How is it that any kind of violent video goes viral these days? What does that tells us about society?

The video of an employee in Saudi Arabia thrashing an Indian worker is believed to have gone viral on social media. Why? Is it because the perpetrator of this violence is a foreigner? Would it be normal if an Indian employee beats up his Indian employee? Does it make a difference to the poor chap who is being beaten black and blue whether the whiplash is made in some other country or Make in India sorry Made in India? Violence in any form anywhere should be condemned.

Are we not sick of seeing pictures of Indian policemen beating up women and pushing them in waiting police vehicles, teachers breaking the body parts of their wards to make them ‘good human beings,’ daughters- in-law thrown out of their husband’s house begging to be let them get in again that we have to see another video on how they do it in Saudi? To my humble mind the important question is not what we see but how we react on seeing such atrocities being committed in the name of improving the behaviour of people or even transforming the lives of the victims being bashed up. Have such pictures brought about any change in our own behaviour or at least in our thought process? From what I hear from the people around me that is hardly the case. Yes, there will be some debates and discussions on TV channels where professionals will say what is expected of them and all of us will sleep in peace after a hard day in office or home or shopping in the mall for another day another atrocity that will go viral.

In private most of us will even justify such bashing up. Some will say they deserved it, Others will say we were also beaten up by our parents or teachers so what’s so great”? OK they don’t permit parents beating up their children in the Western countries but those Indians tell their own ‘proud’ stories of how they gave a tight slap across their children’s face at the airport or wherever they noticed the cops looking the other way. It is an achievement for them like receiving a Bharat Ratna. Lately the ISIS also seems to have realized the best way of marketing their ideology across the globe was to behead a journalist or any other captive prisoner and put them on YouTube for the social media (?) to lap it up.

Beheading of journalist ISIS Why do Violent Videos go Viral?

ISIS beheading of journalist

Which only goes to prove what I am trying to say. Such videos are not meant to arouse pity for the victims or hatred for the perpetrators. They give the same kind of sadist pleasure to the viewers as the Romans got when they sat around an arena and clapped gleefully when healthy and ferocious cocks were brought in to jump high to pluck the eyes of prisoners tied to a pole.

By Amitabh Srivastava

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