Me against Information Pollution!

This post is not a knowledgeable political commentary. It is neither propagating any particular political ideology or party. Nor is it a misplaced demonstration of the author’s understanding of what is right or wrong. It is most definitely a manifestation of the many questions that linger in my mind, incidentally germinated by recent interactions I had with friends and acquaintances on the emergence of a true viable “third” alternative on the political front and its validity.

The AAP has managed to do many things within and beyond Delhi in the past couple of months. The most important IMHO is creating this nagging sense inside many political novices and current-affairs noobs to have an opinion about the politics of the country. I believe now, more than ever, there are people trying to get themselves informed about governance and the lapses that have happened in the past and purportedly happening now.

Everybody seems to have an opinion on the AAP – an entity non-existent 1 year back. And rightly so, since each is entitled to one. The problem I’m observing, though, is the absence of neutrality while judging them. There’s always some bias they come with. Either a pre-existing political affiliation (right-wing, right extremist, liberals, leftist what have you!), a propagandized youtube video (like the all-knowing uncle declaring Congress’ grand plan) or news article or simply a half-baked sensationalist news tidbit. Add to that the irresistible urge to force another person into conforming to your belief system – “I think party A is the right choice and so should you! And this is why”…followed by a barrage of objects to substantiate this argument.

What is required and what I have been practicing on myself, to some success, is not make any judgments until one has read and understood enough. These could help you form your own opinion rather than mutely reflecting somebody else’s.

- Resolve to stay rooted to this neutral stance, irrespective of who is trying to manipulate you. I’m not saying one need not be open minded. That will surely defeat the purpose.

- One needs to be receptive to all points of view and form one’s own opinion without prejudice, aided by rationale and facts. It also needs to be realized that this is a continual process and your opinion should be free to be refined based on ongoing events.

- Carefully choose your sources of information. (I watch TV news channels only for the sports section). Get the information from the horse’s mouth or “The Hindu” (which I believe is one of the very few newspapers which tries to stay neutral) or the many brilliant political commentators out there.

- Its difficult to understand the dynamics of a political party as a whole. But understanding individuals is a tad easier. So evaluate the men that make the party. Get more informed about their backgrounds and experiences which aided in making up their personalities and consequently their ideologies. There’re gems everywhere – Yogendra Yadav, Subramaniam Swamy to name a few.

The gist…you can only see through biases and propaganda if you have not already formed an opinion. So stay neutral until you’re informed enough.