Society is an abstract. It is made concrete with the processes of relations, thoughts and exchanges of goods, services and gifts. For a society to stay proactive, tolerant and ‘social’, conversations are sine qua non (an essential condition). Of course, the decent ones and favourable ones. Not the ones we find, in responses, on twitter, for disagreeing with the established narratives. There are sociological tools to understand and examine the functions of society, but they may be not always objectively applicable. With the rise of statism at the national level, at the cost of individual liberties, the social language of today’s #NewIndia has a worrisome story to tell. The future may be bleak, if the power of imagination, critical thinking and open discussions are not intimidated or lynched, in future.
Apprehensively, social discourse on equity, caste-ism, gender-based violence (including the conflicts against men), fake news and nevertheless #FreeSpeech are apparently transcended by the rhetorics on nationalism (mostly jingoistic), anti-minorities and #JaiShriRam.
Findings, in 2019, by The Equality Lab, highlighted the growth of misology in Indian society. A considerable increase of abhorrence on social media, especially when 37% constituted of memes against Muslims, 13% in defence of caste-based violence, 60% anti-Ambedkar messages, tells a lot about the sociological characteristics of ‘new’ India. The discourses do not find the features of ‘decent’ conversations when ‘noisy’ TV journalism has been toned down to the ‘panelisation’ of vociferous views and infatuation with incoherent opinions. This, structurally, affected India’s rank on #FreeSpeeh index; from 134th in 2014 to 140th in 2019, out of 189 nations. If you stay silent, you’re not disqualified.
In the academic sphere, especially courses in engineering and MBAs, the dearth of liberal arts education is paving a way to eleutherophobia. When the ‘overall’ education of these graduates is infected with illiberal training, can one expect “robotic mindsets” to ‘overhaul’ the settings of learning? These overconfident graduates who plan to get into enterprises and start-ups are not trained to detach their own schizophrenia from the realities of ‘moody’ Indian economy. A chest-thumping statement on India becoming a $5 trillion economy has no sound policy: i) to redistribute the benefits of ‘apocryphal’ GDP rates, ii) to legalise the cryptocurrencies, iii) to speed up judicial arbitration, and iv) to prepare for the rise of AI.
Irrespective of the number of ‘conspicuous’ dips taken in sacrosanct ‘polluted’ river Ganga, the sins can be washed off when the socialisation process at primary level is positioned to exclude the conversations managed by illiberal parenting, radical religious, brainwashing and asocial agents.
The newest social syndrome has brought out the [esoteric] radical mentality, which is more poisonous than any venomous snake. The whole political package is out there on the ground, in the reality that you’re assimilating helplessly or consensually, affecting the pluralistic tradition of Indian society and her culture. On an international level, coming to ‘social progress’ index (2018-19), India is not faring well. She ranks at 100th, out of 133 nations. Thanks to the development of illiberal education in arts, science, commerce, engineering, management and nevertheless generic conversations, which have sidelined the critical essence of studying the significance of liberty, consent and choice, in today’s epoch of misogyny, misandry and statism.