The debate raised by the statement of the telecom minister seems to be settling down with a feeling that the government does not intend to censor social networking sites. This can be called a welcome move by most of the people who advocate the freedom of expression and speech. But the question that arises here is regarding the extent of freedom. Do the people have the right to say and write anything they want even though it may be derogatory to others? All, whether using social networking sites or print media should realize to self regulate and follow the idea of live and let live and not only live in context of self. Let us leave the broader issue of the social networking sites and think about what is the right age to express the views in the public? Should it also be decided as we have the minimum age to obtain driving license or have a voting right? This seems to be a slightly tricky and confusing question but it does need to be deliberated upon and then reach to a decision. In the first instance, it appears as there can be any age decided for this because even a newly born child should have the freedom of expression and if it is so then the people of other age group are also free to express their views. But do the parents at home and teachers in the school not expect and teach their children to have sympathy and healthy feelings for others in the family and the society? Do they not teach their children to extend a helping hand to the ones who need the help? Is it good to display humour which humiliates others? Should the people be not dignified in expressing their views for anything they think differently? There are many more such questions which should be discussed and answered. The platform available to the people should be such that it does not become the means to propagate hatred in the society. Many people might argue that all human beings are matured enough and they have a right to think and speak as they feel. True, but it may not be so for all and especially in case of the kids. If all views are to be expressed freely then why should there be cyber crime branch to tackle such issues? Why a former minister should be filing a report in the police for an email received by him which is treated as abusive and vulgar.
We all know that the children, as small as the age of seven or eight years are using the internet and social networking sites. They are the most vulnerable lot to wrong doings of the people misusing this platform to lure the impressionable mind and then victimizing them. There have been number of cases in the other countries in which the children have been driven to situation when they are forced to take extreme steps. Some children have lost their life because of the problem faced by them due to the invasion into their life by the criminals using cyber media. This has been attributed to the reasons because the children are at times alone and the parents and the teachers are not able to know about the problem faced by the child. If the children are bullied or pressurized by some person in the real life, the parents can come to know about the same and help the children though it may not be possible all the time. But in case of the cyber crime even the parents and the teachers do not come to know the problem faced by their children. The cyber crime branches have been setup in most of the countries by the government but this comes into picture when some case is reported. By the time a case is reported, maximum harm to the child is already done. In USA and other countries, the parents are being made aware of the problems which their children might face because of the cyber space criminals in regard to the safety of their children. In our country most of the parents and the teachers find themselves not fully equipped to tackle such problems and help their children and that is one of the reasons that most of the cases are not reported. By the time the parents and the teachers realize about the problem it is already too late and the child finds it very difficult to come out of the shock.
We know it very well that it is almost impossible to stop such incidents but the parents and the teachers should make themselves aware of the problems their children might face. If they can anticipate about the problems then there is a possibility that they can help their children and protect them from such evil happenings. The parents and teachers should be as close to their children as possible without intruding too much in their life so that the children could be warned of the problems and the danger of going too far in disclosing their personal information to the unknown person on the websites. They should not be encouraged to interact with the people of unknown identity. The young children do get influenced by the heroic acts and thoughts of the people who may even not be known to them. The role of the parents has become more important because the children are exposed to lot many things which at times might prove detrimental to the safety and security of the children. They should share their thoughts and the feelings with their children. The children should also be talked about the possible dangers of their being so much exposed on the internet. The parents and teachers should work together to ensure safe and smooth growth of the children. If anything unusual is noticed the same should be paid attention and if required, an immediate positive interference is very important. This should not be taken as the interference in the personal life but an important responsibility of the parents and the teachers to save the life of the children.A united and consistent effort by all the stakeholders will ensure a safe existence of our own children.