Saturday, March 26, 2016

Drawbacks of having politically polarized society.

Political polarization is on the rise all over the world. In many countries, especially in USA and India, we can feel that the political rift between major political parties is widening day by day. I don't think this is very desirable development. Political differences are part of any healthy democratic set up, there is nothing wrong to debate fiercely any topic but when it takes form of strong animosity then it not only creates a very politically charged environment for politically relevant issues, but also very trivial things turn into a big political battle at all levels. A lot of energy and resources are wasted arguing about some trivial issues. This also creates extreme bitterness among general public who feel compelled to fight these battled to support their political organization, ultimately this leads to serious political deadlock. As a result of all this many important issues get sidetracked or they get stuck between political deadlocks as no party is interested in a compromise because of fear of hurting the sentiments of their core supporters. Whereas political opposition, debates, discussions and arguments are necessary, political polarization is not a very productive atmosphere for any country. It is impossible to achieve any substantial progress in such environment. We can easily feel the effect of this in both the countries where many important issues are stuck in serious political deadlock, all we see is an endless blame game.

Why too much political polarization is bad for any country? How it affects its population and governance? These are the questions we need to ask to understand the detrimental effect of this phenomena on any progressive society. Any political ideology has some core principles on which they are not willing to compromise at all, that is why we have different political groups. Many times these issues are part of basic political identity of those political parties, this is why we give them labels like leftist, rightist or centrist, conservative or liberal, socialist or capitalist, etc. There are many issues on which bipartisan collaboration is possible as most (in US both, Republicans and Democrats) political parties agree on some of these topics which are not part of their core political agenda. But in politically polarized atmosphere supporters and leaders of these political parties create a war like situation where each and every issue, no matter how trivial or relevant becomes a matter of serious conflict and political prestige. They become more interested in defeating their opponents at any cost rather than working in collaboration to achieve something better for their country. Any sensible person can agree that this is not a very desirable situation. We all should recognize that political opposition is very necessary, it is an integral part of any democratic setup. We all should not only expect that alternate views and ideas exist but should create an atmosphere where people are not scared to express their views. Ability to express dissent is a very important aspect of any democratic setup, if we curb this for any reason then this is bound to hamper progress of any society, country or organization. Health of any society can be measured by the extent it allows free flow of ideas. When there are incidents where people get arrested under charge of sedition just for delivering some speech or political rally of some leader gets disrupted just because some people don't agree with views expressed by that leader then definitely it is matter of concern. When public perception takes precedence over law of land then democracy starts getting suffocated. Political opponent should not be treated as enemy of nation, specially when you are in power. Some people in US many not agree with many views expressed by Mr.Trump but he has right to express them like anyone else. US constitution and law of land gives him that right, one can express disagreement in strongest possible words but to disrupt his rallies or try to shut him up or his supporters is not the right way to express the disagreement. Indians should be proud of their heritage of argumentative traditions, but somehow today people seem to be more interested in settling scores against each other rather than discussions and debates. Let's go back to healthy political debates, we should debate and discuss each and very thing but in a civilized matter. Let's try to bring back sensibility, rational, common sense and patience back on discussion tables, this is the only way to progress.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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