Things that go under the radar of public eye
In the age of social media, the real issues get garbled so often. Some time ago a storm raged on the social media about whether waiver of farmers’ loans was right or wrong. The storm engulfed people.
And we missed a much larger, primarily corporate tax waiver (about 5.5 lakh crore). This happens every year!
The farmers’ occasional loans waivers are just a small fraction of this massive annual tax waiver.
Most people are unaware of such massive annual tax waiver. Some portion goes to genuine issues like infrastructure, export promotion, specific geographical areas, etc. But a huge chunk of these waivers goes to very select section of the society or to corporate groups.
These are not loans waived by banks for NPAs, but are waivers in taxation, captured in “Statement of Revenue Foregone” in the budget.
This year the government shifted this statement from the Union Budget to a less read heap called Receipts Budget.
There are claims that revenue foregone has reduced drastically. But this has been achieved by same trick that was used to show higher GDP. Methods of calculations and classifications were changed!
Just by changing methods of calculations and classifications the reality does not change. Properties do not change by just changing the labels.
Same thing has happened in this budget regarding political funding. The compulsions on company declarations to political parties have been reduced. The statement used to defend this i.e. “Things can be tracked” has no meaning. Making things more complex to track is not a sign of “cleaning up” the system. The political masters initiate the “tracking”. So the tracking IS going to be selective and hence an eyewash.
Does any capitalist fund any political party selflessly and for nationalistic love? Or does huge annual tax waiver occur without vested interests?
TV channels as a tool to keep people divided, dazed & confused
While such things go on, many TV channels unnecessarily create turmoil in public emotions by inflaming unnecessary debates. Cow urine, questioning nationalism of chosen “targets”, debates on Vande Mataram, etc. are examples of such debates.
These channels strive hard to divert public attention from the genuine issues. (Mr Arnab Goswami and Mr Sudhir Chaudhary are the front-runners. But others are not far behind.)
We saw how doctored videos about JNU turned people into headless mobs. And till date, with all agencies at its disposal, government has not been able to pinpoint the real culprits. This gives credence to claim from some JNU staff that it was a deliberate ploy to tarnish them.
In any case, this diversion methodology is now tried and tested. So henceforth all governments & TV channels may use such tactics to keep people confused and dazed so that people will not focus on the real issues.
Deliberate distractions from the real issues
In all these inflamed emotions, we miss the real issues such as job creation, industrial & farming outputs, whether railway accidents have increased, roads, electricity, medical facilities, educational facilities, law and order, etc.
These issues should be the focus areas of mainstream media.
Instead, the electronic media are busy trying to create divisions & confusion among people by whatever means, create emotional fervor and political mudslinging. This makes people lose their attention from real issues and only propaganda takes over.
This entire effort is similar to sweeping all the garbage in the home under the carpet to make the house look clean.
Sure the home will appear clean … but only for a short while … and the citizens should understand that such hidden garbage and junk will increase the disease.
What can we do about this?
- Don’t be loyal to “a” TV channel. Watch a different channel every day of the week without repetition. Who is creating unnecessary divisions / confusions will immediately become clear. This broadens our own understanding and perspective.
- Don’t trust any news or great claims (regardless of political party) on social media. These are hugely inflated and falsified. Even official data contradicts many such claims on deeper scrutiny.
- Watch out for inflammatory messages on social media (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp). They may have religion, caste, language, etc. as basis. But the aim is same – divide and rule.
Take following actions if you see such messages:
- Don’t forward it, even with the tag line “Forwarded as received”.
- Instead, research the topic through print media (newspapers) for 6-7 days. Print media is still far more responsible than many TV channels.
- After doing your own research, publish your own conclusions from “Conflict resolution” point of view. Strive for conflict resolution and not for adding fuel to the fire. There are enough gullible people who are busy adding fuel to fire. You need not join them.
We can see today that all these unnecessary arguments keep people divided, dazed and confused.
We can change the situation by such proactive, analytical actions. Only then can we put pressure on the political parties and leaders to act on the real problems.
By doing so we can ensure that the garbage in our homes is not swept under the carpet. This will force some real cleaning-up of various issues dragging us down.
So, next time you see some inflammatory news on social media or television, beware!