“Cancel Culture” has been a recent addition to our vocabulary.
In India, we are nurturing our very own “cancel culture”.
Social media has enabled this hitherto hidden need to express ourselves on the quick.
Our daily lives are a series of opinion polls redacted to likes and angry emojis.
The collective choice of crowds can seat and unseat the carefully crafted reputation of nations, corporations, our leaders and celebrities alike.
Recently we cancelled China by cancelling TikTok.
That felt good, kind of like throwing the book at a hateful boss.
It gave us closure. We were sticking it to China.
Burning with national fervour, it was the patriotic thing to do. We forwarded memes.
We laughed at Chowmein jokes. We analyzed the authenticity of our schezuan dosas, deeply relieved later to find that there was nothing Chinese about it.
China was out of our lives for good, or was it mere lip service, in hindsight.
Could we walk the talk when buying our next smartphone?
The Xiaomis have been finding it difficult to keep their shelves stocked.
Could we do without the omnipresent Chinese owned Paypal app which was deemed to pave our flower strewn path to digital freedom.
Easier said than done. The only way of cancelling China will be to build a stronger India.
(Rita Roy Choudhury writes on art, culture and design. She is based in Mumbai)