In the 21st Century, battles and arguments are fought on the Internet. On June 29, India banned about 59 Chinese apps, which was the Modi Government’s way of retaliating to the Chinese military intrusion on the Indian Border.
The government issued a circular and called these apps malicious as they were supposedly ‘harming India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.’ Out of the 59 controversial apps, the departure of people’s favorite Tiktok saw a lot of heartfelt goodbyes as well as thorough criticism. As per the available data, Tiktok was used by an estimated 200 million people in the country as of October 2019. While we don’t have an exact percentage, it can be stipulated that the percentage might have shot up during the last four months as more and more people joined TikTok during the pandemic as a source of entertainment.
While people have accepted the government’s decision dutifully, Instagram and Twitter were flooded with memes that rejoiced for this ban meant an end to Tiktok’s mediocre and cringe content. This narrative was countered like most of the time with an argument that brought a different viewpoint forward. TikTok’s popularity among the masses was relevant because it was a platform that allowed people from every stratum to put forward their opinion, creative side and in short their art on a pedestal for a larger audience.
The content had a magnanimous range, from teenage kids to LGBTQ+ groups to even 85-year-old grandpa’s on their Farms. What I am struggling to say is that contrary to public opinion, Tiktok was a user friendly and an inclusive space.
The prevalent downgrading of the app hints at behavior that we as a society have adopted for years. The Internet, when it began, was accessible only to a limited few and without any surprise that small population was the upper elite class of the society.The Internet, like many other forums, produced the kind of content they liked to consume and their choice was considered as supreme for the longest time. However, in recent years, due to technological advancements and the work of certain premier companies, mobile phones with the internet no longer remained as a luxury item but soon became a staple commodity in every household.
This new device is a lot more important than we understand it to be . The access was primarily given to increase the profits from the rising number of users. The app helped the consumers to speak up for themselves and the people they represented on a public domain. The number of such users easily crossed the small powerful population and that led to the feeling of insecurity and jealousy among the elite groups. So we repeated history by shaming this new large incoming group instead of wholeheartedly welcoming them.
This shallow course of action is repeated in every sphere where hierarchies are established instead of providing every citizen the right to access.The will to demean someone, look upon them, and call oneself great, needs to be replaced by the want for creating safe spaces where any and everyone can voice themselves, for a country can be truly democratic when all the spheres that it exists in behave democratically.