Questions I ask myself to understand if I am speaking the truth, avoiding bias, and not virtue signalling on social media:
- Is this the same thing I would say in a different setting?
- Is this the same thing I would say in a private setting if I could drop my guards down?
- Would my response be the same if I replaced X with Y?
- Can I argue the other side?
- If I could not see the person who was replying, would I say the same thing?
- Have I read enough on this topic?
- Can I argue on points and not opinions?
Let’s take the Tablighi Jamaat situation.
I think the people involved showed poor judgement. Acted in bad faith afterwards. Endangered lives of a lot of people.
Does not mean that all Muslims want to spread Coronavirus. You can’t extrapolate based on a single incident.
The media is focusing on this because it is something which their audience will lap up. It suits their narration. And they don’t want to ask tough questions from our Government.
1/ Would I say the same thing in a different setting? Yes.
2/ Is this the same thing I would say in a private setting if I could drop my guards down? Yes. I was arguing with my brother today on this because this is a sensitive topic in my household. All recent cases in Assam originate from the event in Delhi. Some of the people who tested positive are currently being treated in GMC, where my mom is a doctor. But what I said to him is exactly what I wrote here.
3/ Would my response had been the same if X was replaced by Y? Yes. If people had attended some Ram Navami celebration, ignored social distancing and endangered people, I would have called them idiots too. I would not have blamed the entire Hindu population. Would I have posted something different if the Government was not BJP but Congress? No. If the Government does something good, I praise them. If they screw up I mention that too. I don’t identify as a pro or anti any party. The reason I get irritated when I read posts by some friends on Facebook about Tablighi Jamaat gathering is that I know a lot of them to have anti-Muslim views. And are Pro BJP. I do replace the X with Y exercise with them, and I can guess their answer. So I just unfollow them.
4/ Can I argue the other side? I think I can. I know why most people are angry. I know what their arguments are.
5/ If the comment was anonymous, would I reply the same thing? Yes, I don’t think I have a problem calling people idiots if I think they are making stupid comments.
6/ Have I read as much as I can? Yes, I have seen enough data points to judge whether the Government is performing well or not. I don’t need TV anchors to shout at me to form an opinion. I have watched enough of Arnab Goswami, know who the backers of Republic TV are.
7/ Can I argue on points and no opinions? I hope so.