The internet has given us the freedom to speak our mind, showcase the talent and express our views. With the introduction of “social media” we have been provided the platforms where a large number of people can hear us. In this context, paradoxically, harassment has become a huge issue.
Online trolls tend to target people who think a little differently coming out of the cocoons of traditional mindset. One such section comprises men who for reasons only known to them target women on social media.
Such trolling has taken the shape of cancer and online attacks are mostly coordinated. Once one or two social media accounts take notice of your mistake, fame, art that doesn’t go down well in the community, it begins to get transfered within networks and an entire horde arrives to hurl abuses.
In one such incident Kashmir’s famous Saima Shafi popularly known as “Kral Koor” who is working a great deal about the revival of pottery in Kashmir, received backlash for no reasons on social media. She was trolled, abused and downgraded by those who want to diminish her ability and expertise.
Saima Shafi shot to fame when her art of pottery was shared on various social media platforms and initially people praised her for bringing this dying art to life.
“Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are baked at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain.”
Just after her art of Pottery came to the limelight, various news channels and online web portals flooded with her stories showcasing her art of pottery. In her videos she would talk about how the traditional potters of Kashmir praise her for giving their artwork a shape and respect they never expected. Even some young potters would inivite her to their pottery to encourage them and her visit would instill love in the young potters who had almost given up the work of their forefathers.
In a very recent unfortunate incident, one of the social media trolls shared a post about the personal life of Saima Shafi and shared some personal court documents which according to Saima Shafi is sub judice and the matter is being considered by the concerned court.
Soon after the incident social media platforms flooded with posts targeting her and she was singled out, abused and trolled which prompted her to share the pics of her bruised face with violent marks on her arms with a caption, “Journey to overnight fame is actually not overnight!!,” and “may my haters even don’t see what i have been through, RIP humanity of some kashmiri’s” were the words Saima Shafi concluded her post with.
Have we morally degraded to a level where those visible bruises dont move us as humans. Have we stooped so low that our conscience doens’t allow us to speak even a single word of encouragement for our women who have felt the wrath of abusive men. We definitly need to introspect. If we cannot support their cause, for Gods sake don’t abuse them either.
Umran Hussain works for The Kashmir Radar as an online editor.