Dear Diggy, sympathies but don't seek privacy on social media

While no one should have anything to do with the private lives of two adults, Congress leader Digvijay Singh seeking privacy over his affair is a bit too much

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | April 30, 2014



He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. But since it would be a bit too harsh a proverb to use for the occasion, let’s just say he who tweets to embarrass others often gets embarrassed on Twitter. Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh is learning it. The “hard way” or not is for him to figure out. For the moment, let’s just say the disconcerting way.

At 1.16 pm on Wednesday (April 30), the Twitter-happy Singh fired: “I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case.”

A minute later, “Once that [divorce] is decided we would formalise it. But I do condemn encroachment in our private life.”

For the uninitiated, Singh’s admission, admittedly unhesitating, came a day after several photos of Singh and Rai, a television news anchor, was “leaked”. And it doesn’t take a Sherlock to figure out that the anti-Congress and pro-Modi brigade had a field day on social media, circulating it and making jokes about the 67-year-old former two-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister.

Similar jokes, often crude and crass, surfaced again on Wednesday.

As many also said on social media that what two grown-ups do between themselves should lie just there – between themselves – and it is not for the world to reflect upon. Of course, as long as it does not step on to the other side of law. Especially when the two adults in question are a divorcee and a widower, who plan to get married. As Rai tweeted, “I have separated from my husband and we have filed a mutual consent divorce papers. After which I have decided to marry with Digvijaya Singh.”

Barring the fact that the “with” was unnecessary, I would not comment on it. But it’s a mighty harsh world out there on social media, and Singh, who has been on the medium for long should especially realise it. After all, his daily dose of tweet attacks, which usually starts rather early in the morning, spare very few in the opposition, and give no square inch to Narendra Modi. Was he not the one who, at 11.35 am on April 11 tweeted, “I am a widower and if I remarry i won't hide like your Dear Feku !”?

That one, of course, was aimed at Modi, who had filed nomination from Vadodara a couple of days before and had for the first time named his wife Jashoda in the affidavit.

In his defence, Singh can obviously say that he is yet to remarry, and thus there was no reason for him to disclose details of his affairs. But then this is precisely how social media works – and this is precisely how people live by it and die by it. And, as I had contended after union minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death earlier this year – Moral spin doctors shouldn't blame Twitter for Pushkar's death – you can’t blame Twitter for being harsh or intrusive. For, that precisely is the nature of this medium.

If you want foolproof privacy, as anyone should in real world would, please stay off the virtually virtual world of social media, dear Digvijay Singh. And certainly not when you would not miss the opportunity of taking potshots at others.

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