No place for threats and abuse
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
It isn’t easy to relate politics to a playing field. Understandably it isn’t something for the faint-hearted. Politicians are an interesting bunch though.
And being thick-skinned appears to be a pre-requisite for those aspiring to enter this domain.
Criticism, valid or not are expected. Some will thrive in it, and some not.
However you look at it, criticism might even be termed an integral part of politics. It comes with the territory so to speak.
Public opinion differs over issues and subsequently this will reflect in how concerns are raised or voiced.
But when one resorts to threats, whatever one perceives that to be, there is a certain demarcation line that has been crossed.
That then calls for strong disapproval.
To be thrown threats on social network sites isn’t a pleasant scenario for anyone.
The advent of the digital age has actually changed the face of what can and cannot be done behind the cloak of anonymity.
Personal home pages on social network sites can easily be set up and criticism pushed onto different walls with the tap of a key.
It is intimidating when one cannot see the face in front of a screen that could be anywhere in the world, and especially if there is a hint of a sinister motive attached.
So, aspiring politician Roshika Deo has done the right thing by reporting cyber threats against her.
She says she fears for her life.
But there is an element of responsibility that should be inched out here.
In saying that, politics can also be a very dirty game.
At the end of the day, the average voter has concerns that need to be addressed.
How political parties and politicians address the many issues that will pop up over the coming weeks, and months, will vary.
Understandably aspiring politicians will be put off by abuse and threats that make them fear for their lives.
The bottom line though is that ideally people should have a right to voice their opinions. But whether that right extends to dishing out abusive remarks and threats of a physical or sexual nature is another issue.
We should leave this now to the police to deal with but strongly condemn such action.
There should be no place for threats and abuse as we count down to our national elections in September this year.