Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeOpinionsIs a polarized society bad?

Is a polarized society bad?

Also Read

During a politically charged discussion on my college WhatsApp group, a leftist friend recently accused the BJP and Modi of polarizing the Indian society. This isn’t the first time such an allegation has been made. I have heard it being repeated Ad nauseam by many leftist friends on several forums. Given that I take everything that my leftist friends say with a grain of salt, I couldn’t help but wonder why defamation of the term often comes only from the leftist circles and why the word receives such negative publicity. Now, I am in no way denying that we live in a politically polarized world but I am also not a hypocrite to allege that polarization only started after BJP’s landslide victory in the 2014 elections.

In India, like much of the world, both academia and media have always been fortresses of the left. With its drawbridge lowered only to let in people with similar views and deep, broad moats created to prevent people with divergent views from entering. For decades the Indian left with absolute impunity has taught and amplified its ideas and ideals, from the safety of these fortresses, often unchallenged. While both these institutions remain under the stranglehold of the left even today, with two consecutive wins of the BJP government, there certainly are some successful inroads being made and it is this breach of their heavily-guarded fortresses that has rattled the left. The problem for the left is not a polarized society, in fact it thrives on keeping the society polarized. Divisions between religions, ethnicity, race and economic statures is what has historically fuelled left’s rise and continues to ensure its sustenance. Left’s real problem is that now the divergent non-left views have both, a platform and a confident audience that is not scared to share and magnify its own ideas and ideals.

It is the emergence, platforming and increased influence of these divergent non-left ideas that left accuses of creating a polarized society. Left would prefer if debates and conversations on mainstream media, social media and even our society in general happened within the ideological confines created by the left. The moment these boundaries are violated, the left screams polarization. It then uses the negative publicity that the word receives to vilify its opponents and even calls for boycott and punishing of platforms that air these “polarizing” views. Disagreements on issues within the left ideology and among leftist ideologues are often dismissed as “difference of opinion”. The word polarization is reserved exclusively to demonize and cancel non-left ideas and people.

As someone who studied in a Christian/missionary school and lived in a household with my Sangh associated parents, I was raised in an environment with divergent views. Our dinner time conversations often morphed into debates revolving around politics with a healthy dose of religion thrown in as well. It was my upbringing amidst such divergent ideas where I got my first taste of living in what the left would call a “polarized environment”. The Indian society, due to the presence of competing and conflicting ideas, faiths and philosophies has always been polarized. It just so happens that the “other” voices that had systemically been subdued for decades have finally begun to find their bearings and now reverberate among the masses. It is the emergence and sometimes, mere existence of non-left voices that the left accuses of causing polarization.

A polarized society is not created. By the virtue of our differences, it just exists and there is nothing wrong with it. Left’s solution to rectifying polarization in our society is nothing but thwarting all non-left voices. We must remember that the left defines and demonizes the term polarization just so it can use it to bring down its ideological opponents.

Rohit Pagey

Hotelier by profession and a life-long learner of Religion and Food history & traditions.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Recently Popular