India is a nation where we abide by the “Principles of Democracy” under all aspects of the governance. The term democracy simply means a government of the people, by the people, for the people. But today the democracy in our nation prevails only in official papers and documents of the government.
When the state tries to control the media ownership and intervene into social media platforms, we are moving from the idea of democracy to the idea of dogmatic democracy.
A dogma is basically a set of rules laid down, which are incontrovertible, or unquestionable. It is nothing but a slow paced way of slipping dictatorship into a democratic state. Through the intervention in social media the government is indirectly controlling the expression of people’s thoughts and ideas which were once freely exhibited on this platform.
What makes it worse is the fact that the citizens can't even question these agendas of the government as they are proposed with the most reasonable excuse of “national security”.
In the case of JNU student president Kanhaiya Kumar, the nation witnessed the unjust false accusation of the student because he dared to raise questions and express dissent with the functioning of the country. Today, the government has implied a set of norms on social media which was once the only form of a liberal democracy where expression and criticism of ideas on any subject including the government were discussed and shared. This was the easiest way to influence people and bring about a change.
Now with this intervention, the opinions of the citizens remain boxed up in their minds with the fear of being accused and thrashed disgustingly for raising a voice. The government now gets to decide what the citizens must perceive and what they must express. The government can openly snoop into our privacy and we are supposed to stay mute about it. And all of this, in the name of “national security”.
In this insecure nation of ours, where a speech of dissent is considered a national threat, we claim to become a superpower. I think the real strength of the nation is seen when people stand hand in hand and work towards development not only to construct buildings but also to construct a better nation where people belonging to different religions and caste can fraternize and live in harmony without feeling threatened and when freedom of expression and basic fundamental rights are enjoyed by all citizens equally as guaranteed in the constitution.
Carrying weapons of great destruction isn't real strength. Who would wage a war on an already fragmented nation with so much internal conflict? Do we have the strength needed to fight another country until we stop fighting amongst ourselves?
National security is just another excuse to safely underlay the idea of suppressing voices raised against the injustice and wrong doings of the government.
We have reached to such a point of "Intolerance" where even a beef eater is considered a national threat and Lynched for his choice of food. And I'm sure we all are familiar with the term "intolerance" and now that I've mentioned it I might also be termed Anti-national by the “Bhakths” of the Sangh.
The prime minister cannot change the country by travelling around the world. This country can only be changed by working at the grass root level. "Modi-fication" of the country is a disastrous plan for development. A democratic nation cannot run on the Ideology of one gentleman. And the sad reality is that our "Janta" is so innocent that almost all have bought the sugarcoated idea of the version of government's development sold on national television.
This is just a head start, it won’t be long before our country is under a dictatorship in the form of multiple dogmas imposed on people in the name of security. And the one to question them shall be accused of sedition. The concept of nationalism is now defined the RSS way and if you express it any differently you are a 'DeshDrohi' or a 'Jihadi' and you are to be returned to Pakistan.
This whole idea of national security is nothing but a way of concealing major insecurities of the government.
The irony of the whole situation is that the national emblem engraves with it the statement “Satyameva Jayate” which means truth alone triumphs, but with the whole concept of government ownership of media the truth is controlled by the government. It’s not like we are all ruled by saints, so where is the triumph of truth? Or are we just left to only think “Sarkaarmeva Jayate”?
Carol Pinto is an aspiring journalist from Mangaluru, pursuing her education at Nitte Institute of Communication. She loves writing and believes happiness comes by living for others.