The arrival of gizmos and gadgets have made talks about protection of one’s privacy sound hollow. Now it’s become entirely impossible to find a safe hiding lying beyond the range of these new technological incarnations. The word “privacy” has become one of the most abused words in our times. I don’t think that transparency means end of privacy of others. “Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively.” I am sure the day is not far when the WikiLeaks type revelations pertaining to “secret sex files”of celebrities as well of the common people on streets would be a commonplace affair. The advent of time has made “privacy” a least respected affair.
The sensationalizing of news has given rise to corrupt practices that have scant respect for privacy of others. The yellow journalism which cares a damn for ethics, laws and principles has made mockery of an individual’s privacy. We have numerous examples pertaining to both domestic and International arena, which prove that journalists who behaved like a stalker and trespassed into one’s privacy led to tragic consequences. It’s not of much importance at this point to discuss the promiscuity of Princess Diana but who can deny that she is one of the most well known celebrities who became victim of stalkers masquerading in form of journalists ?
It’s true that we all are addict of getting a pervert pleasure of seeing rich and famous involved in scandals. It’s also true that we do not want to miss intimate details of the celebrities whom we treat as demigods. However, the same spirit takes a grim turn when it encroaches upon the privacy of others in a vulgar manner. Should I say that technological incarnations have made us susceptible to our suppressed sexual desires? I mean the new gadgets have provided a sort of free license to manifest our hidden desires but not without trampling the dignity of others. I am saying so because every news item in our times makes a reference to sexual gestures in a concealed way. This at the level of people on street is reflected in the behaviour, wherein a commoner thinks not twice in dragging a celebrity to a sexual zone.
Some may suggest that though it’s true that our lives have become storehouse of gadgets but we have not yet learnt how to make an ethical and disciplined use of gadgets. That’s the reason why we find that right from celebrities to commoners each one of us is victim of hackers. I should make it very clear that such attempts, which play with privacy of others are outrightly cruel, cheap ,vulgar and criminal. Who has given right to strangers to hack the privacy of others? Who has given right to others to have unauthorized MMS of intimate moment of others and sell it in the porno circles, which are ever expanding zones? Who has given right to voyeurs and stalkers to harass us with fake calls, lewd SMSs and other such atrocious activities?
There is another murkier aspect related with this sensitive issue. This relates with utter disregard for one’s private affairs, especially one’s which are related with sexual affairs of an individual. Earlier the moral police limited by the lack of technology was unable to trace and record in an efficient way extremely private moments of lives of others. However, in today’s scenario, we find right from members of a television crew to mischief lovers at our doorsteps acting as peeping toms. Not long back Dr Sreenivas Siras, a Marathi professor at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) committed suicide unable to cope up with the shame and guilt in the wake of video tape revelation that showed him having sex with with a rickshaw puller. In a very recent sensational case that hit United States, charges were framed against Ravi and Molly Wei in connection with Tyler Clementi’s suicide. He committed suicide when he came to know that his same sex encounter had been secretly filmed.
There also episodes wherein enthusiastic photographers take secret photographs of celebrities on beaches and else where when they are holidaying. Nicolas Sarkozy was in the news for imposing a low-fly ban that threatened ” pilots with a fine of up to 40,000 euros ($55,600) or six months in prison for descending below 915 meters above Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s large seaside villa at Cap-Negre, Lavandou.” In another case, we found one teenager’s love for sexting led to so many embarrassing episode for an young girl. Though the teenagers involved in it were punished, it’s understandable that episode left disturbing impressions in the mind of the victim.
Some so-called scholars and pseudo intellectuals are also no less guilty for making even the dead take a roll in their graves. Recently, we found some of the intellectuals lamenting over the Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s infamous private life when devotees across the globe were mourning! Mahatma Gandhi is more unfortunate in this regard. The scholars are still trying to find meaning in his sexual experimentations and that’s because sex sells if not his other lofty ideas related with cause of humanity. These foreign scholars are trying to hard prove that Gandhi was a sex maniac. Not contend with accusing him of having preference for younger girls, these scholars now accuse him of nurturing homosexual relationship. This is quite baffling that these so-called scholars, who stand nowhere when compared with this towering personality are engaged in making caricature of his persona with a set of flawed facts.
Even if these facts are taken on their face value, they nowhere make these minnows attain greater height than Gandhi. However, since sex sells when mixed with juicy story full of half-truths, the private lives of great people are boon for modern day scholars interested in attaining a quick recognition. Sadly, this very tactics is also employed by people in league with technological incarnations. However, this time the targets are ordinary citizens. It’s high time we stop paying attention to such insipid details pertaining to one’s private life. It has attained maddening level as we have encouraged such dirty revelations by lending ears to gibberish. Let’s make makers of such wild stories a vanishing entity.