We are celebrating Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with a Prime Minister who takes keen interest in ‘Swachh’ Mission. Lets support him, even if not by cleaning others dirt but at least by not spreading rumors which we believe to be true. With this republic day we have become more dependent on internet as we are moving towards the digital India concept and internet has become a major part of our day to day routine. Internet is the source of sharing information through e-mails, Whatsapp or different social sharing platforms and when it comes to sharing some important information or some patriotic messages we become more active and share it instantly even before authenticating the source of the message.
Starting with the most Patriotic image of this season- As soon as anyone one of us received this image we immediately forwarded it without even pondering about its genuineness for a second. This photo shows soldiers forming a human bridge for flood victims to cross over. The image claimed them to be Indian army men.
Yes this is image is real, undoubtedly but the interesting fact is these are Chinese soldiers and was originally captured during the 2008 Wenchuna earthquake. What makes it more interesting is that a Google search reveals that some overzealous patriotic citizens of Japan and Philippines have also laid claim to the photo.
Frankly, the Indian Army has always been at the forefront of disaster relief and rescue missions and many a brave soldier have performed beyond the call of duty in providing aid. But I feel morphing fake images and forwarding them actually disrespects the soldier.
Technology at our fingertips means we often forward at the click of a button, rarely checking if that forward even holds some authenticity or its just a silly rumour. The more dangerous it sounds, the faster we forward it.
Take the Frooti hoax, for example. If you haven’t received the forward about the alleged case of a disgruntled HIV-positive worker contaminating Frooti products with his blood, you will soon. Unfortunately, a lot of people never bother to do a simple Google search on it. HIV is only known to be transmitted in three ways: sexual transmission, blood-to-blood contact (injection needles) and from mother to infant. In fact, HIV does not survive long enough in the environment to pose a real risk. Unfortunately, many a reader usually gets alarmed and continues to feed the hungry rumour chain.
Moving on to other controversial image- First of all this is not an Indian army uniform. It looks like a man wearing a Pakistani soldier’s uniform eating lunch with a bottle of dirty water next to him. But as soon as anyone of us received this image, it touched an emotional chord and we shared it instantly. We often forward these messages at a click of a button, rarely confirming the source.
There are hundreds of examples out there. Some advise you exotic health mantras, others spin tall tales of ministers, film stars or blown up Indian achievements. If only some of us were more discerning in separating the wheat from the chaff.
This is just a pure effort of stopping these things and taking Swaach internet mission to the next level.
Let all of us take a pledge to stop those people who try to disturb internal peace by posting some images which never happened. They post unreal images to provoke people in long term psychologically and mentally distraction from facts. So from now onward anyone among us (who thinks we are right) please report spam to that kind of post which can create internal disturbances in our country. Share this post so we can create a swachh internet for the next generation so that they are not misguided where they live with peace in future and with the piece of information that actually matters.