Today I got a request on facebook to join a page about how if a particular number of people joined the page some anti-India group would be deleted. Not the first one I have received. But, now that I do have all the time (I still get a kick out of saying that :D) I ran a Google search on the key words "Hate India". Among the first few results was a blog post by a person who had received a similar request on orkut. The post I liked. The comments... :o
Initially, I found the whole thing mildly irritating. As I scrolled further it took a hilarious turn. Then it was sheer disbelief at the complete lack of logic of any sort in the comments. I had been there for 20 minutes, I suppose, when I started wondering how long was this going to take. Only then did it hit me to glance at the scroll bar. Without exaggeration the width of the thumb was '='. I found it hard to believe that so much, and that too trash as it promised to be, could be written on the topic. (Note- the post itself was not very angst-y or "screw you, you racist scum"-ish such as to incite such response and of such tones.) I scrolled to the very end expecting the heated and highly abusive conversation to dwindle down to regular spam and adware. He. Hehe. Hehehe. Clearly, my naivety blinds me into false hope.
To the very end the tenor only worsened (after a relative slump somewhere in the 2nd quarter). It become an international affair with people from all over the globe losing there handle in very unbecoming fashion.
There were comments from people who confessed to hate the country and love it tremendously at the same time, a feat I would have till now considered impossible. There were people who posted the same (word for word) hate-comments against each other, only replacing names of people and places. There were facts and statements and quotes being flung around (authenticity being, of course, of not much importance). There were also people who called the previous comment racist and thus found it apt to be the same themselves.
Needless to say that the more... uh... impassioned comments were all posted anonymously.
The only thing that did impress me greatly was the tone of the replies made by the author of the post. He most admirably remained the sole person who refrained from abusing and only stated his opinions in the most gentle and refined manner.
"I did not join my friends in shutting down this hate community because I think every group has the right to freedom of speech (and its consequences). I may not agree with what they say, but I would defend their right to say what they want to say. I also think that as Indians we should stop being offended by trivial issues like burning of the National flag; as long as those burning the flag import the fabric and matchsticks from India, the parents of a few children in India would be earning money (in the textile and matchstick industry) to send them to school."