Humour is the foundation of a cartoon and it is its limitation. Attempts to rationalise humour in terms of today’s utilitarian social structure probably explain why political cartooning, and the genre of cartooning as a whole is a dying art. In a fast-paced environment such as the internet, memes emerged as a one-dimensional satirical illustration; they don’t engage with the issue and, therefore, their moral message and practical impact are limited.
Facebook has come under fire for a “barbaric use of technology” that allowed the sale of a child bride to be held on its site.
There are many stories of messages in bottles travelling thousands of miles before being picked up and read, and letters arriving decades after they were posted. But here is a different twist. Instead of a postal address or a recipient’s name, the sender had drawn a map of where they believed the addressee to be. And, extraordinarily, it arrived at the right place. Amazing, anything is possible in the world!
Almost a month has passed since the mass abduction of about 276 young schoolgirls on April 14 in Nigeria. They were just aged 12-15 years! The militant Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. In a video message, a leader of the group threatened to sell the schoolgirls and force them to marry.
Throughout the history, couples have expressed their undying love in handwritten letters. Few people take the trouble to write by hand today, but if anything is preserved at the back of a desk drawer, it is likely to be the handwritten love letter that once upon a time sent someone’s heart shuddering. Letters reveal raw emotions such as joyous or unrequited love; a letter bares the soul to just one other person.
The same sites that allowed groups for communal harmony, also allowed groups that fostered communal hate. It is a free domain – and there are no rules on content. But, the society, the governments, the industry will have to take steps to curb the spread of hate messages, fake news without compromising the right to freedom of speech of the netizens. With rights, come duties.