How I wish I could have finished writing this piece way before than the elections entering the last phase. But better late than never you see 😊. Well to begin with one of the highlighted line doing rounds these days in my homeland “Tanav bahut hai kyunki desh mein chunav hai“. It means “There’s lot of tension because we have elections in the country”. And this is not just a random sarcastic line but a mirror to the current atmosphere of the country. The biggest festival of the biggest democratic country is about to end in just two days – Elections are about to come to an end on 19/05/2019 and results will be out on 23/05/2019 sealing fates of many, in fact everyone – the representatives, the voters & the nation. And I know how badly I missed my opportunity to cast a vote 😔.
I can say by far the most polarised elections we are experiencing are these. With two major national political parties pitted (is it the right word?) against each other and regional parties playing the sidekicks the situation is you can be in either of the court. Having a moderate view is a rare sight in this particular election season of 2019. Every citizen is trying to present the candidate they favour in a good light while exposing the true face of the opposition (based on facts, figures that they believe in) and defending the case of their favourite leaders is a self employment that they have taken up. A full-fledged war of memes, trolls, abuses, lengthy arguments has blown out. And I confess unapologetically that me too is a part of those discussions for I have my own reservations (I religiously follow courtesy of language though😁). More I watch, more I read, more skewed my inclinations are becoming and more I am participating in arguments which is highly unlike me.
As I was wondering how can I be so involved in political discussions:
Since the introduction of social media people are having more avenues to information to aid the build up of their views and hence paving a way to decision-making. And there’s a plethora of channels, pages, sites feeding the demand ( in fact creating the same) of having information. And the sad part is that most (not all) of them are biased serving varied interests of their investors and misguiding the voter being one such interest. And ironically the “Original” Media which is referred as the Fourth Pillar Of Democracy is too involved in the game of taking sides to create news (read sensation) for their respective agendas of TRPs and readership, create divide, suppressing the truth which means either misquoting/ misrepresentation of the situation or a complete omission altogether. Yes, it is the truth of the hour. Morality and integrity of journalism has taken a nose dive. The picture that is being painted of the country at this moment is that it is burning, everyone is everyone’s enemy, nothing is right, nothing is bright, we are being robbed and are heading towards a dead-end, period!
I understand that like every country our country has its own set of problems. For a nation as big as ours with its social fabric interwoven with rich ethnicities, varied languages, different religions, altercations among citizens here and there is pretty common and many a times unavoidable. Many communal riots on our soil speak for themselves. But the beauty is that we were always back with more strength. We are not called Secular without a reason.
Unfortunately the type of journalism that is happening today is giving an impression to the rest of the world that India is all about communal tensions. Omission of facts from past, repetition of recitals of selected few unfortunate incidents, branding of victims and culprits as per convenience or complete silence on matters that don’t fetch business is particularly what the media is into. Here only the numbers and competition matters. To cut it short – Media today is biased. The 24×7 nature of news channels is only doing harm by prompting to generate news instead of reporting the same.
I have to sadly admit to the fact that our politicians (most of them) irrespective of the party they belong to are scrupulous. Dividing people based on caste and religious lines and doing politics of appeasement is something we are witnessing since a long time. But now they have media too joining the party in its own way leading to the same destination.
I was just pondering over one thought. What if I was growing up in this age of social media and N number of television channels fighting for the cake of TRP? Wouldn’t I have succumbed to what I was shown day in and day out mentally? Would I have enjoyed the beautiful amalgamation of cultures in my growing up years as I did as a person who was born during the DD (Doordarshan – the national television channel supported by government) Era. It was all straight forward news with no drama and hype. People were informed back then as well even in the absence of heated debates where no one listens to no one and reaching on no conclusion staged only to fill in a slot. So many elections passed but never saw people fighting to defend the candidates they support (to be precise abusing others). I wonder how secular I would have been if I was not a DD era person 😁😁. It was the most peaceful era I guess 😂😂.
Disclaimer: To all my friends and family members with whom I had a discussion or disagreement on candidates and politics, I want to politely remind that I am the same old person as they always knew me. These elections shouldn’t and won’t change our equation and relations. For elections are five yearly but bonds are forever ❤❤.