UNIFORM CIVIL CODE: ONE NATION ONE LAW

Uniform Civil Code: The feeling of oneness?

INTRODUCTION:

Uniform Civil Code is basically the proposal for codification of various personal laws prevailing in India. Other Civil and Criminal laws such Indian penal Code, Indian evidence act, law of contract etc are uniformly codified and are implemented on each and every citizen fairly and evenly. However, personal laws like laws regarding marriage, divorce, succession, adoption are regulated by specific religious communities, i.e, Hindu marriage act 1956 for Hindus and Sunni-Shariyat laws for Muslims. Thus, uniform civil code aims to uniformly codify these personal laws for every citizen irrespective of their religions or communities.

What does the provision of Uniform Civil Code say in Constitution of India?

Constitution of India provides in Article 441
“ 44. Uniform civil code for the citizens- The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a
uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
According to Constitution Of India,
It is the duty of the state to ensure implementation of uniform civil code as a part of their
directive principles policy to protect basic constitutional and fundamental rights of the citizens.

BACKGROUND:

India has always been a multi-religious and multilingual country, yet with a distinction
presenting unity in diversity. However, India also has an interesting history of religious tensions and conflicts besides a peculiar characteristic of harmony.
Under the rule of East India Company also, Governor Generals like Lord William Bentick also tried to suppress certain customs performed by some specific religious communities like Hinduism at that time believed in the practice of ‘Sati’, the prescribed death of the widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, by passing laws.2

India and Uniform Civil Code

Lex-Loci Report of October 1840:

This controversy regarding unification of laws dates back to British India, the colonial period. In 1840’s Lex-Loci report, British emphasised on importance and necessity of codification of laws like laws relating to crimes, evidences, contracts etc. but they decided to exclude the scope of personal laws in this report as they understood that these laws are governed by specific religious communities, their customs and their religious beliefs. These laws were applied in civil courts while dealing with people of the same religion, and the state would interfere only in exceptional
cases.

Some legislative reforms during colonial period:

In various personal laws, women were deprived of certain basic rights and thus, their condition,especially the condition of Hindu widows or daughters was very low. Hence, Britishers and other social reformers tried to reform these Hindu laws by legislative processes like passing the acts like Hindu widow remarriage act of 1856, Married women’s property act of 1923 etc. The special marriage act was also enacted in 1872 giving citizens a choice of a civil marriage, however, it was applicable to only those who renounced their religion or were non-Hindus. But later, it was implemented with an amendment called Special Marriage (amendment) act, 1923 which allowed Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains to marry either under their personal laws or under the civil act without renouncing the religion. Next, an important step by Britishers was Hindu women’s right to property act,1937, which tried to assure women’s rights, it ceased the practice of deceased husband’s passing on his co-shares, instead, the act gave similar rights to widows which the husband had when he was alive. The legislation caused actively growing debates between men and women at that time. Hence, there was a committee formed in 1941 called ‘The Hindu Law Committee’ to look into extensive legislation covering all laws for Hindus. It was reinstituted in 1944 under the chairmanship of Sir B.N. Rau. Committee favoured Uniform Civil Code, which would give equal rights to women in the modern times of society and gave its report in 1947 to Indian Parliament.

Post Independence (1947):

Nation got independence in 1947. The report given by Sir B.N. Rau committee was discussed and reviewed in 1952. It stated that India should have a Uniform Civil Code in the form of a Hindu code Bill, which dealt with all specific Hindu laws, i.e, marriage, divorce, succession, adoption etc. As a law minister, B.R. Ambedkar was responsible to present the details of the bill, he himself recommended the uniform civil code but due to his various attacks on Hindu laws made him unlikely and Hindu code bill received a huge criticism. Hence, lesser version of Hindu code bill was implemented in the form of four separate acts, i.e, Hindu marriage act3, Hindu succession act4, Hindu minority and guardianship act5, Hindu adoptions and maintenance act6.

UCC and uniformity

ROLE OF JUDICIARY WITH REGARDS TO UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:

  1. Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Case7
    This was the first time in India, when the supreme court tried to implement uniform civil code in India. In the given case, there was a woman, 73 years old, who sought maintenance from her husband when he divorced her after 40 years of their marriage by way of ‘triple talaq’, a practice of unilateral divorce in Muslims personal laws. Shah Bano filed the case claiming maintenance under section 125 of code of criminal procedure8 which applied to every citizen irrespective of their religion. Initially, she was granted maintenance from the local court, however, her husband, being a lawyer himself challenged the decision and took it to the Supreme Court, in a confidence that he had completed all his obligations under islamic laws. But, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the wife, allowing her
    maintenance under the section 125 of code of criminal procedure. Further, the chief justice, Y.V. Chandrachud, observed that, “A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicting ideologies”. Soon after this decision, there were nationwide agitations, meetings and discussions. Government of Rajiv Gandhi lost the local elections due to their endorsement of the supreme court’s decision. The orthodox muslim community felt like they need to preserve their culture and religion as according to them, applying uniform civil code will mean to apply hindu laws to every Indian uniformly. Hence, Rajiv Gandhi government overturned the decision of Shah Bano case by way of Muslim Women (Right to Protection on Divorce) Act, 1986 , which made section 125 of criminal9 procedure code inapplicable to Muslim women. Explanation given for implementing this act 10 was that the supreme court had merely given the idea of uniform law, which does not make it bound for the government to interfere in personal laws. This drastic reversal of the Muslim women law heavily hampered the women’s movement in 1980s.

2. Sarla Mudgal v. UOI11
In this particular case, a Hindu husband married according to customs and practices of Hindu marriage act, 1955, got converted into islamic religion, to marry another Muslim women as Muslim personal laws allowed polygamy. But, the court held that a Hindu marriage solemnised under hindu laws can only be dissolved under certain provisions given by hindu marriage act12 1955, and if he marries again even within islam community, he could be prosecuted for bigamy under section 494 of Indian Penal Code13 . The supreme court directed the Prime Minister of India, to take a fresh look on Article 44. Justice Kuldip Singh held that since 1950, a no. of governments had come and gone but they14 had failed to implement constitutional mandate under article 44 of the constitution.15 Consequently, the problem has arised that many hindus were converting their religion into islam as it permits four wives instead of one, allowed under hindu law. Hence, with the uniform law for
all the religious communities, no person could escape from the provisions of the given law.

3. John Vallamattom v. Union of India Case16
The supreme court gave another reminder to the government of India for implementation of a uniform civil code throughout the nation because disparities between different religious communities were creating discriminations among the people of the country. In the given case, a priest from Kerala filed a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of section 118 of Indian succession act , saying that the Act was discriminatory against the Christians as it17 imposes unreasonable restrictions on their donation of property for religious or charitable purposes by will. The bench including Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare declared the section18 to
be unconstitutional and struck it down. Chief Justice Khare stated that “We would like to State that Article 44 provides that the State shall endeavour to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. It is a matter of great regret that Article 44 of the Constitution has not been given effect to. Parliament is still to step in for framing a common civil code in the country. A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on
ideologies”19. Thus, from the above instances, it can easily be inferred that the supreme court has directed on many occasions to the government of India to implement uniform civil code mentioned in article 44 of the constitution of India, yet, it is still just a directive principle of state policy with no actual or strict implementation.

What does the Constitution say about it?

CONSTITUTION AND UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:

The preamble of the constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. The term ‘Secularism’ means a state which has no religion of its own as recognised religion of the state. It treats all religions equally. State is concerned with relations between man and man, not with relations of man with God.
Under Constitution of India, Articles 25 to 28 guarantees Right to freedom of Religion in India20. Article 25 provides for ‘Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion’ but this right is subjected to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of part III (Fundamental rights) of the Constitution of India. The protection of Articles 25 and 26 is not limited to matters of doctrine of belief. It extends to acts done in pursuance of religion and,
therefore, contains a guarantee for ritual and observations, ceremonies and modes of worship, which are the integral parts of religion.21 It could be added that Uniform Civil Code is not an opposition to ‘secularism’ or violative of Articles 25 to 28. It just provides that laws regarding marriage, divorce, adoption etc. should be same and uniform for every religious community of a nation. Uniform civil code only aims to
increase national integration and better uniformity in laws and their implementation.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:

The biggest example can of UCC for India can be seen in Goa, called as Goa Family Law22. It is based on Portuguese Civil Code 1867, enacted in Goa in 1870.
The Goa UCC model includes-
• Compulsory registration of every birth, death and marriage in Goa
• Strict provisions regarding divorces
• Muslims residing in Goa cannot practice polygamy or ‘triple talaq’23

• Equal division of property amongst the couple in case of divorce and if one dies, the ownership is retained by the other one.

During the month of August 2018, the Law commission submitted a report “Reform of Family Law”. The report presents us with the diversity of Indian culture and how the weaker sections of the society must not be “dis-privileged” in the process.
Also, after the ban on ‘ Triple talaq’ and subduing the status of Jammu and Kashmir under article 37024, the next big step by Modi’s Government25 could be the implementation of Uniform Civil Code, which is already the need of the hour.

NEED FOR UNIFORM CIVIL CODE IN INDIA:

The Government of India strongly needs to implement UCC in India for making it a progressive and integrated nation. There have been a number of petitions regarding the urgent need to the Uniform Civil Code in order to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality & dignity of women26. Following are the key-points which are achievable through implementation of UCC in India-
● Equal status to all citizens: Uniform civil code implies that a uniformly balanced law should prevail in India which will be free from any biases of religion, caste, race, community etc. It will definitely promote equality and secularism among the citizens.
● Promoting Gender equality and justice: Almost every personal law in India, is preferential towards men than women. All these laws are discriminatory for women as they mostly have lesser rights in successions or inheritances etc. Therefore, a uniform civil code applicable to every citizen irrespective of their sex will help in achieving gender quality.
● National integration: All Indian citizens are already equal before the court of law as the criminal laws and other civil laws (except personal laws) are the same for all27. We can also observe that various judicial persons have also observed in their decisions that UCC will help in national integration in India. Y.V. Chandrachud, observed that, “A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicting ideologies”28. Chief Justice Khare stated that, “ A common civil code will help the cause of national
integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies”29
● Turn down discriminatory personal laws: Existing personal laws are mainly based on the upper-class patriarchal imaginations of the society in all religions. The demand of UCC is normally made by aggrieved women as a substitute for existing personal laws as patriarchal orthodox people still deem the reforms in personal laws will destroy their sanctity and oppose it profusely.

Do we need it?

CONCLUSION:

Hence, from the above given all arguments and statements, It can be inferred that Uniform Civil Code is such a need for a widely diverse nation like India. However, I firmly think that its practical implementation could be totally voluntary initially, so as to make people comfortable with the idea as the personal laws of the different communities are in practice since always. Also, each community should be convinced that UCC is to bring reforms not suppress them and it will never intend to interfere with the rights, rituals, ceremonies or religious beliefs of a community.

Reference:

  1. Of India, Article 44- Uniform Civil Code
  2. Bengal sati regulation act, 1829
  3. Hindu marriage act, 1955 (25 of 1955)
  4. Hindu succession act, 1956 (30 of 1956)
  5. Hindu minority and guardianship act, 1956 (32 of 1956)
  6. Hindu adoptions and maintenance act, 1956 (78 of 1956)
  7. AIR 1985 SC 945; 1985 SCR (3) 844
  8. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Section 125: Order for Maintenance of Wives, Children and parents.
  9. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 was a landmark legislation passed by the Parliament of India in 1986 to allegedly protect the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by, or have obtained divorce from, their husbands.
  10. Supra note 8
  11. AIR 1995 SC 153
  12. Hindu marriage act, 1955, section 13- ‘Divorce’
  13. The Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), Section 494: Marrying again during the lifetime of husband or wife.
  14. Supra note 11
  15. Supra note 1
  16. John Vallamatton v. Union Of India, AIR 2003 SC 2902
  17. The Indian Succession Act, 1925, Section 118: Bequest to Religious or Charitable Uses.
  18. Supra note 17
  19. Supra note 16
  20. The Constitution of India, Part – III (Fundamental Rights), Articles 25 – 28: Right to Freedom of Religion
  21. Acharya Jagdishwaranand v. Commissioner of Police, AIR 1984 SC 512: 1984 SCR (1) 447
  22. http://goaprintingpress.gov.in/downloads/1819/1819-29-SI-OG-0.pdf
  23. Practice of divorce permitted in Muslim personal laws
  24. Constitution of india, Article 370- Temporary provisions with respect to the State of jammu and kashmir
  25. https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/04/bjp-election-2019-english.pdf
  26. https://www.indialegallive.com/top-news-of-the-day/news/scope-of-development-of-uniform-civil-code-in-india/
  27. https://www.clearias.com/uniform-civil-code-ucc/
  28. Supra note 7
  29. Supra note 16

Written by: Anshika Singla

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Is Uniform Civil Code a step towards unity?

POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media: a blessing or a curse?

Social Media is a tool that is becoming quite popular these
days because of its user-friendly features. Media
platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many
more are giving people a chance to connect with each other
across the world. In other words, we can say that whole
world is on our fingertips all thanks to it. The
youth is especially one of the most dominant user of social
media. All this makes you wonder that something so
powerful and with such a massive reach cannot be all good.
As we all know that “there are always two sides of a
coin
,” likewise the same goes with social media.
Subsequently, different people have different opinions on
this topic. So, let’s see some of the pros and cons of social
media.

Connect with others easily!

PROS OF SOCIAL MEDIA-

• We can make new friends, communicate with old
ones and with family.
• We can get a fan base, can try to make name of
ourselves.
• It can bring people together that are
interested in the same things as you are.
• Provides academic research to a wider
audience, allowing people access to previously
inaccessible educational resource.
• Professional networking sites like LinkedIn,
naukri.com, etc greatly assist companies to find
personnel and job seekers to find work.

CONS OF THIS TOOL-

• It use is associated with personality and
disorders.
• Criminals can use it to commit and promote
crimes.
• Advertising practices of this media sites may create
an invasion of privacy.
• Crimes like cyber bullying, hacking of profiles are done
on this platform.
• If profiles are not private, people can get information
about the users and can misuse it.
But, is it really helping us?
At the end , I would like to conclude that social media is a
game changer on the world wide web . It allows people to
connect with virtual world with the risk of disconnecting
with the real world. Then again, businesses are doing well
on these platforms. There are indeed two sides of it, one positive and another negative, and it is up to
you which one you choose.

Written by: Priyanka Joshi

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COVID-19 AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media during Covid-19

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a soaring engagement with social media among people worldwide. The pandemic, Covid-19, has resulted in the world to resort to a formidable self-quarantine phase, with external measures taken by most governments across the globe to contain the spread of the virus. With the possibilities of actual social interaction stalled, the virus has opened up avenues for people to spend more times at their homes; either to while away their time in sheer indolence or if circumstances are proper, to facilitate more time for respite and self-improvement in themselves. People are using the virtual platform for all kinds of activities, from activism towards exasperating issues festering in the country to as a primary means to cope with the currently most pervasive of all sentiments, ennui or in other words,incapacitating boredom. The tendency of engagement, in this instance, is observed to be mostly reclining towards the latter for, the cyclical routine of the tedious lives of people have precipitated their dormant drives to seek novelty and excitement. What better way to gratify that desire than scrolling through the posts of your ‘friends’ (on Instagram more subtly called, followers) and seeking fulfillment in your dreary lives, vicariously, through them?

This fulfillment does not, however, come without a cost. It falls short of a fulfillment, that way, for it actually expands the sense of lacunae that people are trying to overcome.  It impinges on to the psyches of its viewers, reiterating the notion that their lives are not good enough or others’ lives are more eventful or better off than them. At a sensitive time like this when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc worldwide, the desire for being socially validated makes people vulnerable to putting up a façade about themselves on social media; depicting that their lives are ‘desirable’, that they are happy about making Dalgona coffee and posting about driving out of their homes, having a great time at cafes, and violating the norms of social distancing at the same time. While on the one hand, body positivity posts on social media are on the rise, several women have resorted to utilize this time to do modeling out of their homes, at different places on each day.

While there is nothing objectionable about getting pictures clicked and feeling confident about oneself, the kind of online culture that it propagates is deleterious to the impressionable minds of young women. The two currents of the body positivity propaganda constantly clash, because while one encourages acceptance and tolerance of all kinds of bodies, the other hinges on self-centeredness and a surplus attention on body-aesthetic over other creative expressions that do not emerge from the locus of physicality. Besides, cyberbullying is also on the rise during Covid-19. Social media conveniently grants people a license to be hurtful, regardless of how inauthentically those sentiments are being conveyed. If one group’s political imperatives and inclinations clash with another group’s political ideations, social media becomes a battleground of hate speech and personal attacks directed towards the disagreeing parties. Not to mention that the overuse of social networking sites can cause personality and brain disorders, primarily in children. It prevents people from having real, meaningful conversations and even if it does, it never communicates the real sensibilities and emotions pertinent to the issues being discussed. This kind of communication mars the development of ‘real’ connections.

Social media reveals its dangerous side during Covid-19

However, this has more to do with the desire of people expanding the number of people they’re ‘connecting’ with rather than the strength of the otherwise limited connections they’d normally establish. People are more inclined to expanding their number of ‘followers’ and getting more ‘likes’ on their pictures than actually developing meaningful connections. These kind of developing tendencies foster a hegemony that encourages instant gratification, observable in the rise of the number of registered users on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. It rejects exclusivity for it constantly shifts one’s attention span from one person to another or from one product to another.

This exacerbates the feelings of disconnect and alienation. The desire to appear physically attractive and hence, desirable conquers the psyches of men and women, especially young men and women, who are seeking desirable partners who could do away with their feelings of loneliness and alienation. The façade, however, is soon uncovered by their potential matches, frustrating the possibilities of a ‘real’ connection, which could be realizable without the energy being expended on discovering how physically attractive the friend or the partner actually is. Regardless, it subjects all and sundry to a higher risk for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders and even suicide.

Written by: Shita Thukral

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POWERFUL SOCIAL MEDIA

SOCIAL MEDIA

The power of social media is influence. We are living in the era of the digital revolution, it is harder to imagine a happier day without using the internet and its wide range of services. Social media is among them.

Social media refers to the medium of interacting among people in which ideas, information, career interests, thoughts, or other forms of expressions via Virtual Communities and Networks are exchanged or shared. The beauty of it is that we can connect with anyone to learn & share our thoughts, no matter how far we are, we just need an electronic device with an internet connection. Regardless of location and religion.

Popular social media websites/Apps:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Quora
  • WhatsApp

There are 500 million daily active users on Instagram, photos & videos uploaded per day are 100 million +. Whereas Facebook has 2.50 billion MAUs. Every 60 seconds, 317,000 status updates & 1,47,000 photos & videos uploaded, and 54,000 links are shared. Twitter boasts 330 MAUs. YouTube has 1.9 billion MAUs.

The engagement rates & traffic are extremely high, which gives them power and is the only source to make anything go viral in a very short time and reach millions and billions of people out there in the world. 

Advantages of this media :

Social:

You can estimate the power of social media in such a way that it can make a person famous overnight. There is a great example of the Power of social media that made a poor and a needy old couple famous within no time and aid them.  “Baba ka Dhaba” yes! you had the right guess. A few days ago at Malviya Nagar in South Delhi Baba ka Dhaba was merely a food stall, where an old couple was struggling to sell food, but time has changed now, where companies are coming to advertise and promotional drives.

A glimpse of social media’s power

A video went viral by a Food Blogger ” Gaurav Vasan” who has been promoting street food vendors for the last 8 years, an octogenarian couples could be seen talking, sobbing, moan over lack of customers since the covid-19 lockdown at “Baba ka Dhaba ” stall. The viral video ended up being viewed by over 50 million on Facebook and 30 million on Instagram.

The story grabbed attention and now Baba ka Dhaba got a crowd to support as well as sponsorship from leading brands such as  Pepsi, Zomato, payments, and apps.

Today Kavita Prasad (baba) is looking to assist him in catering to the high demand. Life has taken a new turn for baba. People are clicking photos with baba, he has become a hero for the public.

Noble cause:

Not only humans but organizations are looking into the welfare of the animals. A few years back Friendicos, a shelter home for the stray animals which has been serving animals in distress, announced that it would have to close down due to lack of funds. The people’s concern against this was quite evident here, and soon got converted into a fund generation campaign to save the beloved shelter home for animals. Shortly the online campaign managed to raise over Rs. 13 lakhs in just a day with the help of over four hundred contributors.

Social media a boon?

Business:

The power of social media is immense. Social media are now a significant part of every marketing strategy. The benefits of using social media are so great that anyone not implementing these cheap and outcome-based resources is missing out on phenomenal marketing opportunities.

Social media as helper?

Simply by having page brands, brands benefit heavily and with regular use, it potentially can generate a wide audience any type and any size of business.

Education:

Social media is a gigantic contributor to the educational field. Social sites have enormous members who are experts and with rich,  experiences, and credentials. You may be shy in the classroom but you can pose queries to your online teachers and get your things solved within no time. It’s the most important thing for the aspirants of govt. exams as a number of them aren’t ready to pay for classes.

A teacher in disguise?

There are many sites which are dedicated specifically to education, research, and development.

Here, like-minded people meet to share, learn, exchange their thoughts, ideas, etc,

Virtual banks:

Imagine having the flexibility to pay your rent or build associate investment through your favorite social network. Social media is reworking banking relationships in terribly important ways that, from improving customer service to permitting users to send cash to others via online platforms. New monetary technology companies are using social media to help people simply open a bank account. Social media will even impact your ability to get a loan.

Social media and finance

Social media helps to fight disasters:

From Facebook’s Safety Check – that allows users from the area of devastation to mark themselves as safe – to the increase of the CrisisMappers Network, we’ve seen many examples of how social media and digital communications help to rebound through disasters.

Disadvantages of social media:

Rightly said that everything has a brighter side as well as a dark side and social media is not an exception.

Cyberbullying:

Cases of cyberbullying have increased today, most of the children have become victims. Since individuals can create a fake account and do anything without being traced. Blackmail, overawe messages, and rumors can be sent to the masses to create soreness and chaos in society.

Dark side of SOCIAL MEDIA

Addiction:

Teenagers are the foremost suffering from Addiction to social media. There are examples where students are most likely found engaged in social media only and show lesser interest in studies.

Social media promoting addiction

Hacking:

Personal data & privacy can be easily hacked and shared on the internet, which may create money losses & loss to personal life. Once a message, photos & videos are shared, we won’t be able to control where it goes.

And hacking.

Reputation:

The engagement’s rates on the social media measures terribly very high, millions & billions of people use it daily, because of its high engagement rates. It has the power to ruin someone’s reputation in no time simply by making a false story.

Drugs Influence:

One of the disadvantages is that people start to follow others who are wealthy or drug-addicted and share their views & videos on media which encourages others to follow the same and get obsessed with  drugs and alcohol.

A scary side of SOCIAL MEDIA

We need to learn to be effective collaborators in society, how to interact with people around us, how to engage, & better informed. We need to learn about the incredible power of social networking technology to be used for societal benefits.

The fact is that when used in the right way social media is the most powerful sort of communication, marketing, and  research tool. All in all,  individuals ought to weigh the merits and demerits of it and choose  whether or it is a blessing or a curse?

Written by: Rajan Kumar

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SOCIAL MEDIA

The seeds of this revolutionary idea were planted far earlier than we realise. The first social media site, known as MySpace, reached its milestone in 2004. YouTube came into existence around 2005. Other sites like Facebook, twitter, Flickr, Tumblr also became available. This was the beginning of a new era dominated by social media.

But if we go back to the main motive of these social media sites with which they started, we would be surprised to find that they come from the same ancestral lines as post cards, letters, telegrams, radio and telephones. Their real aim was to simplify communication between people across the globe. This is a surprising revelation because connecting people is not all that social media does nowadays.

Social media posts SHOULD NOT be the validity we crave for!

They say information is power. And indeed it is. But too much of it is lethal and that is what we are living today. Take for example the access to news. All those people who get it through social media, are exposed to so many opinions of one simple headline. Because it is a platform where everyone can voice their opinions, there are hundreds of opinions out there.

And a sad reality is that 9 out of 10 people voice their opinion publicly by just getting influenced through the opinions some other people, without validating and going to the factual news and information. The problem is that social media provides misinformation along with information, alternative facts along with facts, false news with factual news. There are no clear ways to precipitate the true from the false in this murky and hazy mixture of information. No strict laws and restrictions on how to stop it.

But if this wasn’t enough, there are worst ways in which the social media has plagued the human
kind. Very quietly, but surely, it has taken absolute control over us and our lives. It has stripped us from the very values that made us human. Social media has given people the power to voice their opinions. This, apparently, has led to people saying anything and everything on a public platform. Things like Cyberbullying, trolling, body shaming have become an everyday thing to us. There’s such a shocking lack of empathy and mutual respect due to these online activities.
All of this, not much to one’s dismay, has resulted in mental problems and high suicide rate. Public humiliation is one fear that every human would have on his list. And yet we see that happening on a daily basis on sites like twitter or instagram, from trolling hashtags for public figures to foul comments even on a common individual’s post. People suffer from a lack of self-worth, anxiety problems and consequently, try to live up to the standards of others.

The bottom line is- that social media may have started as something that could connect people and is very much in their control, but the irony is, it has detached us even from ourselves and controlled us in ways unimaginable.

Written by – Aiman Khan (Contestant No. 3)

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