The Steve Bannons, the Hafiz Saeeds, and the Shiv Senas of the world would be quite amazed with the impact of social media on our lives. It has turned from their darkest nightmare to their sweetest dream. The idea of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. wasn’t to give apparatuses to monsters to divide us.
Obviously other than making money, the concept was to open the minds of people across the world. To help in uprooting the conditioned state of mind where either by race, religion, ethnicity, beliefs etc. Humans form groups, not to comfort each other but to attack the other group. It was like showing to the world, that they are not really that different. It really hasn’t worked that way, has it? I am not sure if we are inherently aggressive or made to believe that it is the way we are supposed to be. I am not sure if we believe that the other guy cannot be better or we don’t have that bit in ourselves? In the name religion, nationalism or ethnicity we divide, and we kill each other.
Now with the PSL going on and IPL auction showering money on cricketers yesterday, a rather bizarre debate has kicked off once again. Which league is better and why? Chris Gayle’s failings in PSL is equated to a higher standard of bowling in the Pakistani league. The low scoring matches are also put in the same bracket. Is this not like a Universal Truth? Pakistan has always banked on their bowling, while India has been better at batting? This is how we have played our cricket. A youngster in Pakistan wants to be Wasim Akram. While in India, Sachin is God. With the IPL being a longer tournament and played at home, it’s easy for them to prepare docile pitches. Runs galore. UAE, pitches have never been known for producing high-scoring matches on a consistent basis. This by no means is a reflection on the quality and the standard of the league. Why shouldn’t we compare it with more recent events. How many runs did Piteresen or Sangakara score in the Big Bash a month ago? Surely this bit is more relevant, no?
It would be fine if it stopped here as part of banter. But the story doesn’t end here, it just gets malicious. My Indian friends love to ridicule the lack of home Cricket for Pakistan. Being subject to terrible terrorism themselves, I hope we could see the common enemy a bit better. Desperate for a comeback, and likes obviously, Pakistanis make a comeback with India mai rape am hai… Conversation goes abhorrent and vile unless the moderator of the social media site steps in. In case, if the page owner (a lot like main stream media bosses) follows a strategy of I make money even if it means the world must burn attitude, it continues. This battle is fought on the corpses of those who died in terrorism either side of the border. This battle is fought on the psychological and physical scars of those who were subject to rape. This battle is fought in the land of disgust.
Social media was supposed to be a platform which brought people together. It was supposed to be a tool to jointly tell our leaders, we don’t hate each other. It is a failure on part of us, that social media has turned into a tool which hateful demagogues use to preach and increase their cult. We have allowed it to turn it that way by fighting over things which are entirely immaterial. There is no way to find out which league is better. But this is a sure way to fuel further hate. The hate that enslaves us.