Guiding Light: The politics of fear and anger

Almost everyone in the world seems to be full of fear and anger because we are fighting an invisible enemy. We don’t know where the enemy is. When is it going to attack? It could be the hug of a friend. The enemy could be in the breath of a jogger jogging past us. It could be expelled by someone from whom we part. The enemy is invisible. We don’t know who is going to be infected next.

This raises our level of fear and anger. So, we tend to hit out at whichever target we can get. If one looks at the posts on social media half the posts are targeting someone or the other, criticising someone or the other. And there is always a group of socio-political leaders willing to exploit the situation with their toolkits and imagined variants of the virus.

This polarises the society much more than any other socio-political differences. The common man is disillusioned, wary, suspicious about anything and everything whether it is the government policy, the vaccination program or the time gap in the shift between the duration of the doses of vaccines. New developments may be related to expert advice or what the government has learnt in their one year of dealing with the virus.

Everything is looked upon suspiciously. One is looking for conspiracy theories were none exists. So instead of co-operating with the authorities and fighting the virus together, we are fighting each other. Yes, we have our socio-political differences and we can tackle that after we have overcome the pandemic.

Now is the time to present a joint front to handle the nation’s problems in general and the pandemic in particular. So let us manage our fear and anger, put aside our differences and fight the real enemy the virus. The sooner we do this the better it will be for all of us.

(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him @aarshavidyaf@gmail.com)

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