One day Krishna took Duryodhana and dharma to a city and asked both of them to assess people there. After spending time there both gave their evaluation to Krishna. Duryodhana said he saw the people of the city be very self-centric, manipulative, dishonest. Dharmar came back and said that people were loyal, honest and polite (There are lots of different versions of this story). Now the question is who was lying? Were the people manipulative and dishonest as Duryodhana said or we’re the honest and polite as Dharma said? The answer is both of them were neither right nor wrong. Both of them were hypocrites. Like any other city here too we’re mixed with many different characteristics. Both of them saw only what they wanted to see.

 

Love, religion and politics.

 

Most of us are behaving in many ways like Dharma and Duryodhana – unknowingly hypocrites. For many, this observation might seem harsh but it is the reality. Despite our best efforts to stand for dharma we also become hypocrites due to many reasons. Imagine what we do when in deep love. We only see the good qualities of that person. This might sound like good quality, but imagine what happens when we are in hate. We will never see the other person’s good quality. We will forget all that they did to us. That is why it is important to see things sans emotions.

 

We do the same mistake when we think about politics and religion. People who like Modi will try to validate all his actions and those who hate him will reject all his actions without giving them a thought. How could this be correct? No politician in the world can impeccably do everything. Why cannot we assess their actions with an open mind and accordingly support them?

 

Even worse is religion. When good happens in our life we immediately give credit to God. If that is true then bad happens in our life because of God? Is asking such questions blasphemy? If we base our faith on frivolous notions then in the same way our belief too will end based on frivolous notions. If we ask the right questions answer them by analysing with common sense or by studying scriptures and questioning learned gurus our faith will be strong and such beliefs will help us to lead a truly spiritual life.

 

Religion and Politics give us a false sense of ownership. Once we give our allegiance to one particular party or religion, we will start seeing only what we want to see and end up becoming a pawn in a larger scheme of things benefitting a few individuals.

 

Technology heightens our hypocrisy.

 

As if this is not enough modern-day is filled with technology that shows us only the information that we want to see. Today in their eagerness to provide us with relevant information social media ends up giving only information that interests us. If we are Trump supporters we will be shown news related to that or vice versa. We also block our friends who confront us and like sites or videos that match our beliefs,  all these lead us deep into an imaginary world.

 

Political news.

 

There was a heated debate in the parliament. Opposition parties were accusing the president of corruption in a particular scheme. As it was election time the president had to clear his name to improve his chances of winning the election. He called his secretary and asked him to collect data regarding the particular scheme. The secretary said it will take at least 3 months to compile the data, but the election was happening next week. The next day in parliament the president gave all the data and advocated his case. Shocked, the assistant asked the president as to how he was able to garner the data? The President replied, if it takes 90 days for the president to get this data, imagine how long will it take the opposition party to get the data. It will take them years, So I just made up the data.

 

This is an imaginary story to run home the point that most news about politics are highly opinionated, biased, exaggerated and many times outright lies. Let’s not label ourselves as left, right, centre, secular, nationalist, communist and so on. Let’s stand up for dharma. Let us rise above our emotions, analyse and then make informed decisions.

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Rajesh Kumar Ragothaman

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