IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 17th October, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 1
Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & SECULARISM
Growing religious fundamentalism in India
Recent incidents of Dadri lynching, black paint on Sudhindra Kulkarni by Shiv Sena activists, have yet again reminded us of growing religious fundamentalism in India.
The Indian subcontinent has had a chequered history of communal conflicts and inter-religious disagreement have characterised its socio-political landscape.
In pre-partition era, the British policy of ‘divide and rule’ was in large measure considered to be responsible for interfaith divide.
After independence, the government took various measures in order to curb religious fundamentalism, however the orthodox Hindu politicians have often advanced their Hindutva agenda in order to gain electoral victory.
Understanding the concept of Hindutva:
V D Savarkar, an Indian independence activist coined the term Hindutva in 1923.
Hindutva is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India.
The three essentials of Hindutvaas defined by V D Savarkar are, common nation (rashtra), common race (jati) and common culture/civilisation (sanskriti).
Hindutva misinterpretated :
Hindutva is only Manavata, i.e., the characterisation of quality of Hindu in being a perfect human being.
A man cannot exist without the quality of humanity. Similarly, an Hindu cannot exist without Hindutva.
However this meaning has been misinterpreted as, creating an Hindu nation by eliminating different religious practices other than Hinduism.
This flawed interpretation has been misused by some right wing extremists for narrow parochial political gain, destroying the secular fabric of the country.
Threats from Islamic fundamentalism
India is also facing threats of Islamic fundamentalism which include threats from ISIS, Indian Mujahideen etc.
The Islamic fundamentalism has almost halted the progress of Jammu Kashmir and is impeding the development process of country by destroying peace and harmony.
What we lack?
What we lack in India is constructive talks on religion.
People in India resist any talks when it comes to religious interpretations and sayings.
Religion in India is considered to be sacred. People are ready to face the bad consequences of faulty religious interpretations but are not ready to have a discussion to come out with the right interpretation.
Iasbaba’s view :
Growing religious fundamentalism is a serious threat which can destroy the progress which India has achieved till date.
Government should take proactive steps through strengthening of national integration council, creating economic and emotional bondage among the citizens in order to ensure that unity in diversity is maintained.
Connecting the dots:
“Religion should not be the basis for division of state”, Critically examine the above statement wrt growing religious fundamentalism in India.
Critically examine the adequacy of various measures taken by the government in order to tackle religious fundamentalism in India.
General Studies 3: Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
General Studies 2: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.
Ombudsman in the time of social media:Networked Society or Networked Individualism?
Social structure and relationships are changing and technology has been on the forefront as a driver of this change. The networked individualism’s focus is more on the ‘self’ than the society as a whole, having lost its monolithic character.
Far from being embedded in groups, this ‘system’ is a type of special isolation from the society’s longstanding social arrangements and hierarchies. This system for multiple users also incorporate ‘multi-threaded multi-tasking’ leading to gaining new skills to operate, survive and gain the best out of it.
And with this ideology, technology has also brought into the forefront, two different components of media, the historical ‘legacy media’ and the offshoot of networked individualism’- Social Media (Constant updates, rants, bickering and ‘the touch effect’)
Paradox of “E”: Errors and Efforts
With a constant ‘touch networking’, news spread very easily and that too, at a very fast pace. If one may believe easily on just the ‘hashtags’ or an easy access to condemn a wrong without providing a ‘room for corrections’, it’d be a major blow to the notion and idea of a ‘responsible media’.
An earnest effort to accept mistakes and seek corrections to the same and also, mutual understanding between the two components of media is the need of the hour to initiate dialogue and establish the essence of
‘To err is human’, fits well with a lens that one should adopt to objectively view the current situation and recognize the importance of collective responsibility. Contrary to that, a constant nit-picking and constant nagging, leads to a situation of hostility and vengeance.
An Ombudsman is a part of the institutional mechanism to address the lapses and errors that creep in while taking care of the various reasons, even that of a ‘momentary lapse of concentration’. This will pave way for a culture of acceptance and thus rectification, and not punishment.
This rectification puts in place a sense of morality as well as a support and trust with the reporters, the readers, and a sense of a personal sense of responsibility to own up his/her own mistakes, if committed later. With confidence instilled, a healthy and a profitable rapport is, thus built with the reader.
Verification of facts should take place from impeccable sources as well as, they should be ready to answer even discomforting queries, without being defensive of the ‘pointed-out errors’ as questions are being asked to not only protect them but also give necessary traction for their journalism
Literature of Media needs to showcase a fair interpretation of what exactly is ‘editorial freedom’ and how is it constituted. The principle of objective reporting cannot be deviated from and an Ombudsman can help establish this sense of faith, for the readers to form their own opinion based on the reports.
Social Media has gained much importance today but the constant ‘twitter squabbles’ and ‘opinionated-arguments’ need to be taken care of as it spreads a sense of negativity over the internet, the second home of many. Also, it needs to adopt a toned-down approach and not bring the house down with digitally inclined allegations and should lend a hand to support the ones who falter.
Lobbying and unfair practice of a putting the nexus of reporters and politicians into play while writing the newspaper report should be curbed as it has the power to sway the public’s opinion and thus, their sense of responsibility gets nullified and commercialized.
Connecting the Dots:
Write short notes on:
Media: Problem-generating machine
‘We have to, as responsible citizens, seek out those facts that might make us angry’. Discuss