Sobriety and Proportion

Sobriety and Proportion
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A woman has been found guilty of falsely accusing a man of rape and criminal intimidation by a Kashmir court. Apparently, the man in contention had refused to marry the woman and in pique she had filed an FIR against him. As society moves in somewhat different directions , sometimes insalubrious ones, cases where either men or women become victims of each other’s baser instincts, it is time to review and stock some ills that plague society. This becomes significant as the MeToo movement gains traction. While it is a welcome that women , through the medium of the social media , which gives ubiquity to opinions and so on, have gained voice and traction and are able to voice their angst at either having being at the receiving end of some salacious men, or actually been molested it is , at the same time, important have a perspective defined by sobriety and proportion over the whole saga. But, a few words on it first. Social media has amplified the voice of many, including women. And, when and if, accusations of sexual misconduct are either met with stonewalling, obstructionism, or forms of pressure and intimidation, it is plain wrong. Social media here enters the picture as a medium where victims can name and shame their tormentors, in the twinkle of an eye. In the contemporary mediascape and media ecology, this not only guarantees immediate attention but also redressal. Moreover, the whole saga also potentially serves as a deterrent to those men with bad intentions. But, as with all good things, there are some issues that need to be taken on board. Given the intensity of the furore that MeToo raises , what guarantee exists that in certain cases there is not malafide intent? Or, that in these cases, vindictiveness is not in operation? Another issue is that so far it is only the articulate and the educated women that have come out with their sad sagas of harassment and , in the extreme, molestation. What about those who are unable to articulate their misery and depredation? These are not merely academic issues but ones that are of serious import and consequences. All in all then, like all things in life, this saga also merits proportion and sobriety. This should mean norms and guidelines that , in the final analysis, not merely seek to address power equations in a given society but actually redound to the overall greater good of society.