even worse.
The guidelines, Dos/DONTs which is being circulated by the governments are not reaching a larger chunk of the overall population who is in desperate need of this information due to pre-existing unhygienic set ups they are being living in, this is the “Technological Lag” built due to economic disparities in our society.
How it’s affecting the Children?
Most of the schools and educational institutions are closed due to lockdown. Children with higher social and monetary status are able to continue their studies by enrolling in online classes, but the poor are stranded with no such means of laptop/smart devices to continue their studies which has led to high rate of dropouts in many schools.
This will not only adversely affect the literacy rates, but will also lead to less educational and vocal skills which may later translate to child labour. Nearly 1.6 million children from poor families are affected in New Delhi which is the capital state of India; one can imagine the rate of disruptions in India and on global level.
UNESCO has said over 154 crore students around the world are affected due to the COVID-19 related school closures and has suggested a six point strategy to combat the problem which includes:-
Leveraging teachers and communities
Adopting appropriate distance learning techniques
Considering the digital divide
Safeguarding vital services
Engaging young people
In the Poor and Developing countries where people are fighting for their lives to secure a one-time meal in a day for themselves and their families, this six point strategy looks nothing more than a joke.
In countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. where the people are migrating in large numbers, few years back all these countries were suffering from crisis of Rapid Urbanization, where many feared loss of Food security because of the migration of people in huge volumes from rural to urban areas with less people left in villages to support the existing agricultural machinery. But this pandemic has reversed the process now, the extent to which ruralisation will happen now is unknown and it will open new challenging fronts for the governments in coming times.
Technology was considered a luxury until now, but this pandemic has turned the tables making it a necessity for all of us. Now lies a herculean task in front of the governments of equipping their citizens with basic technological tools especially in places where people are still devoid of basic necessities of life like food, shelters and work.
“Don’t spread with your mouth, what your eyes didn’t see”
The history of journalism dates to early Greek and Roman era, where the news was spread in public gathering places like Greek Forum and the Roman baths. In 1556, the Govt. of Venice first published the monthly Notizie Scritte (Written Notices) which cost one Gazette, a venetian coin of the time, the name of which eventually came to mean “Newspaper”.1 Then eventually the invention of newspaper in 17th century led to advent of journalism throughout the globe. The first newspaper in India was published on 29 Jan 1780, by James Augustus Hicky under the British Raj and the name given to paper was “The Bengal Gazette” which was followed by prominent publishing houses of “The Madras Courier(1785)”, “The Bombay Herald(1789)” and many more. Raja Ram Mohan Roy who played a significant role in Independence of India and also was a Social reformer recognised the power of print media and started a Bengali Newspaper ‘Sambad Kaumudi’ and a Persian paper ‘Mirat-Ul-Akhbar’ in 1822. The year 1857 was a year of emergence of journalism in India, where the Vernacular Press Act was passed which divided the newspaper owned by Indians and Britishers. News agency services became available on regular basis with the Press Trust of India which started in 1946.2 Since then in every household newspaper became an inseparable partner of the morning tea. Few years later many news channels like DD News, Zee News, AAJ Tak and many more mushroomed over.
In last decade, one of the most influential and far-reached media has stepped foot in the industry threatening the mere existence and rationality of media houses and newspapers – “The Whatsapp University”. Sudden boom in smart devices/phones have helped flood huge amount of data and information related to community, politicians, celebs, governments started floating aiming at comparisons between leaders, governments which became a norm for these forwarded messages. Most of the times the information spread through these networks have malign intentions and intends to defame or disturb the communal fabric of the country.
Defamation of Freedom Fighters & Political Leadership
India was under the British Rule for almost 200 years, the freedom fighters played a rather daunting role to free us from these chains of captivity. Now a days due to enhanced polarisation in politics, the freedom fighters have been divided into relevant teams where both the sides (Pro and Anti-Govt.) are leaving no chance in defaming these leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Veer Savarkar etc. who were the building blocks of this great nation. The personal lives of these leaders are being twisted and turned by these dedicated IT Cells forwarded on various FB and Whatsapp groups. We the “So-Called” Intelligent species on planet Earth does not fail to share such false propagandas blindly thereby unknowingly becoming mere puppets in the hands of these anti-social elements.
Now a day’s best way to defame any Social leader, celebs, political leader is to hire these underground IT Cells which would rather seemingly accomplish these tasks of defamation with “Our” help. Even they are being used to sway away major political decisions, judiciary decisions and even world leaderships like when Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections for presidentship having the goal of boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, who ultimately won those elections.
Even in India the practice of blindly following these messages, videos, audios are on a significant rise due to absence of any substantial govt. mechanism to curb this menace. Recently amid the scare of Corona virus, many anti-national groups are working and using this platform to create panic and fear among the masses which could lead to disintegration and disharmony in the country.
Over the last few years one must have heard about a new category of crime occurring across various Indian states, which included lynching of a person/ group by the mob resulting in death or severe injuries. NCRB(National Crime Record Bureau) has refused to define mob-lynching as a separate category of crime due to lack of reliable data and potential for mis-interpretation of the definition.
Govt. officials and intelligence agencies believe such acts are being promoted and then propaganda is spread among the masses in a way to alienate a community and then recruiting their youths to carry out anti-national activities. Since 2014 there has been a rise in such cases under which the Muslim community is being mostly targeted leading to substantial loss of life. Till now there have been 266 reported deaths and many more injured as a result of these lynching.
A country which is termed as failed state by the global community – “Pakistan”, the Imran Khan Govt. has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 42.79 million for a dedicated IT Cell which would spread the govt. propaganda and defend it also on social platforms. Indian intelligence agencies have also suspected it as a front cover for carrying out cyber attacks in form of spreading false messages within communities to spread hatred among the masses.
Most of the times videos or audio clips are made by the bystanders enjoying the “Show of Death” during the lynching which is later being forwarded on various FB and WhatsApp groups to incite violence and disturb the communal fabric. Provocative songs and slogans, brandishing of religious symbols is a standard feature of such processions. Even after being aware of such nuisance the Police is unable to take appropriate steps due to unavailability of sufficient task force and a dedicated IT Cell within Police Stations under which such activities could be monitored. In some cases, Police has tried to restrict these activities, but by large the provocation and hate mongering is unbridled.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is huge inflow of messages on such applications on daily basis. Not only “Mob Lynching” was the prime feature of these forwarded false propagandas, there is significant rise in “Witch Hunting” cases too in India. Between 2001-2016, there were 623 registered cases of women being declared as “Witch” and torched by the mob.3
Most of the cases of mob lynching fell under “Cow Vigilantism”, where people were lynched suspecting transport of cow meat or consuming cow meat. After the investigation most of the cases were found as hoax calls as the meat was of lamb or goat. We as a progressive society needs to understand and throw this Mob Mentality from our minds which has led to so many heinous crimes over the years. It also effects the family of the deceased where the families in India are still over dependent on the male family members and it also strain the communal fabric of our country. Dangerous effect of such posts was also seen during the recent Delhi Riots where upto 53 were dead and crore of property was destroyed or vandalised by the miscreants.
State and Central Govt. should set up fast track courts as directed by Supreme Court in 2018. Such would help curb the menace by giving faster trial results for these crimes which will bring fear of law and justice among these people who are at the epicentre of spreading such violence. Govt. has also taken a positive step where one can report such False videos, images, audios on Whatsapp no. 8950000946 and E-mail DVSCommitte@delhi.gov.in, if being found true person would be awarded with Rs. 10000/- cash prize also.
In the end I would like to appeal only one thing, do not become GRADUATES OF WHATSAPP UNIVERSITY, before sharing confirm the authenticity of the article, video, photos etc. afterall we should
“Don’t trust or believe everything you see or read, even Salt looks like Sugar”