What do you call those social media trolls who love to vitiate the political atmosphere as soon as the country is hit by a crisis? Hours after India witnessed horror on Monday night as terrorists gunned down seven pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of condemning the terror attack, many including politicians and journalists, have started hitting out at Kashmiris and the "liberal brigade" of the country on social media on Tuesday.
The trolls did not even spare union home minister Rajnath Singh. Singh was targeted by the "hyper-nationalists" after he highlighted how Kashmir in unison condemned the terror attack on devotees --which showcases the spirit of "Kashmiriyat" (the term signifies the centuries-old indigenous secularism of Kashmir).
While on one hand, trolls were busy bullying the sane voices like that of the home minister, some well-known journalists and politicians raked up the issue of--"Where are the #NotInMyName protesters now?" and "Where is AwardWapsi brigade now?".
These kinds of blame games which many love to engage in further create animosity among various communities in the country.
Probably, those who decided to target #NotInMyName and AwardWapsi groups thought that "liberal" Indians only protest when a person from a minority community or religion are being killed or targeted.
However, that is not the case. The #NotInMyName group, which was started recently after 16-year-old Junaid Khan was stabbed to death on a train after he was called a "beef-eater" and an "anti-national", announced on Tuesday that the members of the collective will host a rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to express their condemnation against the dastardly Amarnath Yatra attack.
Similarly, scores of people of the Valley, who are often called as "stone pelters" and "terrorists" came out in the open with placards in hands to protest against the killings of Amarnath pilgrims.
Such kind of a united condemnation against terror in Kashmir was not seen in recent times. Even after Mohammed Ayub Pandith, deputy superintendent for the security wing of the J&K state police, was stoned to death by a mob in June on suspicion of being a spy, people in Kashmir, including those staying in his neighbourhood, remained silent.
After years of witnessing violence, most of the Kashmiris have become mute spectators to the spectre of "crime and punishment" unfolding in front of them on a daily basis.
It is true that many disgruntled youth of Kashmir have taken up guns to fight for their "freedom", but how could we blame the whole of the Valley as a terror-loving people?
Likewise, not everyone in India's IT hub Bengaluru is a techie. There are teachers, doctors and journalists in Bengaluru too. Similarly, not all Kashmiris are terrorists as home minister Singh stressed on Tuesday when venom-frothing angry mob on social media is not ready to have a civilised debate over the ills plaguing the Valley.
It is this kind of branding--calling all Kashmiris as terrorists (similar kind of marking of the northeastern people were done earlier when militancy was at its peak in the region)--which we need to avoid if we want to defeat terrorists and their nefarious designs.
It is true terror has to be dealt with a heavy hand to save innocent lives, but not at the cost of throwing muck at each other to score political points. So, let our soldiers fight against terrorists at the border, we need to stay united as a nation which since its birth has pledged to give equal rights and respects to people belonging to different religions, castes, sects and genders.