“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
These words were said by Scott Cook, a successful American businessman. One may not have thought of this earlier but when he hears or reads this, he will definitely agree with this. This indirectly shows us the power of the famous rumors that are often spread among the common public whether it be related to sports, politics, entertainment or any other field.
We have a lot of examples to prove this, but one may question we all find ourselves asking is- how did it spread and became popular? The answer is very simple. SOCIAL MEDIA. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or any other platform. There are a lot of posts on these platforms which influence the people more than we can even think of.
Like the post of P Naveen on 11 August 2020, which triggered riots in Bengaluru and due to which 3 policemen were killed and more than 50 injured. This is just one example of how a person can be the cause of many deaths just by posting a few things online. This is the influential power of social media, which is often misused nowadays to spread hatred for one’s own benefit.
Even the Wall Street Journal has published that the person shown in above picture spreads hatred among citizens of India by posting anti- Muslim statements on Facebook.
This is just one of the people who have tried to spread hatred among the masses to get votes and win the majority. The most famous rumor by the ministers is that “Hindu khatre main hai”, which translates to “Hindus are in danger”. However, this argument stands logically void because Hindus are actually in demographic majority and most government officials are Hindu as well.
According to a study conducted by Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, WhatsApp is the cause of a lot of misinformation spreading in India, that has a huge impact leading to various deaths just like we discussed in the case of P Naveen. A European study in 2016 found that a third of young people were worried about being targeted by online hate material
We must preserve our Indian identity as the seekers of peace. We must not forget that we are the people who founded the NAM (Non- Aligned Movement) during the peak of the Cold War. Hence, we must take a stand against this radical brainwashing that is poisoning the minds of our youth. We must stop our leaders from following the path took by Adolf Hitler. And to do so, we must step forward and protect our youth by teaching them the difference between freedom of speech and hate speech.
We must avoid and ignore people like T Raja Singh who call themselves Politicians but are only spreading hatred in society. We need them to understand why Gandhi was a Mahatma and Godse is not.