Bigotry and selective outrage – 2

More than six months ago, I had read this interview of Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev done by Economic Times. His clarity of thought and articulation were both immensely impressive and had many lessons for listeners. I had shared the interview with my friends with the following comments:

Considering the headline that ET gave to the interview – completely incorrectly in my view – neither the interviewer nor her editor had learnt anything from listening to the Sadguru! That is why India’s outlook remains bleak. These are the ‘elites’ of India.

Six months later, nothing much has changed. As I expressed in the last two posts, the selective outrage continues. Not that one expected it to change. The drive to find new things to flay the Indian Government and the Indian Prime Minister is relentless.

The indefatigable energy is impressive at one level. But, methinks it is wholly misdirected. In fact, the risk is very high that it is counterproductive for their own goals too. In that sense, it is an energetic pursuit may be, but not a smart pursuit at all.

Here is a recent example. What exactly is a foreign policy bubble? Since when relation with Pakistan became the touchstone for diplomacy? The rise in India’s rank as the No. 1 destination for Foreign Direct Investment was a clear outcome of his efforts. Here is the news report on it.

I exchanged emails with a friend on his tweet that bigots were worse than hypocritical and selective liberals. I am not sure I understand the difference. I find the logic twisted. A selective liberal is tolerant towards some intolerance and not to others. Is that helping to reduce bigotry? It incenses bigots on one side and gives a clean pass to bigots on the other side. So, the net effect of a selective outrage expressed by a liberal is that it adds to the stock of bigotry. So, my answer is NO and if not, then aiding and abetting bigotry is worse than bigotry.

A liberal is a liberal and selective liberal is illiberal. Period.

More importantly, these labels are odious. Very few can touch their hearts and say that they are not intolerant of views that do not agree with their priors. Who is a ‘Liberal’ and who is a ‘Conservative’ are mostly unproductive discussions. In human lives, in societies and in economics, show me the full facts and I will tell you which I side lean towards.

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