Ms Sagarika Ghose (whom I fondly remember only because of this God-level pwnage by the great Ram Jethmalani) recently blocked a couple of people (maybe more) on her Twitter page for calling her education and/or mental development into question. That happened because of her very unimaginative repartee. Some examples of it here, here and here.
(Of course, she should be doing more of this instead.)
Then this was written.
Three points of view in the post and its comments section: “If you don’t like it don’t follow”, “Everyone has a right to say what they feel” and finally “Opinion leaders are liable for their opinions”. I belong to the last camp.
Yes, I agree everyone has a right to their opinion, but not all opinions are born equal. There are those among us whose thoughts count for more than the average because of the number of people hanging onto their words and the garb they voice it under. Regrettably, Sagarika Ghose falls into this category. She openly represents CNN-IBN on her Twitter page, which makes it clear that she is tweeting in an official capacity. If so, her followers would expect her to adhere to the standards that (supposedly) come with being a journalist. At least, I think so.
We have no issues with myriad Bollywood celebs and their “Love you guys, mmmmuuuaah” inanities because they are mostly followed for entertainment value.
How would you like Shashi Tharoor saying “I think SM Krishna can kiss my ass” on his Twitter page?
If your response is “I don’t give a Tharoor’s ass about what other people are saying”, it doesn’t imply that you respect their right to free speech. It just says that you don’t….well…care. And chances are you probably don’t care for meaningful interaction anyway.
That said, there is always a time and place to vent and God knows we all need such opportunities. I’m not changing the world anytime soon, and that’s why I can gratuitously use “F*** you” on my Twitter page, discuss the impact of the iPad or scribble the occasional “I’m bored”. But not people like Ghose, Tharoor, Sardesai et al. Why is it wrong to hold them to the standards expected of their professions?
If Sagarika Ghose starts tweeting under @GhoseWhoRants, then that’s totally OK.
Then she’s not fooling us anymore.