Is the Open Structured Cyberspace Responsible for the Unpardonable Savage Act of Karbi Anglong?

The very recent atrocities of the Karbi Anglong episode makes one doubt the calibre of Humanity. It has threatened the very existence of humanity. Humans’ indulging themselves in such obscene acts against their own fellow beings is absolutely heinous. Such ruckus in the twenty-first century in a so-called democratic country is bewildering to no limits. What can be more unfortunate than a Native of the state pleading and begging for his life- “MOI OKHOMIYA HOI, MUR DEUTA’R NAAM…. MUR MAA’R NAAM….” And yet no MERCY! These lines are haunting every Assamese’s ear today. It makes one question- does ‘Humanity’ really have a value in the so-called modern world or has it gone for a Vacation!

The Karbi Anglong disaster has confronted the very invention of technology. It has proved that the internet is no doubt a fun place everyone wants to be connected to but leaving besides the fun part, one can encounter with numerous dangers while surfing it. Along with its innovative side, it also carries a dark side along. It is interesting to note that how a concept developed as means to have technological edge over the world has now becoming one of the most defined security concepts.

The way Abhijit and Nilotpal were killed in cold blood due to the circulation of a fake news reiterates how immense the power of the internet in effecting the political and social space of society, if not regulated appropriately by the Administration. Cyberspace has organized itself as a transnational communication network without being monitored by anyone. This resulted in the production of harmful actors on the internet commonly known as the dark nets – insurgents, militants, criminal elements besides its innovative aspects. Since the cyberspace is not visible like we can see or touch other things like say a rock, it serves as an advantage to the agitators to use it to spread hate messages towards certain communities or people thereby, creating violent situations like riots in most cases.

Thousands of Guwahati city people came to Protest against inhuman killing of Nilotpal and Abhijit.
Security forces were deployed and lathicharge incident injured several protesters.
Photo: Samir Bhushan Borah

The Unpardonable Savage Act of Karbi Anglong is a paragon of the advantage of non-physical existence and mishandling of cyberspace which costs two innocent lives.

Social media is generating fear in the society like never before. It has become so effortless to fabricate fake news and rumours that it creates a fear psychosis suspecting the person, on the other end, to be a terrorist, outsider or an enemy (through on social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp etc). Such threats are getting more and more dangerous than we have ever perceived them to be.

The open structured nature of cyberspace is challenging many social aspects and thus, there is a need to regulate cyberspace for the better of all. The Internet has certainly made it possible for all to access information with the click of a Mouse but simultaneously, it has also produced hackers, insurgents, criminals and militant groups. Although, cyberspace was constructed for innovativeness and development of the society, with its frightening rate of development it is challenging the growing concern for security.

Losing of two innocent lives because of circulation of obscure rumours (to be child-traffickers) on WhatsApp Groups has wrapped us within the prevalent fear of the ability of the concrete negative impacts of social media on our society. The issues concerning such threats are getting more unresolvable given the dynamics of cyberspace.

Abhijit NathKarbi anglongMob LynchingNilotpal Das