We live in an age where the most important resource and weapon is information. Several business exist purely due to the information advantage. For example a travel agent. He is no special man with no special resources, he only has better knowledge about travel arrangements. He charges us a little(!) for the information advantage he has.
We lose a lot of money because we are not informed enough. But it is not only money that we lose there is more to it. We base our decisions on the information that we have. Hence those people who control the flow of information to us can actually control a lot of our decisions.
I am reminded of Plato’s famous parable of Cave. It is one of the classic philosophical writings about nature of knowledge. The prisoners in the cave see only shadows and nothing else, with time they start believing that the shadows are reality.
In a democratic country like India, it is the information that practically affects all aspects of our life. Unless the people are well aware of underlying issues, unless we have an active media that goes into depth of all such issues we can’t choose a good government.
Unfortunately for Indians, almost all the mediums of mass communication are directly or indirectly controlled by government. Congress government had long corrupted the education system with their own version of convoluted history. For a long time people had access only to Doordarshan and that was another weapon that government used to intellectually enslave the population.
A recent Tweet Fight on Twitter with prominent journalists like Barakha Dutt, Sagarika Ghosh etc was an eye opener for me. I realized that even the best T.V. channels and the best of our journalists are so incompetent and themselves misinformed.
I will not really blame them for their own ignorance. They are bitten by activist syndrome and they are grown up on what information that was fed to them. They continue champion the cause they have related themselves to, however false that cause might be.
What I had expected was that these journalist who are proclaiming to champion the cause of “freedom of expression” by asking people to watch a movie, themselves used words like “Gutter Snipe” for those who opposed them.
True that on a public platform like Twitter several people might respond with bad words but then a reputed(!) journalist like Sagarika gets to name calling one must realize that she is driven by desperation.
Virtually no one questioned right of expression for Shahrukh. No one denied him that right because he was a Muslim. No one on twitter advocated that he be stoned or the multiplexes be stoned for showing his movie. It was public outrage against Shahrukh’s idiotic comments that Pakistan is a good neighbor to have.
I dont support Shiv Sena’s hooliganism in any ways. Nevertheless people like Shahrukh or things like Aman Ki Asha mislead people about the relationship that we share with our neighbor. Pakistan is a problem for India and it needs to be countered with cunningness and iron hands not by reciting poetry with some small time poet in Pakistan.
I see that journalist like Barkaha or Sagarika are busy promoting a film and in the end they will pat their own back claiming a victory. Jitam Maya, Jitam Maya. But sorry I refuse to clap.
I guess that is what hurts them the most. Until the advent of things like Twitter; Sagarika and Barakha could go with their pretense of “I know it” and “holier than thou” attitude. Not anymore. Hence the words like “Gutter Snipe”.
These people have created an environment where nationalism is a dirty word. The moment you proclaim your nationalism they term you with words like hate-monger, communal and internet-hindu. Most of the people get intimidated by this and actually start believing that things like Aman Ki Asha are actually something good. Or calling “pakistan a good neighbor” is some sort of virtue.
I remember an old Gurudutt song “Jinhe Naaz hai hind par woh kahan hai”???
This one is a modern version by Rabbi Shergil