Whenever the Circus came to our small town, we would get drawn by the cavalcade of rickety hand carts decorated with the jarring posters. The loudspeakers that announced the wild animals waiting to tear you apart. The trapeze artists, the talkative cockatoo, jumbo the elephant and the gun master Gogo’s daredevil acts on the death wheels in a cage. And, the clowns with their antics distributing the leaflets. We were kids! We spared no efforts in making our parents take us to the Circus.
The same Circus when they came to our small town, we got curious. The female trapeze artists were on the motor carts. Definitely not dressed for the occasion and yet kindled the passion in the young adults in us. We spared no efforts in ensuring that none of the parents accompanied us to the circus. We were at the Circus!
We had moved to a city by then as parents with kids. I learnt that the Circus still came, but to the suburbs. The Circus made feeble attempts to attract the kids. But the kids make no efforts in insisting with their parents to visit the Circus. They were hooked on cable TV, video games, fast food and shopping malls. The Circus ignored to the make themselves visible across all the platforms where the future belonged. The Circus was dying. The wild animals got banned, the trapeze artists gave up their craft to set up shops to make a living. The clowns became doormen at pubs and restaurants. The Circus does not get discussed. It does not find a mention in the newspapers. There is no inquisitiveness for the Circus. The Circus is dead!
The Circus has resurrected itself. It has invaded the fancy of young and old and we are addicted to it. It is shaping and forming our opinions. It has become the voice and the representation of people in its various manifestations, which is fondly known as the Social media. Anybody who is somebody has a social media presence. The presence is being felt as we are are airing our opinions. The freedom to speak, to write and to opine is the freedom of expression, which collides and colludes with the figure of speech as per convenience.
The Social media is the latest avatar of the Circus. It is an extravaganza like it was never before.
When you create such a seamless platform that transcends geographies, hitches a ride with the illiterate and erudite alike; all that you need is a weapon to establish your supremacy. The propaganda machine is social media has become the most dreaded weapon; one can wield. Look around the corner and you will find the clowns, the trapeze artists, the wild animals in cages and the crime master Gogos of the world, dictating their designs. We are either in it or nowhere to be found.
The modern-day carcasses in a Circus.