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Goldy Paul's post and the Facebook Live: Exposes why we fail as a society

In the aftermath of yet another brutal rape in India, a Silchar boy with Facebook account, “Goldy Paul” posted, “India Te Sex ar ligiya freedom nai tar ligia meye bolotkar hoy.” The emotions are high as just the other day, a vet was allegedly gang-raped and then burnt in Hyderabad. Most of the Netizens expressed their opinions on Social Media as did “Goldy Paul”.

 

Paul’s comment is difficult to comprehend. However, irrespective of how much one can sugarcoat, the post does leave a bad taste. We can assume that he either intended to mean that girls must not resist whenever a man/criminal approaches her with dirty intentions or every pan shop should be turned into a free brothel. His comment is disgusting and derogatory. It expresses his lack of education and sick mentality. The comment is a big insult to all the women who matter in his life, as it showcases a shallow upbringing.

 

The post got bashed on social media, and it has now been deleted. However, the man – ‘Goldy Paul’ surfaced again on Facebook. Not with another post, but a Facebook Live. A group of women barged into Goldy Paul’s house recently. The Facebook live was already on and Goldy Paul is the first human it captures. Shocked by the sudden entrance of such a group, Goldy Paul, who wasn’t even in his full clothes can be seen getting uncomfortable. After what he posted, he should not be feeling comfortable either.

 

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The woman holding the phone asks him to wear clothes and step out, Meanwhile, the Facebook live captures his sister-in-law who is carrying a toddler in her lap. Goldy Paul wears a t-shirt and steps out and the interrogation begins – on camera, on record – streaming live. They ask him time and again what he intended to post, he gives a different explanation each time. The decibel level of the women keeps rising and someone says, “kneel down and beg forgiveness.” He refuses to do so. The conversation goes on for around 27 minutes, but that conversation exposes the fact that as a society, we are a big failure.

 

Throughout the video, time and again and again, different voices are heard saying, if you want the freedom to have sex “Poysa Khorcho Koria Biya Koro, Bou Re Aniya Sex Need Pura Koro” which translates to, “Spend some money and get married, bring your wife home to meet your sexual fantasies.” This statement from the so-called custodians of women’s integrity demeans the institution called marriage. There is something called marital-rape which is an equally massive concern in today’s world. If the husband forces himself on his wife, without her consent, that is also a rape. It is a crime. It is an offense. Spending money and getting married does not mean buying a sex-machine.

 

This one comment exposes the lack of knowledge and understanding and humanity of those who were holding the camera and exercising their “freedom of expression”.

 

Then at one part, sad but true, again another female voice is heard saying, “Hindu Meye’r Shonge Erokom Oise Ar Tui Eta Lekhsos” which translates to, “A heinous crime was committed with a Hindu girl and you are writing such posts.” Well, a girl is a girl, rape is a rape and a rapist is a rapist. What was the point of mentioning a “Hindu Girl”? So if the girl, who was gang-raped in Hyderabad, was Christian or Jew or Muslim, his post was justified?

 

It was not the only time religion got dragged in the video, it happens throughout. One woman questions him, “Tui Hindu Oiya Erokom Kemne Lekhre” (How could you write something like this being a Hindu). Again prejudice and generalisation. There is another occasion when Goldy Paul boasts about beating people from the Muslim community. None of the women in the video shames him for that. How is protesting a man’s derogatory post on Facebook with a live video, that can disturb communal harmony, a justifiable exercise?

 

The biggest failure of this video is the fact that it captures Goldy Paul’s sister-in-law and the baby in her lap. That is a breach of privacy. Tomorrow, that lady and her baby will be subject to social stigma. Just because of this Facebook Live, from now onwards, the lady will be called “That Goldy Paul’s Boudi”. That toddler who is probably yet to take its first steps will be “Sex Freedom Activist Goldy Paul’s” niece/nephew. For no rhyme or reason, two innocent lives got dragged into filth which is going to stay with them for long, maybe as long as they live. So, the custodians of women’s integrity did not think twice before tarnishing the image of another woman with a child on her lap. How is this justified?

 

Lastly, the entire video is an example of moral policing. We, the common people in India as per the law of the land, do not have the right to punish anyone, even a rapist. To ask him to join his hands and seek forgiveness or to kneel down amounts to torture which is a criminal offense. Moral Policing, which nowadays often leads to “mob lynching” or “the victim committing suicide” is a serious crime. No civilised society on earth should encourage vigilantes or moral policing. But the rape, Goldy Paul’s social media post, this video- are anything but civilised.

 

To conclude, protesting an act of disgust with something more disgusting is not an act of honour. Activism is great and needed, but it must be constructive and not destructive. An FIR was filed against Goldy Paul for sharing the derogatory post on social media. Now if Police do not take any action then the activism must be against the system. That’s constructive activism. There are Police, there are lawyers and there are courts, it takes a lot of hard work to be a Police officer, a lawyer and a judge. Just by holding the phone we must not assume that we are the police, the lawyer and the judge. Moral Policing or Publicity Stunt or Activism, call it whatever, the Facebook Live was equally (if not more) derogatory and a criminal act.  After all, we must not forget, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

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