The end of 2019 has been quite challenging for India and the majority of the Indians due to the passing of an act CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). I am not going to discuss the act itself in this post as that requires a separate post in itself. This post is an acknowledgment of how our offline and online discussion spaces were fired up.
A little background first
It was 2014 elections when I was “apolitical” but still a soft supporter of BJP because of the image they showed us. Image of a new India where women safety will be a priority, Economy would be booming, poverty will go and the list goes on… Fast forward to 2020, We all know where we are.
I bought that idea and that mirage as a soft supporter. I bought it because of the conditioning from my closest circles including family and friends. What was not told to us that everything is fake, everything is a game plan?
But I learned from my mistakes. I learned to rise above that conditioning. I am still learning because learning never ends in life.
Their facade is broken for me.
I would consider mid-2018 as the time of my Political awakening. An awakening that had led me towards contradicting my own hidden biases and (try to) rise above them. I always hated history as a subject in school. But, I am correcting my mistakes. I am reading more on varied topics to form my opinions. I am learning about how our present is formed from our history.
Social Media Debate
Since my Political awakening moment, I have been very vocal about my opinions on various platforms. Be it WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media and in due course, have possibly upset a lot of people too.
Social media has become a dangerous tool in our hands. We all know about the fake news industry being run on WhatsApp University, political campaigns being compromised through Facebook. What we often forget is that society is not being affected, We are. We, the people, make this society or break it.
WhatsApp is a messaging tool. Don’t get used by any Political party.
Save YOURSELF. Save DEMOCRACY.
Another observation is that we have completely forgotten what it means to have a constructive debate. For example, I was questioned in a (BJP tilted) WhatsApp group when I pointed out a piece of fake news that was being shared as it helped BJP’s propaganda. How much time does it take to stop yourself from forwarding a message which you are not sure about it? Will you pass work-related things at your workplace without any verification?
CAA aftermath on Social Media
When I posted in support of students protests on CAA, people took it to their hearts. India is still a democracy. If people find something objectionable, Do they not have rights to express themselves? Just because person A voted for party X, Does that mean person A loses all powers to criticise party X? The answer is NO. Person A’s responsibility does not end with voting. The main responsibility starts after the government is elected and if you don’t take care of that, you might risk losing the democracy itself.
The second point, Not everyone voted for the winning party. So if people find something unconstitutional in an act, Why should it not be challenged? They have equal rights as you as per the constitution.
Coming back to the conversation bit, Either people sit on fence which means see nothing, say nothing attitude about Politics or attack the person verbally in another camp. One person went on to spam my every post with a FAQs link on the said topic. People are protesting because they are finding the act unconstitutional. No FAQs are going to solve that because FAQs are repeating the act itself.
The act of healthy debate requires listening and not retorting to answers like “What about party Y who did the same?” Because the true argument to such whataboutery is “Well, as people did not vote for party Y again because of their actions, they should not vote for party X as well”.
If you are not ready to hear the other camp because you think “your elected representatives are good enough for everyone”, then you are blindly following your representatives as you go on to make the assumption that they are good enough for everyone. In a fair World, You can decide only for yourself. No?