For centuries the quest and the greed for ruling more and more land and controlling a large number of people gave birth to one of the most destructive terms in human dictionary . The term is WAR.
It has walloped huge number of human lives , consumed cities and villages alike , destroyed good work of the generations and spread the venom of hatred.
Most of us today, are lucky, that we have ben born in a generation ,that might not see a World war or any war for that matter. Yess, there are a few unfortunate ones in countries ,which don’t look a dime, like what they did a few decades ago.
But, our generation is witnessing a very different kind of a war. A war that is aimed at your minds and senses rather than your bodies. Apart from countries , which still are kingdoms, we still see WARS to rule over the people , these wars use the euphemism called ‘ELECTIONS’. Obviously, this is then new channel to rule over people . Times have changed, but the greed to be in power has remained the same for the mankind.
However, the question that remains is, what are the weapons that we see or use in these wars today?
The main ammunation in this democratic warfare is THE FAKE INFORMATION. As more and more people get access to education,somehow, the ability to think ,analyze and reason seems to be diminishing with people. The impact of visuals and verbatism on Social media has been having long term impact on the peoples beliefs and most of them, though unwillingly ,are finding themselves taking sides and thinking of themselves as foot soldiers out to make their belief win. Unfortunately, each one of us believes, that ,my belief is the only right belief,it’s the other party that needs to introspect and not me.
With Social media marketing taking a centre stage , the biggest advantage that these political parties have is, that the source of the data or thought that is being propagated, cannot be traced and more importantly, most people will believe and propagate the information ,without thinking about the accuracy or authenticity of these fake propagandas.
The wars today are being fought with the propagation of these FAKE INFORMATION, which due to its repeated hammering makes people accept it as to be true. This over a period of time, is registered so strongly in poeples mind, that they tend to become blind to the ground realities, though it keeps staring them right in the face all the time.
These days the Election wars across the globe are being won, by the Weapons of fake propaganda that creates a perception.
Our generation, need to pause for a moment and look at the information around us, though we might struggle to verify each one of them, we need to have an attitude where we reject the information or the thought, unless there is at least some plausible explanation or a credible source behind it. We cannot let our minds fall prey to keyboard warriors ,who are out to impose a thought or an ideology on your minds.
We need to go back to the pre digital era, have a free mind, don’t need that clutter of information all the time, basically, we don’t need to know everything. We need to look , analyze ,assess and decide for ourselves,rather than just going with the flow.
Intelligence is not about knowing something, its about applying it to analyse something which is known or told.
We ,the people, need to understand that these FAKE INFORMATION BOMBS, provide the cover fire for the corrupt and illicit activities that the governments want to push through as we keep haggling over non issues. At the end of the day, if elections are fought and won on perceptions, the governments then will have no pressure to perform, and that’s the most enticing gain of this game. All governments today know ,that they can survive the anti incumbency by creating a perception of greater acheivements, which exists only in the creative minds of the digital marketing cells across the globe.
There are people and parties , who are bombarding these fake information bombs at you every second of the day, you need to decide whether to duck under them or be blown away.
Every time I return to my Facebook account,the moment i start scrolling through the feeds,posts and shares, one thing that always strikes me is, the amount of Anti Muslim and Anti Islam thought process that is being perforated through the social media. Years back ,when this was gaining momentum, i did feel bad about it, but now it just doesn’t bother me, as a little analysis makes it very obvious what the scenario is.
using a simple google search , i found the following
“According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths). Christianity is the 3rd largest religion in India.”
also, in India,there are 29 states. This means, that in every five years there are going to be at least 29 state elections and one Lok sabha election. so with an average of 6 elections a year , an election is always around the corner. The current coalition government got 38.5% vote share in 2014 elections and this was more than enough for them to get a whopping 336 seats in a house where 272 was the majority.
The aim always is to get this 38% votes from the 79.8% population, but still the elections are always about the 14.2% muslim population. How swiftly people like Tipu sultan, Akbar or Jinnah come alive for a few weeks and then disappear into some old history books. How suddenly azaan and beef become national issues only to be forgotten in a fortnight.
I feel India has to be a miracle country , if 14% population can control the entire electorate or the voting pattern of the nation. There might be a few seats where the minority community can have a say , but simple mathematics suggests that they just cannot swing an election in somebody’s favour or against them.
Then why so much rhetoric about Muslims and Islam ?
Well, the idea is simple, the parties don’t care about this 14%, they need to get the consolidated votes from the Majority community. In India, with the diversity that we have in terms of castes , communities, eating habits ,preferences etc , it is impossible to get all 79% people under a single umbrella based on a manifesto, that talks about development. Well, if that is not possible, then the only factor that can do this is FEAR.
North Korea, for years has been facing this. Their dictators, present USA and the other western world as the forces out to destroy N. Korea,there by ensuring that the people, by will or by fear will always show an allegiance to the existing government.
In Indian politics, a Muslim is that common ‘DEMON’. Irrespective of your caste and creed the 79% population is being made to believe that these people are a threat to us and hence the only agenda should be to unite against them. Moment this happens, nobody cares about the performance of the governments and the people vote thinking of certain parties as their saviours.
Though, a large chunk of Hindu population sees through this gimmick, still even if 30% hindus vote in a consolidated manner for a party, that party can easily form the government.
The Anti muslim rhetoric, is not about muslims at all, it’s about scaring the hindus so that the votes can be consolidated. ask a normal hindu, how many times he or she has been threatened by a muslim or ask a muslim when was he or she threatened by a hindu, i am sure the answers would be null.Though there are politically motivated fringe events, by and large, when I walk out on the roads here ,I interact with the people from other communities, i can’t find the ones whom i see on social media on regular basis.
This rhetoric, in a longer run will affect Hindus more than Muslims, as whatever good or bad happens to the country, more Hindus will gain or lose as compared to muslims.The country has always been about Hindus as they are a majority community and it will always be like that.
The day this artificial DEMON called Muslim becomes redundant, Hindus will then be divided by these political parties on the basis of caste or race or region for that matter. Coz, unless they have a common DEMON , they are not going to enjoy the majority vote share.
There are countries like Pakistan ,Afghanistan etc, where though all people belong to same religion, they have had worse battles and wars, coz its not about religion, it’s about the will to take power at any cost. Islam came into existence 1400 years back, India as a nation and as a culture has existed since forever. look at the history prior to Islam, we will still find lot of blood baths and battles ,coz again it was all about being in power.
As an Indian Muslim, Whatever anyone might say about Hindus or Hinduism, I can never hate or have ill feeling about them, as i meet lot of my Hindu friends day in and day out and my judgements are based on my personal experiences and no dummy key board warriors can change that.
i request all my Hindu friends, to reach out a Muslim friend and you will know, that Muslim is that made up DEMON, being used to manipulate your votes, nothing more and nothing less.
Its still all about the majority votes, Muslims are just the pawn on the chess board of the Indian politics.
Anyone travelling to India, will agree, that no visit to India is complete without visiting its maximum city, MUMBAI. Obviously, for any visitor the usual tourist spots like the Gateway of India or the Elephanta caves or Haji Ali Dargah are on the list,but ,if you are a tourist, who wants to feel the vibe of the city or wants to experience something,that only this city can offer, then here is the list for you :
Mumbai Local Trains:
If you are from USA or UK or any other western country, then am sure, you would have experienced the peak hour rush while travelling on the Undergroud in London or Subway in New york. But, when in Mumbai ,do experience the fun (and not so fun for many) of travelling in the mumbai local trains. One big difference s , that Mumbai locals are not closed unlike the underground or the subway. Trust me, the crowd on a non peak hour , will still be much higher than peak hour rush in any other country. My sincere advice is, no non Mumbaikar should try travelling at peak hours, just for the fun, visit just the station at peak hours and you will know what i mean.
Catch a Bollywood Movie:
Catching a Hollywood flick at Piccadily circus or a play at the West end or a musical at the Times square might be a routine for some of you, but watching a latest bollywood release in Mumbai is a very different or dare i say a better experience. I firmly believe, that movie going experience in mumbai in way better than most coountries in the world. The luxurious theatres, awsome services, never ending queue of patrons makes is so much fun. So , next time in Mumbai, do catch a bollywood flick on a Friday or a Saturday evening at one of the plush theatres near you.
Enjoy an IPL game:
For beginners , who do not follow cricket , let me just inform you, that cricket is India’s number 1 sport and Mumbai is one of the most important centres of the game. IPL (Indian Premier League), is Indias premium T20 Cricket tournament (similar to EPL ) but is played only in the months of April and May. Even if you dont understand cricket, visiting the Landmark Wankhede stadium for a game ,just for the experience ,will be well worth it. 33000 screaming fans, never ending energy,deafening sound, its difficult to match up anywhere in the world.just make sure, that you book your tickets well in advance.
Ride an Auto Rickshaw :
Public transport ,across the globe comes in various shapes and sizes, but nothing like an auto rickshaw. People ,who have traveled to Thailand, might find it similar to tuk-tuk’s , but auto rickshaws are much cheaper and easily available,do take a ride.
Visit a Ganpati Pandal:
Though, India is a country of festivals, in Mumbai, nothing compares to Ganesh chaturthi. If you are around during this festival (around aug-sept every year) , a visit to a local Ganpati Pandal will be an experience of a lifetime. The beautiful decor, courteous people, awesome mithai (sweets) distributed as sweets and long queues of devotees , makes it one of a kind. When in lords city, do visit him, its enriching.
Mumbai offers world cuisine and wherever you are from, you will find your food. But, mumbai street food is one of its kind. You should surely sample Vada Pav ,Pav Bhaji and Pani puri in Mumbai. Though, maker sure you make a request for a non spicy one.
The last thing you should buy in Mumbai ,are brands. you can always buy them in your home city. Mumbai, offers huge amount of street shopping right from apparel to books to beauty products to everything. If , you can bargain well, you will end up buying a whole lot of stuff, whithout causing a hole in your pockets.