In my last post of 2019, I had reiterated that I don’t post about politics and religion because they are extremely personal to me. However, I also hailed the people who did. In my opinion and I quote, ‘they are way more knowledgeable than I am and are making the right noises; hoping to be heard above the din’. To my dismay, I realised that a few readers chose to ignore the latter statement and instead focussed their attention on my declaration that politics was personal.

I choose to answer this today with a few questions;

  • Why is it automatically assumed that those who choose not to write on politics are apolitical? They may have a line of thought but for reasons best known to them, they take a stand not to be vocal about it.
  • Does only posting one’s political ideology on social media make one a proactive and responsible citizen? In real life they may be practising tolerance, empathy or working in a capacity that helps uplift the society. Since when did one’s social media persona become the person?
  • Does feeling scared to write about politics make them a coward and any less patriotic? Their fears could be rational. Does one need to defend the fear they may have for their own safety or of their loved ones?
  • And what about the nasty trolls? Those online predators hiding behind their social media handles, ready to pounce upon you. Not everyone has the bandwidth to handle them. They occupy your mind space and invade your life. Does avoiding them make one an anti-national?
  • Social media influencers are being expected to use their handles to express solidarity on the ongoing issues. Considering that these handles are their workspaces, is it fair to expect them to turn it into a warzone? How many of us can afford to voice our opinions in our place of work? Loudly and in a language of our choice (peppered with expletives).
  • And finally, isn’t it a form of bullying or peer pressure to exhort them into forming opinions and then to express them publicly as well? Isn’t it heckling in disguise?

So, all of you, who are courageous and knowledgeable enough, I respect your choices. Admire you, in fact, to put things into perspective for everyone to read and understand. You may be doing a commendable job but this doesn’t give you the right to judge those are not.

As I close, all I want to say here that like everything else in life, everyone has their reasons to choose what to post and what not to. By pushing them in a corner, by judging them, by labelling (often mislabelling) them what is higher purpose of life that is being achieved? Is leaving the quiet ones to their devices, too much to expect? By shaming them on social media platforms, by recruiting others to join in the heckling, no one is doing a service to the nation.

-Dr. Shivani Salil

One comment

  • Finally someone wrote about it!! I completely agree with this post. In fact, I don’t write my opinion on any social media channel when it comes to politics but I also avoid these discussions at family get togethers. It is unbelievable how people just take sides blindly and don’t put any logic to their discussions. Politics is personal and to talk or not talk about it is a personal choice which must be respected


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