Mind your language, business and most importantly, your mind!!

I am a motor mouth…loud with high decibel levels, who doesn’t go down without fighting! Ask my friends and they will tell you…I have my own opinions, but I don’t stand up on a roof and read them out on a loudspeaker. My views and opinions are mine alone and I have the conviction and strength in my spirit to stand by them. And I believe that every human worth his / her salt must be able to do the same. Actions speak louder than words, a cliche which is the truest of the lot and all my life I have overcome criticisms of all kinds by following it. However, it is disturbing to see that the same spirit is lost in a lot of people!

This post is about the recent Twitter-War that has swept the micro-blogging site. The link would lead you to Swathi Pradeep’s reply to the whole tangle, how it panned out for her and the reactions that she received for what Ranvir Shorey and Barkha Dutt said to her. However, the one thing that she did leave out was how and why did it all begin? Swathi is a Software Engineer, writer, blogger and cartoonist. A closer look at it showed up all the toons she created for Barkha and NDTV….clearly she doesn’t like any of them and uses her humor to creative effort. I am not a seasoned follower of her comic strips, so I would refrain from making a comment about what I feel about them. More because I doubt my opinions are wanted and warranted in this case. But I believe, Barkha Dutt already on a defensive after the 2G Scam took them rather too seriously! If I were in her place, I would have overlooked it and not retaliated. The same goes for Ranvir Shorey. As public figures they are open to criticism and brick bats as much as they are to adulation and fan-twitter-following! And I am certain they are aware of it…but the reactions to the Swathi’s comic created a flutter. And in a butterfly effect, the stimuli had domino reactions into which I was also pulled in.

I was clueless about the sequence of events, so my tweet went out with Ranvir’s handle, asking what had the man done. Ranvir replied to me the next day….and since his reply was public I was drawn into this mess. By evening my name  was tossed around like a carrot. And it seemed to the world that I was supporting Ranvir and Barkha! Subsequent tweets and several replies later, I think I managed to convince both Ranvir and my critics on Twitter that I was not supporting him.The truth is I am not supporting anyone…neither Barkha, Swathi nor Ranvir.

I am against abuse of any form, physical, verbal, intellectual and in any other form that it may exist! If someone has abused you, why must you abuse back to take your revenge? If Barkha and Ranvir felt that Swathi’s creative expression was abusive in any way, they ought to have replied in a way that suited their positions in society. Similarly, Swathi could have replied by bringing up harsher strips…! In a cyclical chain, everyone went out of their minds and got carried away…and as a result what we saw were colorful expletives from all three.  So uncalled for…and highly immature! What followed thereafter is equally depressing to me. All three went around Twitter gathering support, and there were clear set camps! I was almost cornered into taking a side, which I refused to take and still do. Just because everyone took to slander like its their own business. I am against abuse, I reiterate and I refuse to stand up and abuse the abuser in a language that is as demeaning as the former! Take a look at this latest chain emerging from the same debate…this is what I mean. People are stooping so low now that they are making personal comments on all and sundry! Please Stop!!! I have nothing against Swathi standing up for what Ranvir said, neither do I have anything against her supporters on Twitter. I have a problem with the way it is being all done! It’s become mass abuse now…everyone is enjoying it! Please let Swathi – Ranvir – Barkha battle it out between themselves! If you support anyone of them, please express it without demeaning the others! No one in the world has the right to make personal comments on anyone…look within, everyone is on a mass abuse now!!

Most of the supporters from both the camps have suddenly started following me…and just because they have, some others have begun to follow! In the last two days about 40 people have discovered me on Twitter! My blog has suddenly been visited nearly 20 times a day!! I fail to understand the logic behind this blind following on Twitter! Some like my name, some my replies to this whole tangle, some that instigate me to show some fireworks, some that accuse me of getting people to ‘stalk’ me!!! Like the colorful slangs used in this tangle, the reasons from the followers are equally rainbow hued! I said this on Twitter and I’d like to say it again…have a strong reason for following someone, in life and even on twitter!

And just for this…if some of my new found friends / followers choose to ‘unfollow’ me I wont mind…if you want to criticize me, abuse me…go ahead…I wont! Rest assured, you will win this Twitter-War!


9 thoughts on “Mind your language, business and most importantly, your mind!!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mind your language, business and most importantly, your mind!! « Musings Of A Workaholic! -- Topsy.com

  2. See, I was right in following you. Expected a nuanced response and got one!

    Now my humble opinion. Ranvir, being a celebrity, should not have got so abusive. It was pretty self destructive. Best thing he would have done is ‘ignore’ any abusive tweets he was getting for siding with Barkha Dutt. Instead, both Barkha and Ranvir started calling their critics ‘trolls’ and ‘lynch mobs’ Since when did protesting in a group made you a mob? That too on an online forum…

    People assemble in groups to get their voices heard..and in this case it is extremely necessary, because India’s mainstream media has blacked out 90% of what should have been news in the Radia tapes scandal. A huge number of Indians on twitter keep trending topics like #mediagate #mediashame etc because the mainstream media has let them down. They want the fourth pillar of Indian democracy to do its job the right way – report objectively as the watchdog of the public. Instead we see high profile journalists cozying up to politicians and corporate czars – lobbying, power broking and in one case even writing biased columns to influence public opinion.

    Rituparna, I would be grateful if you could read my article Mediagate coverage in international media in which I highlight how the international media has covered the issue which the Indian media thought ‘not newsworthy’

    • Saarthak,

      My ‘nuanced’ reply has also been misunderstood by all! 🙂 and I wish to disconnect myself from this debate now. But before I do so, here are the answers to you and the others…

      I have already maintained that Ranvir was wrong in using the words he did. And if you follow my tweets to him, you will see that I did tell him that he was wrong!! And before that I also told him that being a celebrity, people want him to falter and he shouldn’t bother about them (provocation of any kind, in this case a cartoonist’s strips!!). Yes, you are right…he should have overlooked them & so should have Barkha! The ‘mob lynch’ is quite another thing…for me it is ONLY the character assassination and personal attack that followed! What BD & RS mean by the term…ought to be answered by them!

      As for the media’s impassive reaction to the 2G tapes…I can speak for my channel alone and not of the rest! Let me try and explain it as I see it…this however is NOT the official version! Times Now falls under the Times Group, and some print journalists from Economic Times were involved in conversations. As a news organisation, we did discuss the journalist-corporate-political nexus, but we couldn’t go after them with all our life. For one, we cannot question people when we have some of those journalists within the group! Two, we are competitive channels, and its in complete distaste to castigate them in public view…the daily war for news is enough for us to validate that we are better than them! Our editor in chief came down heavily on each of us after this came out in the public…warning us of the implications of indulging in shady deals of any kind! His email to us was published by Open Magazine…

      I hope this answers your question! 🙂

  3. Hi,
    First of all, I appreciate your “neutral” stand on this issue. Your neutral blog post is commendable. Since this post is based on me, I would love to clear few misconceptions of yours here in your blog post:
    1)I dont make comics on barkha dutt or ndtv,because I hate them. I make satirical comics on all the current affairs. I have made comics on love,valentine’s day,men,women’s day,mother’s day,google,children,apple,software,new year,birthday,etc,so do you mean to say I HATE ALL of them?

    There are daily newspaper cartoonists like Satish Acharya who make satirical comics on daily political issues,so do you mean to say Satish Acharya hates India or Politics or Politicians?

    Cartoonists make satirical comics on current affairs,politics and daily life! Its their hobby! They don’t make cartoons because they hate them!

    2)Ranvir had abused me when I was sleeping. I woke up 8 hours after he abused me. By that time,the furore had already started on Twitter. I woke up in the morning and was told by tweeple that he abused me with BJ tweet! So,when I was aware of Ranvir abusing me only after 8hours of his abuse and after furore took place,how on earth can I go around Twitter gathering support and dividing Twitter into teams?

    I completely understand that you became aware of this issue late, so I feel you should have asked the people who were aware of this issue since beginning,before giving your verdicts 🙂

    • Dear Swathi,

      Despite me requesting you to NOT mention me in your tweets, you continued to do so! 9 tweets from you while I was SLEEPING! You weren’t abusive, yes, but you should have refrained…! Now to answer your comments…

      1) I didn’t use the word HATE! I trust you know the difference between DISLIKE and HATE? So before imagining a word that I haven’t written, please ask yourself why did you misquote me?

      Like on my blog, I would still refrain from commenting on your comics and what I feel about the content & treatment… 🙂

      2) Go back and read the tweets that you and I shared last night (mine). In most of your tweets in which you included someone else’s handle, I replied to you alone…for me that’s the decorum of a discussion / argument / disagreement. I agree you didn’t ask people to support you, they did on their own accord. But you RTed their comments! And that generated more tweets…I tried telling you this yesterday and you replied by saying that ‘RTing is your wish’…sure it is Swathi! But why do you RT a comment / post? I do because I want to share the thought / humour and AGREE with it…perhaps your reasons are different and I don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand them… The same logic applies to Barkha and Ranvir…they RTed what they thought were positive comments about them!

      3) Lastly, you must devote more time to your MBA…the amount of time you spend on twitter is precious!! And I think you overspent it yesterday… 🙂

      And one more thing…to you and all the people tagging me in this debate…please leave me out! I am really too tired of it now and want to get back to my pre-swathi-barkha-ranvir days on twitter! Please continue as you wish…spare me now!! 🙂 And like my advice on my blog, everyone is welcome to unfollow me! 🙂

      Have a good life… Cheers!

  4. Also,can you please point out ONE tweet of mine where I have asked anyone to support me on this Ranvir issue? I am extremely busy with my MBA,I have no time to come regularly online on Twitter and you are accusing me of going around Twitter,gathering support,forming camps?!

  5. Hi Rituparna,

    At the very outset, if anyone ‘abused’ you either on twitter ot for writing this article, it is most unfortunate. Those how express their opnions so loudly should also recognise that there can be a different opinion.

    How ever I would have perharps been more delighted to see you stressed on more issues,

    1. what ever the background of the case, what Ranvir said is inappropriate & should be condemned by all.
    2. Public figures get underserved praise, which they are so happy to jump andf absorb, equally greatful should they be, on perhaps undeserved criticism.
    3. If journalists can debate for thousands of hours on how MF Hussain paintings is work of art and the protests are narrow minded, shouldn’t they be more libreal and accomodative that what Swathi did with her comics is also work of art, which she is entitled to?

    Thank you!

    • Dear Krupukar,

      I don’t care too much for being misunderstood…here I have laid my thoughts about what I feel and its upto the reader to read between the lines and take home what suits ’em!! 🙂

      Here’s my response to the points made by you…

      1) Yes RS was WRONG in his use of words…unparliamentary and crude! I have said this to him too…

      2) You & I create celebrities don’t we? Let’s be more careful in we make a celebrity from hereon…

      3) I don’t have a problem with debate on a celebrity who has been abusive…but please let’s not be mirror images of the abuser!!

      Thanks…this is the LAST time I am commenting on the case, I hope I’ve answered your questions!! 🙂


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