Showing posts with label WeChat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WeChat. Show all posts

29 August 2015

Sanja Dema's Husband

The context of this post is the communal joke that was widely circulated on the badly abused social media platform WeChat. Yes WeChat has been already used as the Launchpad for three worst things to happen in Bhutanese social media; leaking private movie clips, spreading hoax, and sharing communal joke. All resulted in social disharmony that is very new to Bhutan.

Well, the joke was a voice recording of two men allegedly from Haa talking about a woman named Sanja Dem who married a guy from eastern Bhutan. Their conversation roughly translates to,
“Sanja Dem is married!”
“Really, who is the man?”
“He is a Sharchop.”
“O’ then he will steal nyah.”

I am from Haa and I know the men whose voice were recorded weren’t from Haa, as is evident from the fake accent they used. They were making fun of our language. Worse still, they impersonated us to insult Sharchops by calling them thieves. With all my sense of humor I am trying to laugh at the joke but somehow the intention in this joke seems seriously wrong.

I heard the joke before and back then Sanja Dem’s husband wasn’t a sharchop, he was a gatey (ex-monk) but the character in the joke was suddenly changed to a shashop to supposedly do maximum damage. This seemingly dry joke could lead to social disharmony and therefore such communal jokes of disastrous potential should be stopped right away.

We must appreciate our unity as harmonious little society. Many countries suffered because of communal division leading to mistrust among people, igniting riots and starting civil wars. We need not learn the lesson in a hard way; history is a good teacher. We should not take our harmony for granted just because we didn't earn it ourselves. It's the greatest gift of the Wangchuck dynasty that we must honour.
“Such clips are communal in nature and much more severe than the circulation of pornographic materials, We can book them under the National Security Act as its highly objectionable.” - Police Chief, Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal, in Kuensel 

26 August 2015

Earthquake Hoax

མིང་ངན་གྱིས་ཡུལ་དཀྲོགས།། བྱ་ངན་གྱིས་གདངས་དཀྲོགས།།

My mother and I were in constant conversation over the phone debating on the hoaxed earthquake. She heard that it was going to be bigger than the Nepal earthquake and since our house was in bad shape from the last earthquake she has decided to abandon it and sleep in the kitchen garden instead. She saw the people in neighbouring villages pitching tents in their fields. The hoax has created such mass panic in rural areas. 

I told my mother that if His Holiness the Je Khenpo really had a vision of such a natural calamity befalling his people, more than anybody, his compassionate self would inform the nation and not some fool on WeChat.

I asked her, "Would the government leave us in the dark instead of evacuating us to safety?"
"Would I let you stay in that unsafe house all by yourself?" 
"How could you believe some random people and not me?" 
It was hard but I could convince her like I have done several times in the past. This wasn't the first wave of fear that swept across my village

The magnitude of fear and panic the hoax has created among our rural population is beyond forgivable limit. It has gone deep into the simple lives of people and disturb their peace. What do people get from doing this? Who are they? It cannot be one person but a chain of ignorant people who believed in it themselves and then shared their fear. It is a very serious offence and I hope theses people will be traced and punished. 

And more than anything we need to find a permanent solution to this repetitive problem of mass panic created by hoax, because if a salt shortage hoax could cause market to inflate salt price and people to hoard salt then anything is possible. 

The mobile app WeChat, which took internet access to rural population has now become a platform for newer evils, from sharing porn to racial jokes to hoax. With its ease of use and reach new hoaxes can do massive damage. What will be the next bad thing people will do on this platform?