Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
The infamous ‘Gurugram Aunty’ incident, in which a woman was recorded on camera while she shamed a girl for wearing ‘inappropriate’ clothes, took social media by storm. Hundreds took to social media to condemn the woman’s behaviour. People hoped that the country’s backward mindset would change.
But did the incident and the consequent outrage of people change the deeply ingrained orthodox mindsets? No, it did not.
A similar incident took place in Bengaluru’s HSR Layout last week.
A young woman riding pillion on a bike with her male friend was stopped by a man, who then questioned her ‘inappropriate’ choice of shorts and a T-shirt.
The incident was recorded by the man accompanying the woman, and the video is being widely shared across social media platforms.
In the video, the man can be heard shaming the woman for not wearing “proper clothes” and directing her to “follow Indian rules”. The woman’s male friend can be heard telling the man: “I know the Constitution. Do you know the Constitution? We have the freedom to wear whatever we want”.
Man in Bengaluru heckles a young woman for not adhering to ‘Indian dress code’, whatever that is. A man dressed in a pair of trousers and collared shirt. pic.twitter.com/Yd176K6nr3
— Padmaja joshi (@PadmajaJoshi) October 6, 2019
We at The Logical Indian support every individual’s right to wear what they want, however, shaming the man publicly is not going to make any difference.
With the power of social media at our finger-tips, we are quick to make a video viral and garner support online. However, this has gradually led to the corrosion of both online and offline civility among humanity.
It has now become a new normal to use public humiliation to question someone’s beliefs, rather than have constructive conversations around serious issues. We often use shame as a tool to pressure people into believing what we believe, but our efforts go in vain. We are increasingly blurring the line between activism and cyberbullying or humiliation.
Just about a generation ago, a condemnable act would be a subject of gossip over backyard fences, or would at the most be written about in a local newspaper and would be forgotten later. However, it is very different today. The internet has a boundless reach and a longer shelf life.
So while we end up targetting individuals we do not agree with, the real issues go unaddressed.
We at The Logical Indian believe in conversation, not shaming. Concern, not outrage.
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