ONLINE SHAM­ING LEAVES MEN SCARED

The re­cent sham­ing of an al­leged ha­rasser online has left men wor­ried that so­cial media can be used to falsely im­pli­cate them

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sa­marth Goyal sa­marth. goyal@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Ac­tor Son­akshi Sinha re­cently apol­o­gised to Sarv­jeet Singh on Twit­ter, who was ar­rested for al­legedly ha­rass­ing Jasleen Kaur, 20, in Tilak Na­gar. Jasleen had posted Sarv­jeet’s pic­ture on Face­book. Her post went vi­ral and ne­ti­zens con­demned Sarv­jeet’s act. The next day, eye wit­ness Vishwajeet claimed that Jasleen’s ac­count was false. Ta­bles turned in Sarv­jeet’s favour, and peo­ple be­gan sym­pa­this­ing with him. Son­akshi, too, says that she feels guilty that she stood up for the girl ear­lier. “Be­ing a girl, I gave the ben­e­fit of doubt to Jasleen, like many oth­ers! And like many oth­ers, am em­bar­rassed n let down! Apolo­gies to the guy (sic),” she wrote on Twit­ter.

The in­ci­dent has rekin­dled the de­bate whether it’s fair to shame online or not, and has also left men scared that women might use so­cial media to falsely im­pli­cate men or to get away from wrong­do­ings. Ar­jun Arora, 23, shares a re­cent run-in with a fe­male driver. “When I asked why she didn’t in­di­cate to turn right, she got fu­ri­ous. I should’ve con­fronted her but I feared she might click my photo and posts it online. Peo­ple will be quick to ac­cuse me. So, I smiled and moved on,” he says.

Ar­jun is not the only one feel­ing dis­grun­tled. In a vi­ral video, Sh­wetabh from Men­su­tra (an en­ter­tain­ment por­tal for men) asks, “Where does this lead to? To­mor­row, a girl can upload a photo of her ex or a guy she doesn’t like, and say he is ha­rass­ing her? What if she does it to get more Twit­ter fol­low­ers?”

How­ever, many still be­lieve that so­cial media is a strong plat­form to fight ha­rass­ment. Stuti Makhija, a stu­dent, says, “This is a rare case where it got messed up. I be­lieve that so­cial media helps in­still fear in the minds of ha­rassers.” Agrees Aan­chal Dwi­wedi, another stu­dent, “We can’t dis­re­gard the im­por­tance of so­cial media due to one case.”

Jasleen (right) posted Sarv­jeet’s pic­ture on Face­book, al­leg­ing that he ha­rassed her

PHOTO:WASEEM GASHROO/HT

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