India: Is negativity the way forward?

By Darshan Mondkar

Somewhere in 2013-14, if not earlier, a vicious campaign was started against the incumbent Congress Government by the BJP and its allies.

A campaign which focussed on the supposed evils of Congress. An outrage was fanned in the minds of the common people, whether manufactured or otherwise. The campaign was more of a smear campaign based on a negative publicity for Congress with a copious amount of “Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi” (The Nation will not forgive you), which led to the dessimation of Congress in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

I will not go into the authenticity or the lack of it of this campaign, as that is not the point of context of my post. But this campaign was hugely successful.

Up came Modi, riding on a white horse. The savior of India. The man who would take India to new heights. The man who would deliver thou from all evil….an evil whose name was, allegedly, Congress.

This is perhaps the time when hate and smear was capitalized on to ensure a victory. No, its not like this was used for the first time in history. It was just used for perhaps the first time on such a massive nationwide scale.

The aftermath of this hate propagation still remains amongst us.

When I look around me today, I see a nation consumed with hate.

There is a constant and almost a conscious vilification of anyone and everyone.

Whether it is a political rival or your business competitor or just someone with a viewpoint which does not confirm to your own.

Whether it is a Nehru, or a Gandhi, or a Rajiv, or an Indira, or a Gauri Lankesh, or even Mother Theresea, for that matter. The amount of vitriol which is being spewed against every person, living or dead, has unsettled what used to be a civic discourse, some time back.

The contempt ranges from making acerbic comments on the attempts at glorification of such people, to wishing them dead or rejoicing their death.

And this is not restricted just to politics or public figures. This has seeped in all around us.

Whether it is in reality shows like Bigg Boss which are more about the fights and hateful comments that people make on the show rather than about achivements in tasks.

Whether it is in songs in, what should be inspirational, movies like Gold, where “Hum Sabko Harake Ghar Laayenge Gold” attempts to celebrate the defeat of others without mentioning the Victory of your own self.

Whether it is the viral video of the PayTm owner, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who was drunk and dancing because, “Jo humare saath nahi hai wo to gayaaaa” in which it seemed, the destruction of others gave him more happiness than his own accomplishments.

Whether the amount of distress aid given depends on which side of the fence the people are on.

Whether rejoicing or sympathising with people in calamity depends on which ideological spectrum they belong to.

Whether one “Brightness” cream has a marketing campaign based on how bad the other “Fairness” cream is.

Whether you are being urged to buy Swadeshi, Shudh Desi products by being goaded against “Western Influence” and not because of the competency of those products.

Or whether the sole reason of your faith, religion and Nationalism is based on how much you hate some other religion or country and not what your own actions define you as.

Each one of these incidents and many more like these gives one a feeling that the idea of one-upmanship these days is not about how good I am, it is about how bad my competitor is.

The rejoicing is not about one’s own victory as much as it is about the defeat of others.

This is a pattern not only in one select group of people. Its across the entire spectrum of the mass. Its just that the Heroes and the Villains change. Everything, even multi-dimensional people, are black and white. Its either you are on my side, which makes you white, or you are black (or vice versa).

In these bleak times, where hate rules majority of the mindset, Rahul Gandhi comes as a small ray of hope.

When Rahul Gandhi stood up in the Parliament during the no-confidence motion and said, “I do not have even an iota of hate against you” or when he made a speech in a rally in which he said, “It doesnt matter what the BJP calls me, but I will not make personal slanderous comments against them. I would rather talk about the issues”, it gave me a small glimmer of hope.

You can watch Rahul Gandhi’s video here

Hope that there is someone who has a positive outlook towards dealing with things.

No, I am not saying that Rahul Gandhi is a great leader. I am also not saying that he would make an able Prime Minister. I am also not saying that he is what India needs in future. I am not bothered by electoral politics and the subsequent victories and defeats. What I am saying is that Rahul Gandhi is definitely a better person.

If a person who has been abused, ridiculed and made a National joke out of can stand up in public and hug his opponent, irrespective of their political differences, it definitely makes him a bigger man.

The same, however, cannot be said about those who follow Rahul Gandhi or berate others to vote for him.

Evidently, their idolization of Rahul Gandhi does not mean that they are going to emulate his virtues.

But then again, that does not surprise me.

Gandhi ji spent his entire life preaching peace and non-violence, but the moment he was shot dead, his own followers jumped up and started rioting against the community that his murderer belonged to. I suppose the lessons of non-violence by Gandhi which these same people who nodded to were simply falling on deaf ears and never percolated down to their hearts.

Now, with the narrative of hate that is engulfing everyone around us, it would be only a matter of time before we understand, if India will rise above hate and get back to restoring the civility, love and compassion that India was known for or will the Nation itself would be devoured by the dark clouds of hate that surround us.

I for one would like the former to happen because I refuse to be drawn into the hate of others. I will continue to spread the narrative of love and togetherness, because that is my idea of India and I refuse to counter the hate narrative by an equally hateful but opposite narrative. That’s the choice I am making for myself.

You, my friends, have to make your own choice for yourself.

It is fine if you don’t agree with my choice, it is also okay if you hate me, call me a Soft Sanghi or a Bhakt as some of you have already called me.

I would rather be hated for my LOVE than be loved for my HATE.

Disclaimer: If anyone has a problem with me not being a part of your hate filled discourse, its your problem, not mine. BECAUSE: Your hate is your hate, none of my hate 😉

One thought on “India: Is negativity the way forward?

  1. No body among all politicians particularly and any celebrity generally has said such nice , humane and truely democratic statements after Gandhi age was gone .
    Three cheers to Rahul Gandhi .
    My sincere thanks to him for an attempt to instill sanity in public discourse.

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