We must be careful about what we believe
This is what happened in Bhola: A person or a group of people hacked the Facebook account of a person belonging to a minority group, and posted something offensive which went against the sentiments of Muslims. After that, there were protests and we all know the consequences. Several people died, and plenty of others were injured.
The consequences of hacking
According to Section 18 of the Digital Security Act, 2018, hacking is a cybercrime. If anyone illegally enters or helps to enter any computer, computer system, or computer network, then that person will be penalized with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or by fine not exceeding Tk3 lakh or with both.
Consequences of publishing anything against religious sentiments
According to Section 28, if any person or group intentionally or knowingly with the aim of hurting religious sentiments or values or with the intention to provoke publishes or broadcasts anything by means of any website or any electronic format which hurts religious sentiment or values, then such activity of that person will be considered an offense, and for the first time the person will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years or fine not exceeding Tk10 lakh or both.
In the case of repetition, that person will be punished with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or fine not exceeding Tk20 lakhs or both.
Despite this, such crimes continue. And it is unfortunate that, as is the nature of many people, at the end of the day they do not seek reason and truth, but believe what they hear from people they should not trust.
We must understand that everything we “see” and hear is not correct. We have to always ensure that we have the truth with us, especially if the source is social media, and act based on that truth, and not on hearsay.
First of all, we must spread awareness and enlighten ourselves. We have to build ethical and moral codes which support non-violence, and spread it across our communities. If we see anything on social media which goes against the sentiments of our faith then, firstly, we must talk to that person regarding the matter.
In this day and age, in the society we live in, there is a high chance that the person in question did not actually post it.
And in any case, our next step should be to contact in the police before the situation goes out of control, as we saw in Ramu and Bhola.
Finally, we must learn to be critical thinkers, and not allow misinterpretation and misunderstandings to cloud our judgment and thereby damage society as a whole.
If we don’t, all of us will suffer in the long run, and the religious harmony of our country will be hampered. And that is not good for anybody.
Kalyan Chakroborty is a student of law.