Sunday, April 11, 2021

Empowered fingers, anesthetised brains

There is too much is happening all of a sudden ~ or so it seems to us, now that we are exposed to so much with just the swipe of our fingers, or with any other technological thingamajig so easily available to us. But pause for a moment and consider so many innocent people killed, injured, maimed and shamed because of easy availability of such devices in our hands. Truth is also one of the most wounded casualties of the phenomenal technological revolution of this era, which isn’t without extremely damaging consequences. Any revolution, especially technological, must simultaneously commensurate with revolutions of the human mind but technology today has far out-paced the development of the human mind hence the killings, the lynching, the post-truths and the plain old lies masquerading as the gospel truth. Besides these extreme consequences, the blatant propaganda unleashed just to further vested interests of individuals and groups of individuals ~ not least of politicos and political parties ~ is perturbing. It is as equally disquieting as rumours of child-lifting resulting is lynching of innocent people because such propaganda, especially in the name of religion, caste, community and “national interests” ~ and in our case, “in the interest of our people and state” have the potentials to change the very essence, ethos, nature and contents of the India Constitution, which the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution envisaged would be the path to India’s democratic destiny. There are tremendous efforts, especially through technologically-enabled social media, being exerted to impress upon the country’s masses that the Government always has the welfare and interest of the people at heart. But is it so? If so, why are Bills being introduced in Parliament and state Assemblies that are antithetical to the welfare and interests of the people and generally against the interests of the country? Take for instance the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 and even the National Register of Citizens and the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which are said to be aimed at ‘One Nation, One religion’ ~ a “vision” and “manifesto” of one political party’s ideology, denoting the intention to usher in the domination of one religion and one community in the country. In India, diversity is the fuel that sustains and strengthens democracy but divisiveness is toxic for Indian democracy’s survival. Closer home, the DAN Government’s 2014 resolution on Nagaland Special Development Zones (NSDZ) and the PDA Government’s proposed Cadastral Survey of the State of Nagaland need sincere revisiting and serious re-thinking because such resolutions and proposals are double-edged swords and have all potentials to boomerang on the interest, nay the survival, of the people of Nagaland. While the devil lies in details, the very same devil also lies in implementation ~ and much as we would like to quote Article 371 (A) and the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 (BEFR Act, 1873) also known as Regulation 5 of 1873, as our “protective shields”, as and when it suits us, the fact is so far neither have been effective in protecting (or promoting) our land and resources thereof, businesses and customs, traditions, culture, what-have-you, which we value because we are certain that they are the main markers of our identity and survival. While the debate goes on whether Article 371 (A) and the BEFR Act, 1873 are actually “protective covers” for tribal societies such as ours juxtaposed with the imperatives to mainstream into the post-modern globalized world, once again the disease of non-enforcement and non-implementation of existing “protective” laws are the most threatening obstacles we confront every day. As much as the Central Government’s compulsions to sell Air India and other non-performing assets (NPAs) in the name of improving the country’s economy will not make a dent in improving our economy because of various factors, not least the Government’s hesitance to curb corruption, which basically is its failure to enforce and implement existing laws, new laws will be equally ineffective. So, the solution to political, economic and even social issues doesn’t lie in enacting new legislations but in enforcing and implementing the existing ones and amending them, as and when necessary, and in sincerely and seriously enforcing and implementing them. What guarantee do we have that Government would enforce and implement the new legislations they enact? These are issues nobody is “forwarding” in the technologically-enabled social media ~ perhaps because the technology that enables and empowers our fingers have anesthetised our brains to see the threats that are swallowing us?