sedition, lies & video clips: where has objectivity gone?

Posted 2/26/2016
I am your average Joe or should I say Janardhan. The middle-aged, middle-class guy who pays his taxes on time, spends hours stuck in traffic jams, generally apolitical, opinionated a few times and an optimist who believes that the larger good is good enough to prevail.

I write this since I am pained by the narrative of doom that seems to be enveloping this country’s psyche. Most people like me have a voice courtesy social media. Be it tweets, posts on Facebook or discussions in WhatsApp group my ilk has taken to expressing socio-political beliefs and views on events & happenings like fish to water. There are views, counter-views, opinions that get aired, debated and exchanged at the speed of thought.

It’s private yet public or vice-versa. These expressions often contain elements of pride or prejudice or angst; as misplaced or genuine as they may be. Those of us who have shunned social platforms and look at those who participate on them as souls needing redemption may just be having a quiet laugh. Let me assure you there is no escaping it. If it already hasn’t it will make way to your drawing room discussions. All of us are connected to “friends” in the real world too aren’t we?

Question therefore is where the voices of reason are, is there really no middle-ground or is taking sides the new fad? I believe that at a subliminal level the sense of objectivity seems to be diminishing and that is my concern.
A tsunami of communication on every issue seems to be drowning an individual’s capability to assimilate and formulate rational opinions. Today the long tail of communication means someone somewhere is still consuming it for the first time and should he/she choose to react to it socially it multiplies someone else’s consumption of the same communication. The result therefore is this continuum in which any fresh piece of communication or opinion just adds to the snowballing of what is already there. Then there is this auto-classification of people into Bhakts, AAPtards and a host of hash-tagged labels that get coined every second day to contend with.
I for one do not want to fall prey to it and shall try my best to retain my sanity. Doesn’t mean I shall become a social media recluse, I am no ostrich.
The World T20 is round the corner. Here’s a ball by ball account of my metro-social existence; my super-over of the events past 20 odd months and the way I played it:-
  • BALL 1: The Acchey-Din Blitzkrieg: Sucker for it. Are we there yet? Hell no! But willing to wait.
  • BALL 2: AAP ki Sarkar: Believer turned sceptic. Again, willing to wait.
  • BALL 3: Modi the Globe-trotter: Reaching out much needed. So many of them, maybe not.
  • BALL 4: My plate of food: Lay off! What I eat (or don’t eat) is my business.
  • BALL 5: Rahul: Jaane bhi do yaaron
  • BALL 6: Nationalism/Universities debate:
    •  Hyderabad University Suicide - Unfortunate. Abettors if any and whosoever must be tried and punished.
    • Anti-India sloganeering at JNU- Unacceptable. Does it tantamount to sedition? Not sure about the law, its applicability or interpretation. That said, some exemplary punishment necessary.
That there is my humble take for all who care to know about what I (and I use that term as a collective here) think. And for those who don’t care good for you!
So, here’s to objectivity and a balanced idea of India – one that is both yours and mine.