Human right activist Sharjeel Usmani was picked by Uttar Pradesh police from his Azamgarh home on Wednesday evening. His brother says that around 5 p.m, five unknown people dressed in plain clothes came to their house and claimed to be from the Crime Branch. When they were asked who they are! “you don’t need to know why we are here, Sharjeel knows why we are here. They pointed to Sharjeel, whose hand was tied. Sharjeel usmani was already arrested while he was out for a walk to drink tea.
The crime branch enters Sharjeel’s house and seized his laptop and books.
“I refuse to believe it is an arrest. They did not tell us what charges were being pressed, they did not allow us to have any conversation with him”, said Sharjeel’s father, Tariq Usmani.
“As a parent, and more importantly, as citizens, we have the right to know”, said Sharjeel’s mother
Now it is trend that whenever a muslim youth is been picked by police, without going into details of the reason why he is picked, the social media start celebrating it.
The Media have portrayed Muslims of India as someone who are doubtful when it comes to their love and patriotism for their nation. The majortism have already established that just because he is Muslim that means he must have done something wrong. This happened in the case of Tableeqe Jamat incidence when media cashed the sentiments and islamophobic psychology of masses and easily able to make them believe that jamaatees are deliberately spreading corona virus which was actually not true.
When Muslim youth are picked on terror charges, majority make their mind against them without even hearing the court hearings and judgment.
The Media started running kangaroo courts but now such mini versions of kangaroo courts are now running on Twitter and Facebook.
Where every second user is declaring their certificate of Muslim being anti-national, without even knowing the full background of the story.
A simple calculation is there, that Just because he is muslim, he must have done something wrong for the nation.
In the case with Sharjeel Usmani, we saw the same trend. While no one knows who took Sharjeel with him, but on social media he was already declared Anti national.
There could be many possibility , one of them can be that he was picked by someone who have personal enmity from him but why will social media’s islamophobic mass will even try to think from that angle.
Sharjeel Usmani who has 24.5 thousand followers on his twitter handle suddenly start trending on social media.
The moment news broke out on twitter that Anti CAA NRC activist Sharjeel Usmani was picked by some unknown people who claimed to be from the crime branch. There were mixed reactions on social media to this news. While many were still not sure and raised doubts that Sharjeel was not arrested, there is a possibility that he was kidnapped.
On the other hand, there were many who were celebrating his sudden disappearance. Many Facebook users without knowing who picked Sharjeel Usmani, was he kidnapped or was he arrested by the crime branch and what the charges were on him. Without going into background and having the knowledge of the case, they simply started rejoicing of his disappearance.
When one does not know who picked him up from his house, and on what charges, how can they reach to a conclusion that Sharjeel was criminal and started celebrating his arrest on Twitter.
This is a clear case of inference-observation confusion which is a form of Cognitive Distortion Disorder,it is a psychological term referring to an attitude where one “judges or decides something without having all the facts; to reach unwarranted conclusions”.
Cognitive distortions are thoughts that cause individuals to perceive reality inaccurately.
Negative thinking patterns reinforce negative emotions and thoughts. During difficult circumstances, these distorted thoughts can contribute to an overall negative outlook on the world and a depressive or anxious mental state
This inference-observation confusion ( IOC) is now a psychology of majority of population in India. They simply declare Muslims and Anti CAA NRC protesters as criminal and anti-national, without going into fact finding details.
This is clear symptoms of Islamphobic mindset.
Sharjeel Usmani was very vocal about the Muslims identity issue and was voicing the Anti CAA NRC movement on twitter.
At this point of time, they are not much influential voices left on twitter who are highlighting about CAA NRC and “Muslim identity” issue.
With continues targeting on them by right wing IT Cell and many unknown right wing trollers giving them threat of harming them with serious injury or rape. With the recent arrest of Anti CAA NRC activists under derogatory law like UAPA. Activists on Twitter were avoiding to voice up their views.
Sharjeel Usmani meanwhile did not bother about his opponents who wanted him to change his narrative. He was very vocal critique on his social media handle of the targeting of anti CAA NRC activist and students including Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Umar Khalid, Aasif Iqbal Tanha, Chandrashekhar Ravan and Meeran Haider, who had been arrested under various acts such as NSA, UAPA, Goonda Act, and Sedition (IPC 124A).
While Journalism is considered the fourth pillar of democracy, The Twitter and other social media platforms are decentralization of media where power of expressing the view point reaches to the hand of the common man. This makes Twitter and Facebook as a true platform of journalism in the time of Sold Godi media.
The witch hunt continues of CAA NRC protesters, the trolling and abuse continue on Twitter to those users who are highlighting the plight of Muslim minority issue.
Will this not be considered as the attack on the fourth pillar of democracy?
Tarafdar Zaman is a Psychologist and Freelance Journalist