Sunday, May 08, 2011

Facebook politics

Friend requests come from religious hardliners and right-wing chest-thumpers. Also from leftists, libertarians, atheists, humanists. Last week, I was surprised to see a request from a student whose political views were listed as democratic. Surprised, because it is so rare.
Very few people choose ‘democracy’ when asked for their political views. In fact, I’ve gotten used to responses like: ‘I hate politics’. Or ‘Nil’. Or ‘xxxxx’... And this, I worry, is at the heart of our crisis: this ‘xxxxx’ which allows us to shrug off all political responsibilities. A democracy, after all, must be ‘of the people, by the people’ before it can become ‘for the people’.
... A lot of opposition to the Anna Hazare-led campaign for an all-powerful Lokpal stems from this hold-my-nose attitude to politics. While Hazare hasn’t crystallised his political views into the cryptic ‘xxxxx’, he doesn’t think he could win elections. Perhaps he believes that only big money wins elections, and he isn’t the only one. I meet far too many people who have so little faith in the Indian masses that they advocate dictatorship as a form of governance.

But I’m surprised at activists like Medha Patkar backing a supra-democratic institution. 

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