This is why Goa never fails to entertain and impress. If there is a problem, there must be a solution. While we had a group of 20 fighting the good fight for freedom of speech which would translate into freedom for Devu Chodankar, a new set of voices is making itself heard in Goa, says Bevinda Collaco , Editor at the portal www.targetgoa.com
Calling themselves, ‘Qualified’ Goan professionals active on social media Facebook & Twitter another group has come together to raise the issue of the misuse of freedom of speech. Their campaign is ‘Social Media Not a Forum to Spread Hatred’ is aimed at informing the public at large about the growing communication concerns on social networking sites and its resultant impact on the social fabric of the state and nation.
Actress, Meenacshi Martins said that over the years the content of communication on social networks has changed from sensible discussion to a medium to communicate hatred, social disturbing messages, and personal, professional and political differences. There is need to “create awareness about the responsibility of those on social media about the kind of posts and comments the put up and their social and psychological impact.”
Savio Rodrigues member of Goa Su-Raj party and owner of GoaChronicle.com said the Indian Constitution has put restrictions to the Freedom of Speech under Article 19 (2) which does not confer absolute rights to a citizen to express one’s thought freely. You cannot express thoughts that affect the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency and morality, contempt of court, defamation, incitement to an offence and so on. Intentionally or unintentionally Article 19 (2) is being turned on its head by certain individuals.
Rohan Govenkar, admin on Goan FB group Goa+ which was the vehicle for the unfortunate post by Devu Chodankar was summoned for questioning by the Goa Police. “… as law abiding citizens we gave our statements to the authorities, this however was not done by the Facebook poster. I have over last couple of months seen a distinct change in the kind of information dissipation on Goan forums some bordering on misinformation and politically driven agenda, some even cross the limits of civility; we as Admins then are forced to inform the poster to delete such posts or we delete it ourselves.”
Sunila Muzawar, a CA by profession and a Goan residing in Bangalore who joined the group “Social Media Not a Forum to Spread Hatred’ stated, “We are a happy lot in Goa with no communal tensions whatsoever. We have grown up with deep and strong friendships and ties with various Goan communities. I don’t want anything or anyone, let alone one amongst us Goans to destroy this sense of belongingness and togetherness we have in Goa.”
The group Social Media Not a Forum to Spread Hatred has taken it upon themselves to be a kind of Super-Admin who will track posts on Goa groups that can put communal harmony at risk. They wil take the matter to court if and when required. En garde, rabble rousers, the class monitor is watching.