We live in highly politically charged times. As much as we may attempt to segregate politics from our social and personal lives, it has become an inseparable part of us. From mentioning ‘radical activist’ on dating profiles to engaging in politically fueled dinner conversations, there is a shift to reviewing our interpersonal relationships through politically tinted glasses.
This is the new “woke” era, wherein individuals from varied age groups are consciously choosing to be aware of what is going on around them. Whether it be the militancy in Kashmir or the condition of migrant workers, now more than ever people have opinions and they do not hesitate to express them. Even people who claim to not be politically active and maintain an overall neutral ground have a slight tilt towards one side or the other.
In such blind times, where people are bestowing upon the political leaders the stature of divine beings who can alleviate their suffering, every word from their beloved leaders is taken to be gospel truth. Even a slight difference of opinion agitates these devoted followers, who refuse to accept any opposition against their messiahs.
Our political inclinations are often said to mirror our values. The ideologies of the political leaders or the political party that we choose to side with are adopted as our views on different communities and social matters. Therefore, the conflicting political opinions lead to disputes not only centered around politics but devolve into righteous claims of what is wrong and what is right.
The generation gap shows up not only in terms of technological evolution but in terms of our ethics, and what morals we prioritize. The age-old trend of passing family beliefs down generations is dissolving with youngsters standing up to their elders and choosing a side of their own.
Sharing the same bloodline is no longer holding them back from initiating difficult dialogues between family members who at times have polar opposite viewpoints. Political divides especially crop up during election season with different generations wishing to be governed by different leaders with radically opposing visions.
Within our social circles as well, politics has become a heavily discussed topic, with the youth spending a considerable amount of time deliberating upon the rights of minorities and government affairs. This is creating fractures through friend groups with friendly conversations rapidly metamorphosing into full-fledged heated debates on nationalism and humanity.
Our strong political stances are narrowing our search for compatible partners as well. Today, the list of red flags in a potential mate has expanded to include conflicting political opinions, found more inexcusable than many other disagreeable qualities. Forget love, politics is in the air.
Living in a democracy, one always has the freedom to have one’s own opinion. But should this freedom be exercised in a manner that causes us to feel estranged from our loved ones? Should it be the reason for decay in interpersonal relationships?
More importantly, is it fair to use politics as a yardstick to judge character?
Written by Anushka Das for MTTN
Edited by Saher Kalra for MTTN
Feature image from www.jobsite.co.uk
Artwork from www.esquiremag.ph/