C: Hey Hildy, how have you been?
H : I am doing so-so. How have you been?
C: Why do you sound depressed? That’s so unlike you
H : I have been thinking about something for a while now. And I don’t seem to figure it out
C: What have you been thinking?
H : Why do I always find out that people are stupid?
C: Wow! That’s a tall claim to make. And unfortunate that you found out only now
H : whoa whoa.!! So, you already are aware of the stupidity of people?
C: Of course, I am. Ok, tell me what bothers you now?
H : There is a laundry list. But just to quote a few, I see people mocking opposition leaders for their slip ups, when the government of the day is making monumental blunders?
C: Why does it surprise you?
H : Because how could people for the need of cheap entertainment or for the need of bring down the opposition indulge in such acts without holding the government to account for its mismanagement of the ongoing crisis? Shouldn’t you worry about the imminent crisis?
C: Are these people, whom you’re quoting, having any issues during the crisis? Are they suffering from lack of food, shelter, money?
H : No the few who I am seeing are well to do. They are privileged to the hilt.
C: See, you have got the answer. Since these people have nothing to worry about, they take pleasure in such cheap acts.
H : If they indulge in these activities alone, I wouldn’t be concerned. Rather they divert the attention of masses from real issues to some ridiculous ones.
C: Are you talking about the recent controversy surrounding the video in a You Tube channel?
H : Indeed I am. How relevant is it in this 21st century that a video explaining what’s there in a Religious hymn hurt your religious sentiments? If your religious sentiments are hurt by a 6 months old video, then shouldn’t you question your religious sentiments’ strength rather than the stupid video?
C : How do you think those in power hold on to their powers? They don’t want people to focus on real issues, so they divert people’s attention into trivial issues.
H : Yes, I understand from their perspective. I am surprised that people take the bait, worst of all they propagate these among their circles
C: I heard recently from someone that when people get all what they need, they start looking for an identity. They could identify themselves with people who are not as privileged as them or they could identify themselves with power. It’s more likely that people tend to identify with the power than with those less privileged
H : People’s stupidity doesn’t stop here. I have seen people justifying their choice of voting the current Indian government to power for its first term in 2014. Most people tend to answer that prevalent corruption as one of their main reasons. But is this government really an honest one?
C: No, they are not. In fact, in some instances they are worse than the previous government. But this government has mastered the art of shielding their corruption from public eye. An average voter, who thinks him/herself to be morally superior, is not going to care about; some corrupt corporate entity buying electoral bonds, which largely favor the government of the day; some capitalist getting sweetheart deals from government; buying of MLAs/MPs from opposition parties. For the average person, a corruption is the one that he/she encounters in day to day life. Still they are not morally superior, because they do indulge in these activities, but pass the buck on to the politicians.
H : How come they are worried about corruption but not worried about grave issues such as lynching, people walking 1000s of kilometers, people deprived of their rightful rations just because an authenticating system malfunctioned & so much more?
C: For one to worry about these issues, that person must first be informed about these issues. Where do average person get the information? News. Do you think the big media houses would take the risk of offending the government, when most of their income comes from government advertising? Furthermore, people don’t really care about issues unless the issues affect them personally or someone they knew. If a layman is lynched 1000s of kms away from where you live, do you really think that people would give a damn about that lynching? They would simply read the news & move on, without realizing that their vote made this possible.
H : Fair point. If people aren’t aware of the issues and they live in a carefully constructed bubble, how do you expect people to vote prudently? Wouldn’t people vote only according to their self-interests?
C: This is not a new question. Philosophers starting from Socrates toiled with the question of democracy. He was against democracy. Every philosopher, who dealt with this had a different suggestion. Some philosophers argued that not everyone should be allowed to vote.
H : Yes, I do like that idea. But my concern is that this goes against the very idea of Democracy, isn’t it?
C : You’re right. Democracy is the best of all the worst ideas humans ever tried (as Churchill said)
H : So, we are stuck with an imperfect system manipulated by stupid people for now?
H : That’s a depressing note to end our conversation. Bye!!