I don’t think that I’m the only one asking myself this question. With political debates spiraling in ever-diminishing circles many people are left tearing their hair. In 20th century totalitarian systems, tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, and Churchill murdered millions in the name of outlandish nationalistic ideologies. There was a time when every state leader was promising to make his state great. If I am recalling it rightly – it was in the 20th century when leaders from Germany, France, Japan, Russia, UK, and the USA were calling to make each of their countries great. And, the result was two subsequent World wars. In recent decades, a new brand of authoritarian governance has evolved that is better adapted to an era of technologically advanced media.
Recently, Russia showcased its nuclear train and robot-operated tank, at a time when Russian economy is not that strong to survive a war. How was it necessary to make a nuclear train? I read about this on a popular Indian news website and the piece was titled, “Russia Demonstrates Nuclear Trains and Robot Tanks might be weapons of World War-3.” But, what was the point of highlighting World War 3? If you take a look at the recent TV news, you’ll realise that television studios have become the new war rooms. Either, it’s Pakistan or China, Indian news channels are always ready for a war. It has become a new normal that if you are not against Pakistan, it means that you are an anti-national.
Amazingly, this is not limited to TV news channels. If you will check your Facebook and Twitter timeline, you can see thousands of posts for nationalism. This is not limited to India. It is happening around the globe. The nationalistic agenda of Brexit and US Presidential election is well known. The new autocrats are using propaganda, censorship and other information-based tricks to inflate their ratings and to convince citizens of their superiority over available alternatives. They dominate the internet by blocking access to independent websites, hiring trolls to flood comments pages with pro-regime spam, and paying hackers to vandalise opposition online media sites. And, this is bad for democracy.
The matter which should be handled by state leaders and bureaucrats have become topics for tea-time discussions on social media and news channels. For anyone who cares about their country, it is heartbreaking to witness what could be done and is not being done. The world has seen the disaster of World War 1 and 2 and if still, we are ‘blood-thirsty’, then God bless us. We are heading to a disastrous end where there seems to be no way to step back.