Presstitutes and bhakts, trolls and sevaks will all have to co-exist.

Warning Form opinions watching TV news at your own risk
Voices Forming Opinions Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 18:52

Dear citizens who decide what is nationalistic and patriotic by watching TV news or playing “editors” on social media, this is for you.  

 A few brief points because these days our attention span is limited to bullet points and to less than 200 words

1. Being left of centre is an ideology. It is not a malaise or a blight that stops progress. Just as being right of centre or ultra right does not automatically mean that you are always right.

2. The nation's opinions are not decided on prime time news shows. If they were, then exit polls and opinion polls would never be off target.

3. The person who shouts the loudest might win by drowning other voices. But only politicians and news anchors believe they had the final word on the subject.

4. Can those dismissing the anti-India chanting elitist JNU, seeking their taxpayers money back for funding such a university claim to know the politics or patriotism of the majority there?

5. By that logic, can the same stereotyping that implies JNU is a university that fosters anti-national sentiments and elements be extended to our Parliament too?

6. Can we say parliament is an elite club where being corrupt and without personal integrity is a pre-requisite (coupled with the unfortunate endorsement of the electorate)? 

7. Don't lament journalism as a profession that is dying. That is another stereotype. Also the word presstitutes. It is an obscene word that maligns those who use it more than those it is used again. (It is becoming a habit with you).

8. Presstitutes and bhakts, trolls and sevaks will all have to co-exist. One cannot exist without the other. Where will trolls and sevaks get the fire to fuel their rants and tirades, without presstitutes and 'anti-nationals' to fuel it? This is also an ironic face of democracy. 

9. More than two thirds of India who does not watch TV news is not bothered about anti-nationalism or sedition. They are worried about the poor healthcare, education, drought, bank loans, children coming of age and lack of health insurance in old age.

10. Forwards received on Whatsapp, Twitter or Facebook are not gospel truths. Just as the child whose photo you shared so that Facebook can pay for her surgery is hoax and our home minister Rajnath Singh's sources who confirmed Hafiz Saeed was behind the JNU 'anti-national rants'. These are not 'confirmed information'. I hope most of you also know by now that Bhagat Singh was not hanged on Valentine's Day. 

So think twice before being swayed by patriotic frenzy to ban students and stop funding of universities. Opinions framed at the dinner table with the cacophony of television news in the background should ideally last till the time you hit bed. Trolling someone on social media without getting your facts right or not having the tolerance to listen to an alternate point of view merely makes you part of a lynch mob of the literary kinds. Wonder if the Bharat Mata, on whose behalf everyone is offended is actually aware of the furore. Does anyone have a tweet or a Facebook forward on what Bharat Mata thinks about the whole thing? A TV discussion on that might be the final word India seeks. 

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