Pakistan is going through a critical time. In the last two decades, political awareness has increased substantially due to the social and electronic media revolution. This has significantly impacted our lives positively and adversely as well, because we have more information to sift through and make sense of.
Impacts of increased political awareness
Nowadays, flow of information is swift and what one needs is just a click away, so young people can argue their point with facts and figures. Politicians are often compelled to defend themselves and their policies, and have become accountable to their electors. Any malpractice on their part is swiftly highlighted on social media. Usually, action is not taken by the concerned institutions, but every news update is instantly made available to general public. A drawback of fluidity of information is that our political leaders get the ammunition to malign their opponents easily and indulge in their character assassination through the social media. Political talk shows hardly discuss the vision or manifestos of the politicians, and their past performances, but focus on what politicians have to say about their adversaries. Religious card is used with impunity on these shows.
Spread of disinformation
Another fall out of this entire phenomenon is spread of disinformation. You can easily hire social media handlers and teams to manage news. Journalists, too, are often biased. Their duty is to present both sides of the coin, but they ignore the tenets of their noble profession.
Mindset of politicians
As said earlier, instead of talking about their manifesto, vision and roadways politicians indulge in character assassination of their opponents and try to find out loopholes in their policies and ongoing projects. You might have noticed that the policy criticized by a party in the opposition is continued even after they form the next government. Every new chief executive of the country blames the past ones, and tries to sway the masses with impassioned rhetoric - and obviously remain successful because of their foul emotional play. This overall costs the progress of the country, nothing else.
Mindset of the public
Emotions are part and parcel of human personality, and being attached to a political party or leader we support for is natural. But things go wrong when we start worshipping our leaders, thinking that they cannot be wrong.
Change we need
Pakistan should come first, before our personal likes and dislikes and any political party or institution. We should condemn malpractices regardless of our political affiliations. Democracy can be nurtured only if we let rise up above our biases, and the journalists and social media can act as watchdogs and keep the public informed about the good and the bad that is being done by people in power. They should report with facts and figures. This would and should assist general public in deciding about their vote and support in future.
The lack of tolerance in people has reached alarming proportions. If someone speaks against the policy of a political party their relatives or friends support, they answer by bringing out what was done by the politicians of their party. And these arguments end in severing of friendships and acrimony among relatives. It is being said that if you want to be on good terms with friends and relatives, avoid political discussions. I believe political discussions are essential, but we should refrain from being overemotional. We should argue about politics not for the sake of argument, but for the sake of Pakistan.