It is said that two wrongs don’t make it right. To some extent it is not completely true. At least, from what I have seen in the last couple of days. When two wrongs meet each other, the larger wrong make the smaller wrong look right.
To begin with the tweet that triggered the entire issue, disagreeing to something is fine but when you spell out negative adjectives for someone who believes in that thing, you’re not just disagreeing but also making it personal. And when you already know that the person you are abusing will not respond but you still chose to go ahead with the abuse, the intentions are obvious. You get respect when you project it. When you project disrespect, you get disrespect in return. The quantum of disrespect you will get in return will depend on the person you are disrespecting.
Nobody, including PM, ever claimed that #selfiewithdaughters will bring about revolution. It is not a game changing idea either. And surely, there will be people who will post selfies just to up the count of likes, retweets and comments on their pics. Nobody can control that. But there is no harm in doing it either if it helps in spreading even a teeny-tiny bit of awareness. And if Shruti Seth has a better idea, please suggest (“Try Reform” is not an idea). Talking about ground level initiatives/reforms Modi has made, a 10 minute google search will give you all the answers. Having said that, it should also be noted that all these initiatives/reforms were well supported by people at the ground because of which they were successful.
Unfortunately, there was a larger set of idiots who marshalled a counter attack in the worst possible manner. When you respond to personal abuses with personal abuses, what remains is only personal abuses while the core topic vanishes in thin air. And that’s what happened when the entire episode moved from individual to the entire women community – to some extent rightfully as the abuses were far more than disrespectful and showed the 18th century mentality of the people who responded. In a way, in a country where it is very easy to portray personal criticism as a community/gender/religious criticism, these idiots provided the much needed ammunition.
India is a democracy and everybody has the right to disagree. But when you are disrespectful to the people around and are expecting respect in return, just because you are woman, it’s “unfair”. Respect should be gender neutral.