Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Savukku Shankar’s Absurd Vindication of Trolling and Online Abuse



In the article “Social media is for grown ups” Savukku Shankar makes atrocious and highly dangerous claims about the so-called acceptability of abuse and blackmailing in facebook. He says it is normal for “opinionated” users to be targeted by vicious groups in facebook and one should accept the abuse and keep quiet. In the same vein one could ask whether Savukku Sankar would take it In the chin if his wife, daughter, sister or mother is sexually abused when they are out in the public space, since sexual abuse of women is a common crime in India.

 Just because some activity is commonly practised it can not become normal, acceptable and something to be tolerated with maturity. Indulging in online crime in the name of personal abuse and blackmailing or trolling should be strictly punished under the law. The reason for the current situation where Kavin Malar and Manushyaputran have been targeted with venemous attacks in facebook has gone out of hand is because the police has failed to take action against the culprits. In the present case the police apathy can be only understood as a political game where the police see Manushyaputran and KavinMalar as DMK sympathisers as opposed to the culprit Kishore. K Swami as an ADMK supporter. When sunger Chinmayi was similarly sexually abused and harassed by Rajan Leaks last year, police rushed into action since a) the actress had strong influence in the higher runks of police force, and b) chief minister J.Jayalalitha was portrayed in bad taste in some of the twitter comments. In fact the comments by Rajan Leaks on the private parts of the chief minister was extremely vulgar and bordering on sadism and malechauvenism. That incident showed that online trolls would go to any extent to harass a person even If that person is a VIP and they would not hesitate to graphically describe the private parts of a chief minister, in the garb of online freedom and the false notion that online crime is beyond the realms of legal recourse. If the police had followed up the other cases of online abuse, bullying and crime with some consistency without concerning themselves over the political alliances of the culprits, such a huge peeking of online abuse would not have happened. Instead the police have decided to be choosy and picky with regard to whom to punish and whom to let go scotfree, and result is social networking space has become a free for all and women, dalits, and the other marginalized sections of the society have had to bear the brunt of abuse and vulgarity from regressive and anti-social elements.
Another aspect of this case is the criminal motive hidden behind such abuses in the name of Tamil nationalism and right-wing politics. Savukku Shankar routinely publishes libellous articles with the aim of harassing, scaring and eventually extracting money from the affected individuals. Recently Savukku published a highly obscene article on the sex life of Sun tv anchor and lawyer Mahalakshmi. A case of defamation has been filed against Savukku Sankar by Mahalakshmi. He published a similar vulgar article of yellow journalism type against manushyaputran where he made many incontestible claims about Manushyaputran’s personal life. But unfortunately Manushyaputran chose not to sue Savukku Shankar, and as a result Shankar’s vicious personal attacks have multiplied now. Certain details in that vulgar and defamatory piece were surprisingly only known to close friends and family members of Manushyaputran. How these personal details reached the ears of Savukk Shankar is a mystery. The widely held suspicion is that a friend-turned rival of Manushyaputran, who is a poet and relative of Manushyaputran and also a card-holding member and functionary of DMK, is deeply chagrained and upset over the overwhelming response he received over his speech at Karunanidhi’s 90th birthday function. The above-said person is said to be instigating Savukku Shankar and Kishore. K Swamy against Manusypautran and giving them many private details of Manushyaputran to the duo to be used against him in the filthiest way. Savukku Shankar and Kishore.K Swamy are said to be mere fronts for the above said politicians personal vendetta against Manushyaputran. In a sense all the mud-slingling aimed at Manushyaputran is not induced by his supposed siding with the DMK leader, but rather initiated and remote controlled by a politician from the same party.

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