The on-going Lok Sabha elections in India are unarguably the flavour of the season and are trending popularly just as ‘mango’ should trend in summers. Interestingly, this year Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interview to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is one of the prime reasons why people can’t get over the mango mania and the phallon ka raja, with its new-found fame, can give every other beleaguered fruit, undergoing a major FOMO, a run for its money.
But to think of it, who’s really being given a run for its money?
Didn’t like the answer? Then change it.
Was is it the first time in your life you heard the word ‘mango’ or was it the first time in your life you heard the word ‘mango’ in this fashion across all possible public media?
You know the question that deserves to be given a thought to.
Elections are not just the most crucial event of a Democracy; they are also festival-like celebrations largely for two stakeholders that benefit the most from it – Politics and Media.
And, in what is called the ‘Dance of Democracy’, there’s only one section of the society that shakes its sanity and mind to the tunes of the politicians and media-houses – ‘aam’ janta, the public that has nothing to do with why and how mangoes are relished by a certain representative of their rightful living in a nation, who’s bound to ensure that it’s the janta that is provided with all the basic necessities to consume the aam in peace.
However, if you, as a common man, are not at peace then nobody else is to be blamed but you. And, that peace is costing you time and in turn, money.
Just like you, be it Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi, everyone is doing their job. They have to make themselves heard and market their positioning in whichever way it seeps into the soul of the nation. If you find their job to be inter-mingling with yours, then you can draw a line to restrict your involvement in politics and elections, a boundary that won’t collapse your world if you don’t have an unasked opinion on the best leader or who should be voted in power but will certainly help you live a normal, peaceful life.
Here are my personal few hacks that I always swear on to during the elections –
Noise Is Not News
It is famously said, “When dog bites a man, it is not news. When man bites a dog, it is news.” Nobody ever analysed the authenticity of news in a situation where a man could be forced to bite a dog.
We are living in the times where the possibilities of a man biting a dog, willingly or forcefully, are more than a dog biting a man. It could be news but it is certainly noisy. And, that which makes noise should be maintained distance from.
Earth will still revolve around the run if you stop watching and paying heed to news that doesn’t affect your life.
There’s a reason why any technological device comes with a dedicated button for switching it on and off. Find that button in your own self because there’s a need for it all the more in the times where news and noise is being shoved from all corners and no matter how much you think you can defend yourself, the chances of the cacophony drilling itself into you are more than ever.
There’s no need to subscribe to Whatsapp groups that take away your truth and leave you with fakery or news channels that serve agendas or social media timelines that are full of people puking political opinions.
You have the button. Don’t forget to switch off.
Understand that it is true that citizens of any country are affected by its Politics and Elections but the grave level at which it has been allowed to become a part of the human system is a matter of deep concern. It not only has a negative impact on the humanity at large but it takes the simplicity away from the normal day-to-day life.
It is amusingly sad that the discussions around politics and elections often appear to be picked up by humans as naturally as eating or breathing.
Are you an expert to discuss politics? Does your profession directly deal with politics and related subjects? Do you back your opinions in public with authentic knowledge and arguments from trustworthy sources? Or, are you talking about politics and elections on social media just because everyone else is?
One cannot deny the possibility of the last question being a common answer to all the other questions. You don’t have to discuss politics and elections only to raise your importance or show off your opinions, backings, affiliations – it is absolutely okay to not share, keep it to yourself and earn back your moments of peace and neutrality.
Bigotry isn’t alien to the present times where people just cannot stand other people for having an opinion that doesn’t match with theirs.
First thing first, do a self-check during a random political discussion whether your opinion was asked or not, if asked, whether it will matter or not and if it matters, whether it will bring a substantial change or not. Unless you are a speaker, leader, expert or orator at a public forum where you have been invited to speak on politics and elections, let me break this to you – your opinion will always remain unasked and neither it will matter nor it will change anything except giving you a high of becoming a social-media star in your own head.
And, on top of it, if you are trying to impose that opinion on people by moving every mountain to prove yourself right, then you are doing a disservice to democracy and more importantly, to yourself for having this severe need to be accepted and looked up to.
Don’t impose yourself or your opinions in the matters like politics or elections where everyone has their own respective, rightful opinion based on their own individualistic understanding and experiences.
Your responsibility as an individual, as a part of a nation is to do your duties rightfully and strive to be a good citizen.
If you are throwing garbage on streets, spitting on roads, violating laws, committing crimes, skipping to vote and doing everything that doesn’t hold you in good light or spirit of a true, progressive nation, then what’s the point of involving yourself in anything that has to do with politics or elections?
Introspect and ask yourself if you are first focussed enough to become a better citizen of India with each passing day. Then, should your focus go elsewhere.
If you are training to become a public servant or for a larger cause like activism or thinking to float your own political party, then too, it all starts from containing yourself and transferring that energy to achieve goals not randomly throwing yourself away in the public domain or get consumed by it.
Be it social or mainstream media, the amount of negative reporting, blame-gaming, stripping oppositions and ‘against campaigning’ that has taken over our lives calls for immediate attention. Again, nobody has imposed it on us. We have ourselves let it flow into our lives.
Listening to take-down speeches might give you a high but it isn’t going to add anything substantial to your being. Just to mention, it is also called ‘sadism’ – you will derive absolutely nothing out of it except for few moments of toxic joy.
Tune in from pessimism to optimism just like how you switch to a desired station on a radio.
Block out negative reviews, views or opinions. Stay positive.
From voting procedure to counting process to results to forming the government, unless you are a direct stakeholder in any of these functions, there isn’t a reason for you to not keep calm and political opinions to yourself and if you are one of those who really can’t then there’s news for you – some things don’t matter and never will.
Featured Pic courtesy: Hindustan Times