For long mankind has known oppressions of various kinds. In the long list two more variety has been added in recent times. One is the oppression on your mobile phone and second on your internet mail box. Both of them have added a new dimension to word oppression but essentially in the tone tenure and character it remains the treatise that Karl Marx so laboriously built up in his magnum opus ‘Das Capital.’
Let me first talk about those telemarketing people who may call right at the time of some important meeting and try to sell the idea of home loan, easy finance, credit card, health insurance and some policies and plan. They have no concern at to what the person whom they are calling would be doing and they are least bothered to courteous enough to ask whether you are willing to spare some time for them. All they relish is to barge into the privacy of your tele-space and bombard you with their product and services. The mobile phone has really stated becoming an instrument of oppression and people are silently suffering from this menace.
Recently I traveled from Chennai to New Delhi to attend a conference for three days. To my surprise the telemarketers from Chennai doubled their efforts to bombard me with their calls. I was disturbing others in the conference halls who were listening to important deliberations on climate change. I had to keep going out to pick up the call to find out who was making the call. Since my profession demands to be accessible all the time I don’t switch off my mobile and the telemarketers taking advantage of such liberty for doing their business. Such menace has been reported in the courts and judgment has been passed against such practice but still there is no end to such unwanted calls. So far there is no mechanism evolved to check this menace and many like me are suffering from such kind of oppression is continuing unabated.
The other kind of oppression is through email box, again this is a big nuisance that’s developed since the internet e mail come in vogue. There are junk mails that could be filtered or deleted but then there are others that are unsolicited asking to answer them why I one is doing such thing and commanding what should one must do. Such characters do not have the audacity to identify them, nor to do they provide genuine address and telephone number and the kind of profession they are engaged. What they are interested is in shooting email demanding explanation for ones general conduct. Such characters are keen to pass judgment and issue character certificates. Such self righteous person wants their judgment to be accepted without making any whimper. This is the most oppressive kind of oppression that is making rounds on the cyber space and people like me are silently suffering from it.
People do have the right to express their viewpoint and are entitled to hold them to no matter how outlandish they maybe. If someone do not subscribe to them they may politely and due courtesy clarify their doubts. If still not satisfied have a choice to disassociate.
However, there characters that do not choose to do. They feel they are the only repository of wisdom and try to intrude into the privacy of the e mail box trying to tell what they feel is right and is wrong. Such oppression is continuing unchecked and it’s demeaning the goodness of the cyber space.
I am writing this because I moderate a intellectual forum called South Asia Contact on the Yahoo groups. Recently I have received an email from one reader who is not part of the group but who has taken upon the mantel to cast judgment on the activities of this group. He has collected e mails of some members of this group and has sent them personal emails tarnishing their image. In a mud slinging exercise this person has questioned the aim and purpose of this group and has tried to pass a judgment that are of his likings. This person has nothing to say about himself then his name. He has got some supporters who were expelled from the group since they were indulging in vilification campaign, degrading religious sentiments of the members of this group.
My take on this is there is no need to respond to such unsolicited mails as they are not worthy of comments. In this context, I may like to know if any action could be intimated against such kind of persons who are indulging in character assassination and sending mails to such effect. I would be happy to chase such characters so that they don’t harm others and if they do so, do not get away as free masqueraders in their self righteous campaign. Unfortunately I don’t know any such mechanism to check such kind of menace and as a result I am suffering from such kind of oppression in stoke silence. Notwithstanding, in a humble way I am trying to build the bridge of peace, among various sections of society, communities and nations in this strife torn world.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a working journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org