Disclaimer: I am not trying to influence you to vote for any particular party- that is your discretion and right.

As we approach the election season social media in India has turned into a minefield with people posting/fighting/name calling / frothing at the mouth/ fuming and what not about and for the political outfit of their choice. So many of my friends have talked about blocking people who were launching vitriolic comments or basically flooding their feeds with anti this and pro that. While I wholeheartedly commend fellow Indians for being more politically conscious than ever, can we not keep our newly discovered love for all things political civilized?

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I personally feel that the right and duty to vote should be exercised unless circumstances (distance/ ill health) force you not to and if you are as passionate as you proclaim then nothing should be a barrier in your quest to vote.  Of all the people posting those links and then fighting over their veracity I wonder what miniscule fraction will actually go out to vote on the polling day. Those who hail one or the other as the reincarnation of the Messiah and who would solve all the ills and/or lead India to new heights of glory and shout from the ramparts ( social media pages) for the heathen to pay heed and vote for the one they have chosen, I have this question, will you even vote?

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For reducing social media to a ridiculous name calling site where respect for any contrary opinion is less than zilch, where torrents of personal attacks occur whenever someone doesn’t agree with your view, at least have the decency to go out and vote. Or shut up and keep your opinion to yourself or your immediate circle of friends and stop polluting the walls of us innocent bystanders. We are not apathetic, we are considerate. We discuss our ideas in a civilized manner and we will also vote in as much proportion as you will. We just don’t think that we can make the choice for our entire circle of acquaintances on Facebook or twitter by posting a hate filled post or tirade.

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The hallmark of any truly civilized nation is tolerance and brotherhood, if we lose them in the name of fighting the “good” fight for what we believe in, that too on a virtual medium, what are you really aspiring for?  Don’t you see a parallel in your militant activism and the stubborn refusal to even listen to anyone who has some contrary point of view and the current state of Indian politics? If we continue down this path we will get what we deserve- Continuation of the status quo of the muddy waters that Indian politics has always been.

If you can’t accept others’ opinion at least listen to them/ read them before commenting in a huff or launching an attack and if you disagree it can be done politely too. If you think their stand is ridiculous leave them alone as you are unlikely to win them over by your diatribes. Live and let live and may peace return soon to the war ravaged social media.


Aseem Mahajan

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