When I see something I disagree with, what do I do?
Mostly just gnash my teeth in frustration, curse the object of my derision and decry that i have to be right.
However, outwardly, I maintain an air of neutrality and listen to and consider someone else's impassioned argument.
It is this I increasingly find missing in today's highly charged political atmosphere. A chance for one's views to be heard. And an assumption that if you don't agree with the elevation of a certain politician to PM candidate- you're behind the times, have secret Italian allegiance , or are a dynasty sycophant.
When I listen to people speak, or see innumerable facebook posts regarding Mr. Modi, two things leap to mind. 1) He certainly has an impassioned following, perhaps rightly earned. 2) These followers of his are hell bent on proving his legitimacy by assassinating the 'enemy's' character. While I certainly am no proponent of the ruling government- indeed it is a disgrace that they're still in power- I still believe in finding solutions. Not appropriating blame. It is impossible to hear a speech by Mr. Modi where there aren't sarcastic asides to Italian rule or double entendres about the government. This increasingly negative political dialogue seems to have seeped into everyone's psyche under the guise of nationalism. Unrealistic expectations from Mr. Modi are going to hurt all of us, he may not have the magic wand he professes to have- one wave and this country's misfortunes may not disappear.
It is a difficult balance though- we are a country that has been shamelessly taken for granted by the ruling party and government, all our money has been pocketed by scoundrels, we've been lectured about secularism when people are dying of hunger and we're privileged to a head of state as warm and accessible as a polar bear. Locked in their ivory towers, the ostrich power brokers see all and do nothing. But is the answer a man who does not brook criticism, whose methods are dictatorial, who doesn't seem to want anyone else's opinion?
Only time will tell. In the meantime is it too much to ask people to not dismiss those who disagree, to be respectful of others opinions? To not inundate social media and general conversation with the drool of their expectation, and to deal with the problems of today, not say that we need to pray to Nathuram Godse and thank him for what he did? This sort of behavior is crass, classless and as fascist as rumour would have it, a certain man is. A man, who, while I have great misgivings about- is apparently the only answer to the mess we're in today. I say 'answer' with more than an iota of question in my voice because historically, those who propose to have all the answers- lie.
And yes, I do wish for days when people were more tolerant, actually genuinely considered others' opinions and weren't dismissive. Then I realise that these musings will probably be swept away amidst mass hysteria for a man who I hope, for his sake and ours, can really do what he claims. Because, unfortunately- we're in hell with no doctors.