Taking the Hoi Polloi to the Point of No Return

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The more people accuse each other of extremism, the more extremist the accused become. It’s like the thief gets inured to being called thief again and again and the alleged easy woman soon loses inhibition and embraces the sobriquet. The rebel rebels more and the prodigal goes away. If and when he returns, he returns on his own terms. Here’s a tongue-n-cheek analysis, for Different Truths.

“What the hell’s going on?” That’s the kind of rhetorical question that marks time these days. Everybody’s railing against the guy/gal opposite. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj loses her Facebook profile after she corrects passport officer Vikas Mishra’s discretion to deny a passport to the ‘wife’ in an interfaith couple. Swaraj’s swaraj in her ministry gets trampled and her “bought kidney” gets called “Islamic” and gored on social media.

Vikas Mishra has ‘Vikas’ in his name and the Modi government swears by ‘Sabka Vikas’. But Vikas Mishra is not ‘sabka’ Vikas. That’s the allegation against him AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi took to town. Now, it emerges Vikas Mishra was right in denying the ‘wife’ her passport because she lied on “address”.

That said the whole brouhaha could have been avoided if the passport officer had placed it in writing to his immediate boss that the ‘wife’ in the interfaith couple has given false details to secure a passport. When the dam broke, he could have posted his missive to his boss on Twitter and Owaisi would not have made a mess.

The fact of the matter is things are getting worse from bad in the country. “Adults” on the left and right are taking things to a point of no return. Verbal violence has risen to a crescendo. Physical violence cannot be far behind.

Going by the rhetoric, fundamental rights apply selectively. The “opposite guy” has no freedom of expression. If he speaks too much, right or wrong, he’s indulging in hate speech. “My views are protected by the Constitution, his view is not,” says the guy on the right, and the guy on the left.

To the hoi polloi, watching from the sidelines, it’s quite interesting. Idiots are jumping up and down in glee at the free entertainment on display. Arun Jaitley calls Indira Gandhi ‘Hitler’ and the chap on the right gets an orgasm. Sanjay Jha alludes to Narendra Modi as a ‘Nazi in disguise’ and the fellow on the left returns the compliment! All so funny, and comic relief, to mundane lives.

But ignore the risks involved and the ones who will pay will be the hoi polloi. No politician, no Bollywood-type or Richie Rich found themselves getting their tubes stitched on the nasbandi-table in 1975-76-77. Those who got their family-tree uprooted were the common folk, the pastoral!

More letters like the ‘pastoral’ should be addressed to the hoi polloi, of all faiths, asking them to vote intelligently, choose Members of Parliament in 2019 who are relatively good guys, the best among the lot lined up by political parties. It’s a tall task but ‘what the hell!’

Let’s agree on one fact: There is no ‘Hitler’ or ‘Nazi’ in India of today, and probably wasn’t one there, ever. But keep talking ‘Hitler’ and ‘Nazi’ and people will start wondering and “all hell can break loose”. That’s what the law of progression states. Time is always on the move to a black hole and that is irrefutable.

The more people accuse each other of extremism, the more extremist the accused become. It’s like the thief gets inured to being called thief again and again and the alleged easy woman soon loses inhibition and embraces the sobriquet. The rebel rebels more and the prodigal goes away. If and when he returns, he returns on his own terms.

Keep thumbing the nose at someone and he’s liable to slice off a couple of noses. That’s the danger in rhetoric. Media – roaring, rip-roaring media – has a large part in roiling people on both sides of the divide. Television news channels spread muck at 8-9 pm primetime and watch the poisonous hate take hold.

Republic TV invites 8-10 guests every night, put them in boxes, and host Arnab Goswami calls them every worthless epithet in the book – ‘anti-national’’, ‘lowlife’, ‘stupid’ etcetera, etc. the Lutyen’s Delhi media gets the stick from Mumbai’s television mob boss and Goswami gets a good night’s sleep.

It’s as if there are no “adults” in the television news media. Name one celeb-anchor who’s not biased and that will be like T-Rex exists! The television news media is right now in Ice Age. Frigid blocks of innuendo and rhetoric that strike all the wrong chords in the hoi polloi. People are being misled by their nostrils to a decadent Valhalla.

Common folk on the left and the right, and those on the fence, which is a very uncomfortable perch, should read between the lines and decide. What’s being put to them is coloured with bias. The media today, at least the TV news media, doesn’t have to bend or crawl. They’re wholly in this or that camp.

Confused? Well, that’s what the whole shebang is about: Keep the hoi polloi confused, till the point of no return. The 10 boxes on Republic TV; the six or seven in Times Now; an equal number on CNN-News 18 and NDTV; Rajdeep Sardesai handing out lessons to four or five box-heads on India Today TV; these are where confusion gets cooked and served to dudes in drawing rooms.

No wonder an EAM gets trolled and is called ‘Visa Mata’ because she wants to give a fresh lease on life to an innocent child with a hole in the heart in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Sushil Kutty
©IPA Service 

Photo from the Internet