Oath out of the echo chamber

Oath out of the echo chamber

It is not enough to pay lip service to the Constitution by bowing down low before it and then defying everything that it stands for.

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Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 00:55 IST

The words of the oath taken by the Prime Minister and the Union Council of Ministers carry such a weight of responsibility. But are they conscious of what they are saying, especially when it comes to the line about looking at each citizen of the country equally?

In the Prime Minister’s case, perhaps the message did hit home because he spoke to the Union Council of Ministers about accountability and
how the voters, who had given them lesser seats this time around, and the Opposition, were watching how they conducted themselves. 

Like Amitabh Bachchan playing the drunken Anthony Gonzalves in the unifying film Amar, Akbar, Anthony and berating himself in front of the mirror, one wished that the Prime Minister could have stood in front of the mirror and told himself all the words of advice that he blithely told his ministers.

The worst kind of words were used by him to humiliate minorities and women, and it would be prudent for him to pay heed to the words of the oath of office that he took as Prime Minister, at least this time around.

It is not enough to pay lip service to the Constitution by bowing down low before it and then defying everything that it stands for. For all the people that are put behind bars for being anti-national, it is a marvel that the Supreme Court cannot prosecute, on grounds of perjury, the people who take an oath of office on the Constitution of India and then go about flouting all that it stands for.

Recently, a video was circulated by ANI of some members of the godi, aka legacy media, speculating about what could have brought about the reduction in seats for the BJP. They constantly made references to the ‘eco’ chambers, like the Opposition parties, that amplified the voices of fearless YouTubers, Ravish Kumar, and Dhruv Rathee, who were accused of being Leftists, while the voices of the legacy media did not get that kind of traction.

Left or Right seems of less import, and for the Janta Janardhan, which showed its wisdom at the ballot box, the difference between the two can be drawn thus: Ravish, Rathee, and the print media that showed courage to speak the truth, backed
by facts, can perhaps be classified as eco-friendly for the country group.

On the other hand, the godi media and social media could be termed the echo chambers that circulated all the tripe and finally became irrelevant as people stopped believing in their hype about the ruling party. Perhaps this
so-called legacy media also needs to hold a mirror to themselves, in the manner of Anthony Gonzalves. 

In the BJP’s muzzling of the media, they lost out on something, namely the truth. Indira Gandhi during the Emergency was also guilty of doing the same, so much so that she got (hyped) information about her chances of winning, called for an election, and lost to the Janata Party.

Shri Ram, now slightly out of favour, was also conscious of the need to know what the public was thinking. This is what prompted him to step out incognito on the streets of Ayodhya and led to him banishing Sita from the kingdom after hearing a washer man cast aspersions on her chastity.

While not condoning Rama’s action towards his wife, one wonders whether things would have been different if the BJP had stayed alert in Ayodhya and other parts of Uttar Pradesh. After the much-hyped Pran Prathishta, the footfalls to the temple had reduced, and the much-reviled Shehzadas
of the Samajwadi Party and the Congress probably did a better job by keeping their ears to the ground. 

The lesson that the party and its leader can take from this is not to control the free flow of information. Also, this business of trying to use religion and gods can have a limited shelf life in a country with economic disparities like India. Hateful language can also impact people negatively. How much can you demonise a community or a religion?

Anyway, it’s a great relief not to have to hear the Prime Minister lead the Jai Shri Ram chant, almost like a war cry. Now that the focus has shifted to an avatar of Lord Krishna, Jai Jagannath, one hopes that it will be set to gentle notes composed by A R Rehman that will be music to the ears of the Janta Janardhan. 

(The author is an independent writer)


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