Rumours and the Fragility of Society


‘Hey man, did you hear that news about…’

‘This guy was telling me about that guy who…’

‘I don’t know but it seems that…’

Rumour, the meaning of which as per the oxford dictionary is,

Rumour: A currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.

is a word that has, with time, become a part of the vernacular, as much as the rumours itself have become a blot of black on the fabric of society. I feel it would be extremely hard for you to vindicate that you have never ever played a part, knowingly or unknowingly, in spreading rumours. But is it really something to feel guilty of?!

Every week, I come across a number of news that later turn out to be rumours. Its so ubiquitous that we hardly ever feel to take time out and think about what could be the reasons for this pandemic. If you think carefully, rumours can turn out to be true although they generally have negative connotations. My proposition is this,

  • If I play a part in rumour-spreading and the rumour turns out to be true, I would say ‘all’s well that ends well‘.
  • If I play a part in rumour-spreading and the rumour turns out to be false, I would say ‘ah oh…that guy told me wrong‘.

This precisely leads us upon thinking that somewhere, between you receiving information and you passing on the same, you have a role to play. That role is to understand the gravity of that piece of information. As is well substantiated in the bestseller The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, there are certain people who have the power and influence to disseminate a news to such an extent that at one point, there comes, in clear view, a trend.

I feel that the same is true with the spreading of rumours. There are people in everyone’s life to whom one will listen with utmost faith, giving in to any cognitive approach. We don’t realize that mere moments of contemplation, both on the inside and outside, can bring us closer to the reality and strengthen the fabric of society, which otherwise would have become so fragile that it collapses on its own weight.

We as social beings are responsible for and must bear the brunt of anything and everything that happens within the society.

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