Random memes are “destroying” fragile-egos, national or religious sentiments, political beliefs of people with low IQ and what not. And it is high time we need a separate law for memes in India!
Memes are offensive to people at times. And edgy stuff like that has always been in controversy on social media and IRL in India. Being a dank meme page owner, I always get hate messages, threats and dick pics(and I don’t think it is because I’m cute). Religion, politicians, sportspersons, actors…, if you mock any of these, you are in trouble. It is like “how dare you ‘mock our small sensitive brains’ without our permission and don’t you know how much I like Salman Khan? so it is obvious that he is the greatest person on earth.” People are sucking dicks of the people they admire and forgetting the fact that they are mere humans and every human is a part of mockery. Not just that, humanity itself is a big sad joke. We are born cursed…..ehhh wait, this shit is getting dark for no reason! Nevertheless, you get my point.
We have to stop and think before going on a rant or taking a legal action against someone just because he/she posted a meme that offended you.
How to differentiate between hate speech and a meme?
Indian constitution has some strict laws when it comes to hate speech
Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) enacted in 1927 says:
- Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of [citizens of India], [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to [three years], or with fine, or with both.
If you read the above text carefully, you will notice the word “intention”. That’s a major difference between hate speech/propaganda against your favourite person and a harmless meme, which is clearly not intended to defame him/her. Then there are memes that are made to call out someone’s stupidity or hypocrisy in an exaggerated way. But again that’s what exactly a meme is- an “exaggerated form of humour“. You should not take things as such ‘said in a meme’. Memes nitpick things out of context to make them look funny and/or obscure at times. If you think memes to be some sort of news or a fact then you are at fault and not the memer.
Bottom line is- memes are not intentional. You should not insinuate things and label someone as “anti-something” just because the person in concern finds something funny and you don’t. Maybe the meme never was offensive inherently and you just interpreted it in a wrong way. And it is okay to take offence but that doesn’t give you a right to shut down someone’s opinion.
Now be sanskaari and share the article with your friends.
– Ashutosh Dubey