On 23rd Aug 2015 a girl, Jasleen Kaur shared on Facebook about being eve teased by a man, Sarvjeet Singh. She posted his picture after he threatened her. You can read her side of the story here.
The man who passed lewd comments & harassed her got arrested. The guy denied doing anything of the sort but based on the girls complaint he was Sections 354A (punishment for sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC.
But three days later, an eyewitness has come forward who claims that the guy is innocent. The video of what the eyewitness has to say can be found here.
I will leave it to the courts to find proofs & pass judgement on who is right & who is wrong. What disturbed me about the whole thing is how easy it has become to ruin a person. All it takes is a photo & a ‘Share’. Years of reputation can go down the drain. This case easily highlights how powerful the social media has become in today’s world. If the girl is right, it empowered her & helped her get the man arrested. On the other hand, if the guy is innocent then a decent man was ruined & will be ostracized for no fault of his. As soon as we read something wrong happening to a fellow human on FB, we immediately rush in to support him/ her. We “Share’. Maybe it is time to wait, analyze, understand & then share?
A few months ago I remember reading a case where a woman had run away from her abusive husband. All the husband needed to do was make a lovey dovey post on his FB account proclaiming his love for his ‘missing’ wife. The entire world joined in in his efforts to find her. They found her & restored her back to the monster! And once again social media became the devil’s pawn.
Another case, a little less alarming, but disturbing nonetheless. On my school WhatsApp group a member posted a picture of a beautiful girl who had been kidnapped. It provided the phone numbers of her parents. Another friend searched the girl on FB, and we found out the girl telling everyone that she was safe & sound & the news of her being kidnapped was a hoax!
Like all things invented by man, social media too has its good & bad sides. And like always man will always focus more on the bads than the goods. Hence responsible sharing on FB, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc maybe the need of the hour.