Aam Janata | Satyameva Jayate

Aam Janata aims to look at India through the lens of any average Indian. It sees India as a shared, co-created, constantly evolving space and sees all citizens as important to the country. This blog emerged from a passion for behavioral science applied to democracy and has an egalitarian ethos.

If we see the entire country as a group or organization, how can behavioral sciences help us understand what is going on in it? Who determines the choices of the group? Whose needs get met? Who is ignored? Who is picked on by bullies? Who is neglected by all?

This blog does not claim a “neutral perspective” that is content to state what happens. It upholds the vision of any shared space, though most often, it speaks of India as a country, as the shared heritage of all its people. Most content on this blog is created by Vidyut. However, there are plenty of other writers as well. Content that appears here reflects the following values that are the intent behind the creation of this blog.

Personal autonomy

Here, it is a quick term to refer to all fundamental rights due to a person as per the United Nations. I would have said Indian constitution, however, our government had challenged in the Supreme Court that Indians don’t have a right to privacy, so it seemed prudent to switch to a more reliable list. This blog strongly endorses the right of individuals to make their own choices as long as they are legal. In some cases, this blog recognizes the right of people to make choices even if they are not legal, because admin (Vidyut) believes the prevailing law infringes on a more important right of the people concerned and in a manner that undermines their rights in comparison with the rest of the population. Examples of such exceptions include, but may not be limited to:

  • Homosexuality: We have no idea why the government must have an opinion on who has sex with whom at all, as long as it is consensual. We don’t recognize any such right of the government (or for that matter any other entity not participating in that relationship) that prohibits consensual intimate relationships between adults.
  • Sedition: We believe that both the term and the law are loosely interpreted and recklessly applied to overrule the autonomy of citizens. It is a colonial law and its use is a colonist’s action. We do not recognize many of the cases currently known as sedition as seditious. In fact, we believe that the current government’s undermining of the country’s economy, law and order, secular fabric, internal and external security, currency and more is a direct act of destruction against the country, and if sedition exists, then this is it.
  • Blasphemy: Laws against blasphemy infringe on the rights of atheists to state their beliefs, including beliefs that religious people may not appreciate. If there is a right to believe in any god and follow any religion of choice, then it is not a right unless a person can openly opt out as well. Which brings us to…
  • Aadhaar and UIDAI: This blog considers Aadhaar to be a multipronged attack on the well being of India that is perpetrated by certain vested interests in the country in collusion with foreign interests seeking to subjugate and economically exploit India. There are unacceptable problems with the Aadhaar Card including but not limited to security, denial of basic rights and services, violation of privacy, undermining of national citizenships and a serious vector for the destruction of the economy. This blog considers Aadhaar fit only for destruction.

Self-determination

We believe that citizens of a free country participate in the processes of the country because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. We believe that when it comes to a conflict of interest, the decision of the people living in the circumstances under question must be final. A country cannot appropriate the resources of a region by overruling its people or brutalize them for its own interest and against their will and with no benefit to them. This is colonization. This exploitation is what we fought for independence against. India subjugating its citizens this will always be considered a deterioration on this blog. This means that if the state believes that its desired actions in any place are not acceptable to the residents, then it is the responsibility of the state to ensure their willing consent or abandon the project. Evicting citizens from their homes and villages, destroying natural habitats, imposing armed subjugation of the population are all acts of war against own citizens and to be condemned. No citizen owes others or the country an unending duty to sacrifice while they face ruin themselves.

Non-affiliation

This blog is not affiliated with any political party, commercial entity, activist group or any other kind of organized activities that would have an impact on the public space in India. Any actions appreciated or supported will be limited by nature and any support extended to any entity – whether a protest movement or political party will be explicitly disclosed on the blog along with the reasons for it and the duration the affiliation/bias is expected to last. This also goes for commercial affiliation. Regardless of affiliation, this blog will not endorse anything that violates the stated values of this blog.

Disclosure: This blog is currently supporting the India Unites campaign organized by a group of citizens to represent the problems faced by many grassroots organizations in the country.

Anti-extremism

We believe India is only harmed by communal hatred and polarization. Whether religious, caste based, class based or politically motivated. It will always be opposed.

Accountability of authority

Authority must be accountable to all it holds power over. An authority that refuses the basic democratic principle of being accountable to those it represents is not recognized by this blog as a democratic entity. Any authority must answer to constituents for any questions that may be raised that impact the person or persons or overall condition of the whole. This is in keeping with authority being a role that wields the power of the whole, as opposed to wielding power over the whole. Thus, whoever it claims to speak on behalf of, must know what the authority granted by them is being used for. Any authority refusing this, must step down and make way for those who are willing to be accountable.

The special case of BJP and Narendra Modi

Repeated observations of the political party BJP have led us to conclude that BJP is not a democratic entity and thus not beneficial to India. Observations of promises made, methods used to make them and the subsequent lack of delivery, refusal to be accountable, patronization of violent fringe elements as political leverage have been made and are enough to convince us that BJP is a scam on the people who were made to believe that their interests would be served by voting for the party, when in reality their interests have only been harmed.

The blog will consistently advocate the use of democratic means to ensure that this entity claiming to be a party gets as little power to misuse as possible. While BJP remains in power at the center, this stand is unlikely to change. This does not indicate any hostility for supporters of the party or leader. This stand about the party has been taken on the basis of the actions of the leaders. Individual supporters do not wield the power and merely holding different views from us, even if they are views we consider harmful may merit spirited debate or outright disagreement, but as long as everyone has their autonomy, supporters of BJP are perfectly welcome to engage.

Aam Janata | Satyameva Jayate 1

This place is an ongoing conversation

This blog aims to create a space where diverse views can coexist, but beyond coexisting, we also hope that this becomes a place where like minded people can collaborate and expand the reach of the values of this blog. We are interested in an expanding dialogue, across perspectives and even opinions. Agreement is overrated. It is differences that expand our ability to think beyond what we already know. We are very interested in hearing from you. What you think of the content, do you have something to add? Do you disagree with something said here? Let’s talk.