Lynching and liberals

There are times to disagree with PBM. There are times to agree with him. This is, in my view, the time for the latter. He has written rather cogently, clearly, sharply and angrily on this one. Similarly, there is a Shekhar Gupta’s piece here.

If the facts are as mentioned, there is no justification for delay and equivocation and moral equivalences.

That said, all those who express outrage must still do their own home work. That means remembering two things:

(1) Indian media does not report all such incidents with equal promptness, passion, creativity and commitment to truth. So, you react to what they want you to react. If you do not understand this, it is time you picked up Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’. Despite knowing enough about how ‘framing’ of issues influences our response, we continue to be victims of media framing issues and thus framing us!

Just think about why India’s secularism, unity and integrity were not threatened and why you did not take to Twitter when Pandits in Kashmir were raped, plundered and their places of worship ransacked and destroyed. Because, no one wrote a column in stirring prose.

The problem, in the end, is not selective reaction. It is worse. The outcome is more bitterness, more division and more disagreements and less liberal attitudes and values. There is more intolerance and hence, more bigotry. Is that what one wants to achieve with his/her self-righteous reaction? Calm reflection would help them choose the right response with the right timing and in right measure.

(2) You do not have access to full facts of the case. Sometimes, it is better to spend time gathering facts than taking to Twitter and Facebook immediately to express outrage.


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