Uncivil society , Lokpal Bill Rigidity & need of an essential central coordinating system & feedback facility- The Human Rescue Team & Research Repertory

A multi- tiered system is  necessary but without a central co-ordinating unit ( of course CIC can do this ) and an essential feedback facility , it too might be a puzzle . But a stubborn attitude of civil society representative over the matter of immense national interest, which obviously needed much more discourse, must be criticized, so we welcomed this article of particular dissent over rows of conflicts on Lokpal Bill Drafting process- The Human Rescue Team & Research Repertory Uncivil society
New media’s abusive social discourse is repugnant
Business Standard / New Delhi August 21, 2011, 0:06 IST

Hurling charges against political opponents is par for the course in democratic politics. No one can object too much to political name calling, such as, “so and so is a fascist” or “so and so is communal”, and such like. Politicians routinely hurl such invective at each other. Less excusable is innuendo, but there is a lot of that too in politics around the world. However, what technology has now made possible is downright uncivil discourse and the deployment of no-holds-barred filth and abuse. The internet is full of such disgusting dialogue, where uncultured interaction is facilitated by the anonymity of the interlocutors. What any newspaper would regard as ‘unprintable’ and libellous, and any television channel would mute, the internet gives free play to. It is not surprising that governments around the world, from totalitarian China to libertarian Britain, seek to censor the web in the name of decency.

Newspaper and television editors routinely receive abusive emails from anonymous writers differing with a point of view expressed. Given how little time editors have, they rarely bother to check the veracity of the identity of the person sending the mail. When they do, it invariably turns out that there is no one at the other end of the mail willing to respond to a query about their identity. Perhaps this will encourage greater effort into locating and punishing such persons. Technology now available enables organisations, especially the police, to check out the identity of the abusive correspondent.

Abusive emails are also a form of social censorship. They are aimed at discouraging critical disagreement. If a newspaper, like this one, questions the wisdom of Mr Anna Hazare and his so-called ‘Team Anna’ issuing ultimatums to a duly constituted government and, worse, to the Parliament and expects the Parliament to act under duress, it is targeted by an abusive email manufacturing machinery that casts aspersions, deploys innuendo and hopes to secure silence through criticism. This newspaper is no exception. Many editors have been at the receiving end of such hate mail this past week, aimed at discouraging any critical reporting or writing on Mr Hazare and his so-called team.

But this is just a minor wart, an insignificant blemish compared to the widespread inflammation of discourse on the net on a wide variety of issues. Every form of abuse ranging from expletives to communal, social and other hate words are deployed to smother the intellectual opponent. Civilisation was supposed to be about civilised discourse and modern technology was to be a vehicle of social progress. But the manner in which the anonymity of discourse facilitated by modern media has encouraged the most uncivilised behaviour should concern all those who seek to create and strengthen liberal democratic values. This challenge is not peculiar to ‘argumentative India’, every society, East or West, North or South, is today a victim of such intemperate discourse.

One big service that great political, social and religious leaders can perform is to impress upon their followers the importance of civility in social discourse. The famous anonymous liberal assertion, often wrongly attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, is an elevated value that all civilised discourse must adhere to. In that direction lie progress and freedom.


We honored your feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: