On Anonymity : Sarahah and Other

Wrote the following piece sometime in 2017 when this app was doing the rounds. Sad that I didn't consider sinister messages and cyber crime or stalking or bullying aspect of it, which had made the news in a few months of it being popular. Any way, do leave your comments o the topic... 


In defence of Sarahah.
Every thing on the internet has its use and misuse. But in these virtues and vices how Sarahah would fare, only time will tell. But I want to write a lot about why I am in love with this app. 

It's not that previously we didn't have anonymous calls, text messages, facebook pings or even emails. Connecting with hidden identity is no way a new concept or thought. It was there in chat rooms of yesteryear, in romanticism of 'You Have Got Mail', in fake accounts of Orkut and Facebook of a prospective fan, unnamed letters from self professed unrequited lovers. While we used to block an unknown number, or a blank call, a whatsaap ping or report an fb stalker or unwarranted pokes- we are doing quite the opposite with Sarahah. We are providing our circles and networks with that anonymity cloak that we created ourselves. But the thing to note here is, we control who gets that cloak. Not everyone can have it. (Or so I got the impression).

I love anonimity. It's advantagous. It's power. It takes off burdern from your shoulders. You may counter that those who shirk responsibility of their works do it anonymously. I will argue that those who want their voices heard, without worrying about what society or the other person would think, take this route. 'How would she react if I told her this? Would she be astonished that it came from me? How had she reacted had it not come from me?'
Sometimes we do need a message but knowing the sender makes us not accept  or believe it. Anonimity creates impact, a large multiple that which people with faces can create. We have authors who use their pen names to emphasize this fact. 

'Who are you when no one is seeing?' 'Who would you be when your identity is taken away from you?' 'Who would you be when no one knows you?' Movies that come to my mind on this context are- 'Hema Hema sing me a song.' , ' V for Vendatta' , ' Letters to Juliet'

Confession, admiration, adoration, anger, prank , feedback , just a token of love .. penpals..
I love the idea of sending out anonymous letters. Just love it. Whether i know the person or not doesn't matter. One positive sentence can make their day. One sentence of love and care can bring a smile to their face. 

PS: Strange that the app is still there in app stores... 

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.  


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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