In the post-truth world that is today we find it easier to live in the bubbles that we have created for ourselves than to try and understand the realities around us. We prefer to call the bubble that we live in as the real world and brand others who are different from us as “pretenders” who are nothing more than ignorant heretics whose main aim is to disturb the tranquility of “our” world. So when Shashi Tharoor tweets about the current BJP government renaming most of the UPA schemes and taking credit for their achievements , the congress supporters on social media are quick to call the current regime “fekus” and “jumlas” without prodding deeper into the fact that many of those UPA schemes were themselves the renamed NDA schemes from vajpayee era. This phenomenon of “branding” people is equally true for the cyber army of the BJP which has mastered the art of character assassination with such finesse that the tabloid journalism of the yore would feel ashamed. Just think about the multitude of names Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi have been called by from the time politics entered the social media.
Today you could either be a “sanghi” , a “Khangressi” or a “commie” , there is no middle ground in between. And the most important thing is that it is mandatory to have any of these labels or else you run the risk of being labelled by others.For example If you did not decry the raids at NDTV you would automatically fall into the sanghi bracket even though any one with an iota of common sense would have known for long that a channel which is persistently at the bottom of the ratings charts that too of a niche segment could never have survived without shady dealings. similarly I was appalled by the witch hunt the newly launched “Republic Tv” unleashed on Mr Tharoor but many like me were shouted down online and offline as Khangressis. It is sad to see that as we mature as a democracy we are slowly regressing towards an intolerant one where one could face reprisals for thinking differently. The fissures are now deep enough to shake the foundations of our very own existence as a nation and it could pave the way for extremism to flourish and dictatorship to come to the forefront.
The first step towards reconciliation could be by acknowledging the fact that we are first and foremost a democracy and that too a diverse and inclusive one. The left must come to terms about the fact that BJP do have a huge base and mass following that any of the other parties today lack. At the same time the right must accept the fact that nearly half of the country are still not their supporters and that they also do have the right to be heard. If we do not come out our self made universes our future seems bleak.