I guess I am having a lot of free time or perhaps my being from JNU, currently the row throughout the world, I have been dabbling into a lot of debates in this regard, mostly on the social media (Facebook). However, I try to make it a point that I engage with only the people I know. The passions are too high, especially in the people associated with JNU. And there is chance that the debate might turn sour and debaters would step down to the level of getting personal or generalizing the person in front, as if the debater represents everyone who, supposedly, vouches for the idea he is speaking for.
I saw one post by one of my juniors. I do not know her that well, but yes you can say that I have met her and feel that a debating spirit would be there in her. As we were discussing our viewpoints, mine being the right and hers being the left.
So, it all began with a post by her on Facebook about an article on Scroll.com titled: "Soon, a government media cell will track and counter negative content". Her post goes as follows:
So, in true JNU spirit, I made a comment. (Let me clear out here, if you are a hard-core left cadre without a mind of your own and a proper decorum, please leave out from here. You may probably not like it further.)
I had both mixed feeling as an academician/researcher as well as, no surprises, my leanings towards the so called 'right' wing thought process in India.
Speaking my mind out, I said he following:
"That is a reality check. As long as the right to dissent and having a different view is safeguarded, there is no harm in having a system like this. In the current TRP hungry media houses, twitter handles, individuals seeking limelight have gone down the level of sensationalising everything. Many a times half truths or just fake things are propagated that goes viral and wastes so much of public energy. If a system like this can be used effectively to gauge such fake posts, propaganda based on lies etc., I think it should be supported."
Does it sound political? The screenshots below will show you how the conversation unfolded and ended up going political and then to hurling abuses.
The conversation has already reached a dead end here. But it may still have continued to reach an amicable end of the dialogue. Decorum was there. But then came a true intellectual, Abhimanyu Ray with such a nice link the truth which stands revealed today (as arrest warrants have been issued against the advocates).
And this followed with a stereotyping comment comment generalizing everyone in the right as cowards, rapists and bhakt. As if you are a right lenient person, you are certainly a Bhakt of Modi and RSS. As if there was no right thought process before the advent or Modi and RSS. As if the right thought process has borne out of RSS and no other countries have it and it simply does not exist anywhere else apart from India.
And for the person knew from JNU, she does not feel that the conversation has been desecrated by badmouthing it.
So, yes, do not think that only the right wing people hurl abuses and practise badmouthing. The left has quite a few of them and those who also knows the decorum will support it when it comes from their comrades but shout out because it came from someone you do not even know (be it a news channel, a report or propaganda material. They will hold you personally responsible for it.)
And that is how you kill the dialogue between the left and the right! Are we looking for friction or explosion or simply annihilation of each other? They say India has grown intolerant. Come on, see for yourself. Who is intolerant? It is the opposition, the left intellectuals in particular who feel threatened.
God save he country! (Sorry, if your sentiments are hurt with the name of God, but I am also an atheist, and follow the nirguna thought of spiritualism though take care that I do not hurt the sentiments of the ones following the saguna. See, my concepts are so archaic.).
PS: Diti, perhaps you know me. Not every right lenient person makes threat for rape just as not every left winger dismembers everyone supporting the state (perhaps, in your dictionary, the evil, whether necessary or not). And perhaps, you, like many of my other juniors, have made a lot of progress while a right winger like me has remained stagnant all through these years, despite spending a decade in JNU.