In a classic essay Neil Postman’s “Defending Against the Indefensible”, he suggests that our society has been culturally brainwashed. He then goes on and gives us elements of critical thinking. read the essay here.
One of the principle in Postman’s essay, is that all the knowledge we have acquired in this world is due to the questions we have asked. He says that how we question the world will determine what we know about the world.
None of it applies to Indian politics though. We are always asking the wrong questions.
For instance the question to ask Priyanka Gandhi is not why her hubby has become so rich in the last few years. That is quite obvious. The real question in my mind is to ask why she thinks Gandhi Family is still at the helm of affairs in Congress. Is the party so inept of finding leaders that the Gandhi’s have to bear the cross for such a long time. And Ms Priyanka Gandhi, don’t defend your husband, you don’t have to. We are fine with what he has done. Each one of us would give an arm and leg to be in Vadra’s position.
Similarly we can question involvement of Modi in 2002 riots and my sense is we will never get a black and white answer. Because this is India. We just move on like we did in 1984. However if we were to ask why ordinary indians went on to massacre innocent people can show a different perspective. What is wrong with this 3000 year old civilisation that ordinary or not so ordinary can go out and murder and rape and kill innocent people.
Now Kejriwal might be greatest man in India today and he actually believes it. Asking him questions about his nexus with congress is a no-brainer. The real question is how a party that has no internal democracy will every be able to bring Swaraj in the country.
Politics is about power, grabbing power at any cost. That I can understand. The question is why those in power are so hell bent on keeping us poor, divided, marginalised and communal.
Modi waver or AAP wave, pick your horse but one thing that has happened is that we are deeply polarised and un-able to reason and respect with people who don’t have views similar to ours. I could not remember a time when people were afraid to share their views on matter of national or societal importance. Support Modi and you are branded communal, support AAP and you are branded as Naxal.(I haven’t come across anyone who supports Congress) There is no discussion, no dialogue just a shouting match. So much for being politically savvy.
Elections 2014 will be always remembered as the watershed elections in India. A lot of people are hoping that it will change the destiny of India. I only wish that the political discourse in the country changes for better. I wish some day we are able to discuss real issues that India is facing and believe me it is not secularism. You and me might be secular but as a state India is not secular country at all.
The real question is when will we stop being so poor. How many thousands of years this great country will have to wait before we can provide clean drinking water and a hole to shit for all Indians.
We start answering this and we may get somewhere. Till then politics in our country will remain family owned business.