Our Take

Mind factory

Mind factory

Be it aggressive proselytising on social media or be it the cult-style suicide pact by a family in Burari, reason seems to be the worst casualty in a knowledge society. For the glut of information and bombardment of ideas have robbed us of our basic processing, sifting and analytical ability and dulled us into becoming a herdish clone of what the propagandist machinery wants us to be. How else would one explain the way lynchings are gathering steam across the country as social media consumers trade half-baked or cooked up information of suspected murderers and child lifters in our vicinity?

Or imagine the Bhatia family in Burari, who betrayed everybody with their seemingly normal lives and most of whom had access to smartphones and associated technology, falling for the hypnotic power of spiritualism, one that promised them mass absolution and transcendence of earthly limits. Both cases demonstrate how quickly we descend into paranoia. 

None of the converts of mischievous propaganda had stopped for a moment to ponder if they were being coerced into unmindful ways. Force-fed by the magnetism of receiving information in a personalised format — in this case a valued chat box— veracity or even questioning that veracity seems to be the last thing on people’s minds. If it is posted to you with care, you feel obliged to indoctrinate yourself by what the beehive thought police prescribes.

Doctors handling the Burari case have recommended a “psychological autopsy” or a review of the victims’ last conversations and interactions to trace a similarity of thought patterns among the family members to understand their gruesome end. Perhaps, we all need to evaluate our sense of balance beyond reasonable doubt. For extreme behaviour and extreme reactions have in the end glorified death and reduced life to being a customer of cheap goods.



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