I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while and it lay at the back of my mind, languishing until I made the effort to drag my sorry ass to the PC and write it up. This one is about the haters – those who can’t stand to see someone stand up for a cause. And no, this is not about my trolls, it’s about those who can’t see anyone do good (never mind The Mad Momma who is used to the dregs of society showing up to be the kala teeka on her otherwise awesome readerbase). As you all know, a lot of us wrote for the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month blog last month.
The posts themselves were much read and responded to and I strongly believe that unlike other posts we write, the comments on the CSA posts are no indicator of how far reaching they were. They’ve given people something to think about and they’ve given people something to talk about and they’ve armed people with knowledge which is just another form of protection. But apparently there were people out there who took offence to it. Called it child pornography and what not. I was at first suprised, then bewildered and finally outraged and sad. Who are these people who can only see the worst in every good action and intention? The trolling was mostly on twitter and since I’m not too comfortable on that platform yet, I missed most of it. But I swore to take it up later and that later is today.
Thanks to the internet, a lot of us can talk about topics that are close to our hearts and CSA is something that affects a lot of people, parent or not. Some have been victims, some have known victims, all of us want to ensure that there are no more victims. So when the haters come pouring in, you wonder what it is that bothers them so. Do they believe that such things are not true? Do they feel that it is an unimportant issue? Do they not care for children or is it that they do not believe that awareness is required? I’ve puzzled over this one and realised that they simply want to ride the popularity wave. Or else, they simply don’t have it in them to contribute positively so they react negatively. Which brings me back to the old childhood teaching – If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.
Over the last few years I’ve learnt a lot about so many causes thanks to other blogs that take up a cause and work with it, be it domestic violence, street children, animal rights, female foeticide, sustainable development, gun control,special needs, those struck by natural disasters, or adult education. My two personal projects are environment and children. Not underprivileged children – just urban children who in my humble opinion need our concern too. The environment was always important to me and once I began to blog I realised this was one way to reach out to a larger number of people which is why I keep writing, hoping that everyday that a new reader stops by, I make some amount of difference to their lives. Once I had kids, I realised how much more invested I was in everything. Everything became that much sharper, clearer, more important. Kids are our future, saving the earth for them is important. Anyone who doesn’t see that… well, doesn’t see it. But to ridicule another’s concern or work for a good cause, says something terrible about you and your belief system.
I believe that someone needs to speak up for the urban child. Neglect, abuse, aggression, obseity – everything that affects them, affects our lives, to say nothing of the simple compassion for another human being who has no advocate. The child growing increasingly aggressive (do read this piece by Samina, someone I know and respect greatly) is probably watching hours of unmonitored television and is the one bringing his anger into school and hitting other children. The one who will someday carry a gun into school and shoot someone. People can reject this as hysteria and propaganda or they can watch the next generation degenerate into violent reactive people. I won’t name names but it is common knowledge that a recent high profile suicide case was a victim of domestic violence and was neglected by his workaholic father and very social mother. So yes, this is the world my child inhabits and I will work for the environment as well as a better society, I will look out for neglected kids, for the bug-eyed TV watchers, for every child for his own sake as well as the sake of mine. After all, sexual abuse is not the only form of abuse they are subjected to.
There are people out there working for all sorts of causes – sex workers, Canadian seals, tigers – and there will always be naysayers who will find it excessive, unnecessary or even hypocritical. Who will call you an armchair activist for writing about that girl child buried in Haryana. The elephant being killed for it’s tusks. Does it mean we stop? Hardly. We do what we can do and it just shows us what we’re up against, helping us to arm ourselves better try harder. In all these years I have learnt that there is no guarantee that just because someone is online, they’re educated or aware. There is so much anti-cause work going on that you just need to pull up your socks, strengthen your resolve that you are on the right path, and keep forging ahead, ignoring their unresolved anger, their mama not giving Maggi for school, their papa not hugging them, whatever it is that makes them whiny, negative and unable to at least leave a good cause alone if not support it. Sometimes they work against your cause and your good work simply because they don’t like you or your face. Yes, that is how petty it can get, but that is entirely their own problem and not yours.
So CSAAM core team, you already know it and you don’t need us to say it, but if the naysayers go public, why shouldn’t the supporters? That was a simply phenomenal job. A lot of lives were touched and a lot of us found a deep sense of satisfaction in being a part of it. Let the ire and the anger and the whispering just tell you that you did a better job anyone else could. Because you did. And for every one dissenter, you have ten of us – may the force be with you. As for the haters, shame on you. Shame on you for neither supporting the cause, nor controlling that impulse to criticise it. I hope to God there never comes a day when you realise why we fought so hard for what we did.