Insensitive Memes on Kashmir’s Social Media

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PRESIDENT Donald J. Trump the president of the United States of America (USA) has lost to Joe Biden, who was the former vice president and is now the president-elect. This news has led to a storm surge on social media with some Kashmiris making, what they perceive as fun- memes, of Trump as kandur (baker), puj (mutton seller), shikarawala (boatman), waza (chef) etc.

These memes are not entertaining at any level, and on the contrary reveal the hidden mind set of people which is plagued with disrespect,  prejudice and stereotypes against certain sections of society. Is it morally pleasing to morph images of people with animals, humans, and body parts with an intention to create what they perceive as entertainment and fun? The meme creators basically have a field day with their inner dark world, which is not just vulgar and obscene but morally degrading as well. And if the target is a woman, then the level of obscenity crosses all the set limits and memes created often display sexist tendencies. We have witnessed this throughout the world, and unfortunately in Jammu and Kashmir as well.

In the case of memes which show Trump’s professional failure by representing his downfall through professions like that of a Kashmiri baker, boatman and chef; what moral high ground are we attempting to achieve?

Trump’s defeat has been seen positively because he was disrespectful and harmful towards certain sections of society. When we celebrate this defeat by indulging in an unethical, classist, casteist, prejudiced and disrespectful meme fest, how does it make us any better?

All professions are good because they define us as a family on Earth: our little home that protects us from all of the harmful impacts from the cosmic rays that often try to enter from the cosmos, a world away from our unaided eyes. We are shielded by a thin gaseous layer that we have called atmosphere. And we don’t fly in the wilderness of space because the gravity of the earth keeps us glued to the surface. So, our successful stories will vanish instantly if the atmosphere, or earth stops supporting our life and we will have nothing to stop our own demise. The life that we live must be spent in helping people to make the journey beautiful, peaceful, respectful, and memorable for all. We deserve love, and we must help spreading it as well.

Afroz Shah

afroz.shah@gmail.com

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Dr Afroz Ahmad Shah

Author is Assistant Professor in Structural Geology, Physical & Geological Sciences at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He can be reached at: afroz.shah@ubd.edu.bn

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