The Challenge With-in & in Neighbour-hood and Political Parties

by Amit Bhushan on Monday 4 March 2019, 5:52 PM | Category: Politics| View: 292 views


The Challenge With-in & in Neighbour-hood and Political Parties

                                By: Amit Bhushan                            Date: 3rd March 2019


The Challenge in this article is for the policy-makers, both India as well as in its Neighbour-hood. That is, to deal with increasingly assertive ‘liberal majority', in a democratic or a partially democratic polity. Earlier the word ‘liberal' was associated with submissive, tolerant types, who would let ‘anything' pass-by without batting an eyelid. Now, in the ‘Social-media yug', such denizens who watched in muted mode as policy-makers ‘performed duty of policy-making without taking any feedback', are getting to ‘voice' their opinion and are also able to influence policy. This may not be entirely free as the political parties would also deploy a litany of ‘agents' to trend their respective ‘lines'. However quite a few ‘lines' from these ‘independent denizens' would still manage to ‘beat' the ‘forcibly trending lines'.  What's the causality is ‘agenda setting' which was controlled by Netas in ‘Ruling party', ‘with selected Netas in Opposition' and ‘a handful of select journos'. Now, a set of ‘social media' watchers within political parties are forced to respond to the ‘independently trending lines' as well, as some others would ‘tend to ride on such lines'. The ‘role of businesses including intl. charities (though a good number of charities from other democratic countries need to be left alone, may be)' in sponsorship of the ‘political trending lines' is now getting exposed with vigour, but still much needs to be done here. While politics in India is going through some transformation, however little such reports are emanating from culturally similar neighbourhood and reasons for the same is not being explored either by the media within or those from the outside.

What is now likely to be watched is evolution of a more ‘assertive' institution/s, which can withstand ‘political pulls and pressures' from the Netas, unlike in past, when most such institutions could be manipulated rather easily and this phenomenon needs to set-in. This happened earlier the senior officials in most institutions had to necessarily trust Neta's opinion as ‘public's opinion' with little to counter-question. There is criticism of the ‘assertive denizens on social media' in the ‘commercial news media' even as they look other way when such individuals are unable to ‘raise voice/s' in other countries. In fact, many Netas and journos would want that their ‘business' of defining electoral agendas continues incessant without break and ‘assertive denizens' on social media are seen as an obstruction to the same. In fact, seems like the Netas and journos in the region (in particular, the two countries) would like to ‘celebrate' the hyper-nationalistic sentiments while defining ‘electoral agendas' rather than focus on the ‘topics trending independently'. In fact the ‘role of defaulting businesses' and ‘sundry rogue charities' that manage to corner public funds from ‘within as well as outside' on the back of ‘political support', is being side-lined from public scrutiny. Such finance is used by a minority to define ‘public agenda' with the ‘commercial news media' also falling in support taking the ‘silent liberals' for a ride. This is more of a problem in the smaller neighbor but that India too is not bereft of the problem, and a small group would continue to use such funds to drive nuisance every now & then.

The fact is media of a country came in for ‘some select criticism' during the ‘tough period' recently, without scrutiny of the media in other country about continued strangulation of voices, many of which fear to bring out ‘opinions' in open, as gun-trotting trigger happy rogues roam about freely, within. The fact, is such ‘opinion' was marketed by self-positioned ‘peace-seeking media', without analyzing overall (relative) situation on ‘individual liberties' may not depict a correct picture. Also, it is assumes that wild masses would set in to take control and spread war-hysteria, and this happens only on social media which is not correct as commercial news media is equally gullible. The fact is if left to flourish, social media would turn enough focus on developmental needs of the people so that it leaves little time and room for war-mongers, unless well-sponsored (from guess who could do it).  What would have been better is an analysis of an overall situation of ‘freedom of expression' is affected nations. In fact the same media will dwell over volumes of history between the nations including wars in past on different situations and play its part in war mongering. While the author may not pride himself about the knowledge and understanding of history, however given that most people are never war-mongers, so there is this steadfast belief that given more of the ‘independent opinions' are out in a ‘free society', the tendency for wars and violence would decline. Not that social media is much friendly elsewhere, however such comparison is almost never made, and in a free democracy (the news media in India at least was trying this ‘earlier'). This is said even as much of the ‘commercial news media' on ‘both' sides celebrated ‘war mongers', which is undeniable as the ‘habit' of such media is to be event-driven with mad rush to ‘sell news and views'. It remains, one of the unfinished task of the social media to put this on record for public consumption.

What is important from Indian polity point is that the skeletons in cup-board from the past are dispersed liberally across the regions and in all the political parties, which should be brought to focus rather than ‘sponsored news items'. The ‘ruling Netas' here are better equipped to ‘hide' their's on account of institutional behavior imbibed over the years and therefore balancing act required from the new media. However, instead of getting the institutions ready to handle the challenges of the future, Netas and parties want continued focus on such ‘skeletons' for political interests with each pointing to ‘skeletons' in other's cup-board. There are few Netas analyzing the ‘gaps' within present existing institutional set ups, their structure and philosophy, operations style and that remains even as some of the premiere investigative bodies come-in for strictures from the Apex court. The fact is that event-driven journos as well as event-driven Netas, who seem to be lost about their electoral agenda. In part it is also about their own skeletons, which may be concern. Its high time, the Netas with greater understanding about institutional gaps & set ups begin asserting themselves in the political arena. This is evan as some of the select media's has definitely put in some efforts (in this arena) and their role has also been appreciated in the social media. The polity is definitely in need to better understand the ‘trends and technology' including ‘social behavior/reactions' and hopefully they would come to grip this fast and in time. Let the ‘Game' evolve.... 

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