Brainlessly following the latest social media fad can result in some pretty embarrassing situations, since most of the content on social media is neither credible nor verified by the sheep that aimlessly fall for them. The latest such trend seems to be the much ado over the Railways’ proposal (stress on proposal) to keep 2nd October, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as a Veg-Only day as a tribute to the father of the nation. Unsurprisingly, the proposal was wrongly construed by the overenthusiastic critics of the government as an implementation by the Railways, and ridiculed and criticised by some of the most unique and spectacular hypocrites of our times.
Within minutes of the news being posted on social media, self acclaimed critics took to Twitter and Facebook, calling for a ludicrous boycott of the Indian Railways for what they termed as a Vegetarian Diktat. There are several things that need to be pointed out here. The first observation someone with political awareness would point is the BJP’s reputation vis-a-vis Mahatma Gandhi. Left-Liberals, who pride themselves as being defenders of the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, have historically maintained that the BJP is allegedly an anti-Gandhi (the Mahatma, not the pseudo royal family) political party. The second observation that needs to be pointed out are the double standards employed by groups that sympathise with PETA, and equate the act of meat consumption to that of a capital crime. Since they genuinely believe the proposal by the Railways is a final binding decision to serve only vegetarian food on Gandhi Jayanti, should they not be rejoicing? The same people that ridiculed the Beef Ban with the rationale that ‘everyone has a choice to eat what they want, including meat’ are taking to Twitter and calling for boycotting the Railways over their proposal.
However, the above is only a Tweet by an ordinary civilian, and her inability to verify the facts of a report which formulates the basic premise of her argument, cannot be held against her. We are forgiving, after all. But when the ‘highly esteemed’ founding editor of the The Wire posts something like this…
— Sidharth Bhatia (@bombaywallah) May 21, 2018
This goes on to show two things: One, the journalistic standards of The Wire, which they have clearly inherited from their founding editor; and two, the willingness of people to jump on the anti-government bandwagon without a moment of hesitation. Criticism is what makes a democracy stand out from other forms of government, but such criticism needs to be accompanied by the knowledge of facts, not the assumption of facts.
A Railways official was quick to clarify the rumours regarding the so called Vegetarian Diktat, saying “There is nothing like a vegetarian diktat. If passengers want, they can voluntarily opt for vegetarian food in observance of the Father of the Nation”.
All this really makes one wonder if these trolls are indeed critical of the government or only seek to spread misinformation about one of the most effective Ministries in the current government. Piyush Goyal and his ministry have been the target of several baseless attacks in the recent past, from the impressive and laudable electrification story to the newly fabricated Vegetarian Diktat story. The trolls clearly have no agenda, as they backflip on their stance time and again given the situations they find themselves in. Anti-meat activists clearly take the cake here. We’ll be right here waiting for the PETA and anti-meat activists to better demonstrate their hypocrisy come Eid next month.