Creativity And Progress Need Dissent!

These are exciting times. It's transition from an old world to a new one.
We may not perceive the revolutionary times we are living in as we are too close to it.

The Great Transition:

The parallel I see is the mid 15th century invention of printing press and the way it impacted the world. When people got the knowledge, information and the power to exchange ideas they embraced it. Thoughts became viral. A speech could be printed and pamphlets distributed in no time. Thoughts traveled.

When knowledge becomes fluid, it sure breaks the old systems. It challenges authority. Gutenberg invention changed the world in a powerful way.

But today we are in even more exciting times. Printing needed skill and investments. Not everyone could do it on their own. So media was still in a few hands. But the internet has changed that. This has made information and knowledge travel on steroids. Media is now no more limited in few power centers. We all have our own media channels. The social media!

The Facebook and Twitter and tumbler are not just pastimes.These are not just chronicles of what we ate and where we traveled. These are powerful channels to raise our voices. These are the records of our collective sentiments. A click of a button can make our point of view known. And others can join us or shout back at us in dissent.

Obviously it threatens the status quo, the authority. They say people may not use it responsibly. My question is, if a person is good enough to choose you as a representative why she is not good enough to question you on your decisions? 

The truth is, in our kind of democracy, the people in power are NOT a choice of the majority. When you make a government by 35% popular votes or even by 45% that says majority are in dissent. And they have a right to express their views. And people who voted for a government on certain expectations has every right to raise concerns when the representatives take a U turn on stated policies. Or start behaving like masters. 

The political class have been nurtured in the false sense of superiority. And while the world has changed in a big way they will take time to accept the harsh reality. They try to limit the power of the masses. While we may see only a few cases now and then, it is an indication to all others what may happen to them if they laugh at the 'masters' or show dissent.

The quashing of section 66 A by supreme court is a welcome step. It is in line with the zeitgeist of the times. Political class must understand they have to change now. It's no more an old world.

Yes, some people use abusive language. They are unreasonable at times. But then some times our representatives use derogatory language in the parliament and show their prejudices. We are not going to shut the parliament because of their behavior, isn't it?

A people ruled by fear can't create anything new. They can't walk with their heads held high. If we want a great India we must have a right to express ourselves freely!


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