As George Orwell writes in his Masterpiece, 1984, “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink,” Doublethink is defined by Wikipedia as “the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality.”
Now, as reasonable individuals, we expect Doublethink to exist exclusively in the domain of fantasies but unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Doublethink infects a very specific set of individuals and these people are often found in denial of Ground Realities.
But that is certainly not the case. A close relative of Doublethink, ‘Doublespeak’ does operate in everyday life and is an integral part of Politics. Again, Wikipedia defines Doublespeak as “language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.” It goes on to add, “Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs,”servicing the target” for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable.” It is quite easy to understandable why Doublespeak is integral to the realm of Liberal Democracies. A Politician must satisfy a diverse group of individuals to gain access to Power and retain it. Failing to do so will ensure that the person is soon relegated to Political Anonymity.
Now that we understandable what Doublespeak and Doublethink is, it’s time we proceed to understand how are both the terms relevant in today’s world and if we regard them as viruses, then to see which people it infects and what effects it produces on the affected individuals. It’s easy to imagine the sort of behavior such a virus is likely to induce, a willful denial of reality and a warped worldview. As for the particular kind of people affected by such a virus, I think it’s quite obvious that Liberals are the most susceptible to infection.
The most obvious example of Doublespeak in existing circumstances is the claim, “Islam is a Religion of Peace.” One casual glance through the Islamic texts will make it clear to anybody who reads it in its entirety that Islam is NOT a religion of peace. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi himself, the Leader of ISIS, stated firmly that Islam was never a Religion of Peace. In fact, none of the Abrahamic Religions preach peace. History is witness to this fact. However, imagine a politician making such a statement. The entire media will be up in arms against the person concerned and will ensure that the political career of the person is finished. The validity of the assertion will never be challenged in actual Historical context or Factual Basis. The statement will only be questioned in terms of ethics and Selective Data will be produced to justify the Outrage.
The Chaos that will ensue will ensure that Truth is never the Objective of the discussion and the Narrative of Intolerance will be formed to describe the person who just made a statement of fact. I can already assume some people are already fuming upon reading my assertions and presume that I am an Intolerant Bigot. I assure you I am neither of those. I am just making a factual statement. That such statements require disclaimers to accompany them shows how far Doublethink has penetrated our Society.
Another glaring example of Doublespeak in our prevailing conditions is the assertion that India is a Secular country. In fact, India is NOT a Secular country. The Constitution of India is not Secular. As needs no mention, it is impossible to have Secular Political Parties under a Constitution which is itself not secular. Well, Holyoake defined Secularism as a system of governance completely separated from Religion. That is, a complete separation of Religion and State. The Indian Constitution however does not however provide for a complete separation of Religion and State as the relationship between State and Religion is not clearly defined and the State participates in various Religious matters. So when Political Parties rant about Secularism and claim to be secular, one should point out that the Constitution itself is not secular. Our founding fathers were pragmatic and realized this fact and omitted the word ‘Secular’ from the constitution but it was inserted by Indira Gandhi into the Preamble.
Another instance of Doublespeak is the assertion that various religions have coexisted peacefully in India since centuries. That, my friends, is absolutely bogus. Ever since the advent of the Abrahamic religions in India, there always has been some sort of conflict or the other at regular intervals and it has gone on for centuries. We have studied all about Communal riots and Warfare in our History Books. And it’s primarily Doublethink which prompts us to assert that Religions have coexisted peacefully in India for centuries. Before the advent of Abrahamic Religions? Yes. But after it? A big No. And it’s only Doublethink that prevents us from accepting this sobering fact.
One extremely disturbing example of Doublethink is the defense that Liberals put forward for the Burkha. One would imagine that Muslim Feminist would be an oxymoron. But as it so happens, they occupy a distinct position in the Feminist movement. Among other things, they defend the Burkha aggressively and absolutely deny its misogynistic origins. When the horn for ‘No Hijab Day’ was blown, the Muslim feminists obviously criticized the women who celebrated the day who quite unsurprisingly were Muslims too.
Recently, some people from both sides of the border started an online trend #ProfileForPeace with the following message, “I am an Indian/Pakistani. I live in <Insert City Name>. I don’t hate Pakistan/India. I am not alone. There are many like me.” This trend was supported even by Celebrities, notably Vishal Dadlani and the like. Well, my response to such a trend would be, “Okay, kids, go play your cute little games elsewhere and let the adults deal with the serious matters.” Because obviously when they say they are not alone, they mean there are other liberals like them who share the same sentiments. And as we know, the liberals on the other side of the border have no hold over the masses whatsoever. Also, these liberals will post such pretty messages on social networking sites without addressing the core issue at hand, State Sponsored Islamic Terrorism and the hatred for India which was the basis for the formation of the State of Pakistan in 1947. Such Liberals seem to believe that the animosity between the two countries can be resolved by trending such naive posts on the Internet. Especially since the Liberals on the Pakistani side of the Border do not seem to have put any pressure on their government to act sternly on the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks and countless other acts of terrorism that India has been plagued with. But in spite of such circumstances, liberals on both sides of the border seem to think the mutual hatred between the two countries can be reduced by sharing such childish messages on the Internet. A classic case of Doublethink.
We are living through an age of Epoch. With great advancements in Science and Technology and the threat of Islamic Terrorism greater than it has been in Humanity’s history, it is imperative that we reject wishful thinking which might lead to Doublethink and keep our feet firmly planted in the realms of reality. At a time when the future of our Civilization is at stake, we must do all that’s necessary to resist the illusions that Doublethink tempts us with, no matter how sweet they might seem to be.