In recent times, India is witnessing “extreme view” culture. With rise of internet availability and power of social media, this culture is growing at extreme pace.
We all want to be neutral and wish to support only the best cause. And we think, we are neutral. But unconsciously we are falling in to the extreme-view trap. This is an invisible and quite inevitable trap. Let me explain with the help of below example –
Almost every WhatsApp group has frequent discussion / debate by pro Modi and anti Modi camp, triggered by any forwarded message. Someone sends a message, and then others jump in either supporting or defying it. Even some groups have now made strict rules against any such message or discussion.
Both camps keep pushing their view on other with aim (wish) that other will agree with their view and start following it; but in reality, both are reinforcing one’s view. Such discussions are only pushing one toward extreme view. As, we are not debating, rather we are imposing thought & opinion. And its human bias to support their own view / opinion and ignore all other aspects.
In this process, an extreme view culture is rising.
For anti Modi camp, they unconsciously start to oppose everything which is happening (good or bad). Many have started questioning CJI, EC and even Indian Army. If some bad news published anywhere in world, they forward it quickly. If someone says, “India is doing good”, they quickly deny it.
One example – when India ranking in “world bank ease of doing business” jumped from 130 to 100. In one of group, a person commented “must be manufactured or fixed”. So unfortunate, it was proud moment for all of us, and we all should have said congratulations.
I am not saying anti-Modi are anti India; not at all. Everyone (both camps) equally love India and feel proud to be an Indian.
The same extreme view is true for pro Modi camp as well; recently (2-3 months ago), I read many posts where people were even indirectly supporting rape. Saying it’s impossible to control. It may be impossible to control, in current infra and setup, but we all need to defy it and express anger in whatever possible manner, no matter what. People are even supporting (by not opposing) some bad decisions or acts; e.g. govt’s weak role in 2G case.
If someone says, “something is not well”, this group quickly call that person anti Indian. This is unfortunate, as it denied opportunity of debate, rather it turns into imposing view or specific label on individuals.
Most unfortunate part is, none of us want to have extreme view; but if you will carefully observe your acts on social platform, you will have a better understanding of this thought process and a bitter encounter with truth. Do one thing, go and see what all posts & messages you recently forwarded and liked (on any platform). I bet, if you belong to Anti-Modi camp, then you liked and forwarded most of news which says embarrassing things about India and ignored others. Same is true for other camp also, if you belong to pro Modi camp, I bet you have ignored many bitter truth and ground realty.
This is not about pro Modi and anti Modi; it is all about change in nature & culture. Today’s topic is Modi, tomorrow it will something else. But nature of extreme view will persist.
From where it came and how this culture is becoming part of our life –
For debate, in Sanskrit the word is Manthan, means churning. And when we churn, both good (Amrut) and bad (vish) comes up. We throw away bad or waste part and use the best. Churning is way to get the best, that’s why every good society promotes debate. But unfortunately, we are going away from Manthan (churning) to Rassa-Kassi (tug of war) approach in debate.
What we are witnessing is western (USA) style debate, where all the debaters have pre-decided view, and they keep on advocating their view and push it hard and harder on other. It’s “I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong” approach.
This approach, came to us through TV debate programs (partially due to Indian media and entertainment industry obsession with imitating US programs). In TV debates, now anchor mostly invites people with well-established views/camps and not the neutral experts. Afterall, people like to see fight, not the debate. The noisiest the show, better TRP.
Started with TV, this approach soon infected into WhatsApp group & Facebook posts, and use of social media by political party for ongoing campaign keep on fueling it. The nature of debate style, ensuring further falling into trap. It’s kind of a vicious cycle. A slow, invisible and inevitable change. Now, people attempt to win debate, and not to learn from it.
It time to say, no to “Extreme – view”
Starting point of defying it, is to accept that we have extreme view; without acceptance, no correction is possible. Then gradually start to think & observe things more holistically, for the fact that good and bad both persist together. There is no concept of light in absence of dark. Let’s re-adopt ancient Indian style of debate, one with “Manthan” approach.