Monday December 17, 2018

What Indians can learn from the Mizo spirit of Tlawmngaihna during natural disasters

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By Anurag Paul

Mizoram is the southernmost state among the north eastern states, in the territory of India, sandwiched between Myanmar to its east and Bangladesh to its west. Every monsoon, hilly states like Mizoram and Sikkim often bear the brunt of nature’s force in the form of landslides. Aizawl, which, unlike other capital cities of North East India is spread across the spur of a hill range.

While the monsoon brings a sigh of relief and a fresh lease of life in the rest of the country; in the hilly states of the North East it often brings forth uncertainty and destruction. The monsoon here is the most trying time as landslides cut off vital roads snapping all links with the world, sometimes for weeks. Earthquakes are another Damocles sword that hangs over the region as the entire North East region falls under Zone 5 on the seismic scale referred to as the Very High Damage Risk Zone.

For a small state like Mizoram, where one-fourth of its population lives in the capital, Aizawl and where societal bonding is very strong and the community is close-knit; accidents, disasters and calamities often show remarkably, the care and concern; the helping and giving spirit of not only the residents of Aizawl but of the people across the state for those who have suffered.  There might not be many parallels in other societies of such a wonderful facet that the Mizo society has – Tlawmngaihna.

Tlawmngaihna is a term, very hard to define; simply put – it is the Mizo code of Dharma that puts the welfare and interest of others foremost before self-interest or personal welfare. In times of catastrophes, Mizos do not wait for the government machinery to arrive; rather they will go out braving all odds to help in whatever way they can. The rage of nature that is unleashed in Aizawl from time to time shows that the spirit of Tlawmngaihna is still very much alive and sounding off in modern Mizo society.

Mizoram, which has the distinction of being one of the most literate states in the country, equally has a very strong social media presence. Social media works as a useful medium for dissemination of information during the course of the entire rescue operation. Various groups on Facebook whose membership run into tens of thousands update the latest information round the clock about the rescue efforts and also put up photographs, thereby streaming information across the world. Such is the solidarity of the people and natural disasters within a short time involves all and manifest into ‘everyone’s business’ with the sole purpose of helping those in need.

There are many things that societies and communities can learn from each other in bettering the lot of their fellow men. Tlawmngaihna and the Mizo spirit of helping others is indeed something that can be emulated across our country today given the changing social scenario in which we have fitted ourselves into our own narrow worlds, often shutting ourselves out to the larger world outside, which needs us.

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  • neeru bahl

    Very informative. Never knew so much about Mizos

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Irish Watchdog Opens Inquiry into Latest Privacy Breach of Facebook

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump's campaign

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Irish watchdog opens inquiry into latest Facebook privacy breach. Pixabay

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has announced a fresh investigation into Facebook, a day after the social networking giant admitted another security breach where nearly 6.8 million users risked their private photos being exposed to third-party apps.

Facebook, which is already facing a probe from the Irish watchdog for a previous privacy leak in September that affected 50 million people, may end up with fine of 4 per cent of its annual turnover – the highest fine under the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Independent reported on Saturday.

In Facebook’s case, the fine could amount to nearly 1.5 billion euros.

“The Irish DPC has received a number of breach notifications from Facebook since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25, 2018,” a spokesperson for the watchdog was quoted as saying.

The fresh move came after Facebook on Friday said more than 1,500 apps built by 876 developers may have also been affected by the bug that exposed users’ unshared photos during a 12-day-period from September 13 to 25.

Facebook, in a statement, said it has fixed the breach and will roll out next week “tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug”.

“Currently, we believe this may have affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers. The only apps affected by this bug were ones that Facebook approved to access the photos API and that individuals had authorised to access their photos.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We’re sorry this happened,” said Facebook, adding that it will also notify the people potentially impacted by this bug via an alert.

The disclosure is another example of Facebook’s failure to properly protect users’ privacy that may drew more criticism of its privacy policy.

Earlier this month, Italian regulators fined Facebook 10 million euros for selling users’ data without informing them.

The competition watchdog handed Facebook two fines totalling 10 million euros, “also for discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data”.

The Irish watchdog, which is Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, in October opened a formal investigation into a data breach which affected 50 million users.

Also Read- Prime Minister Narendra Modi Extends Condolences to France Terror Attack Victims

“The investigation will examine Facebook’s compliance with its obligation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and safeguarding of the personal data it processes,” said the DPC.

The world’s largest social media network has been grilled over the past year for its mishandling of user data, including its involvement in a privacy scandal in March when Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, was accused of illegally accessing the data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump’s campaign. (IANS)