Politicians, media, bureaucrats, industrialists are all showcasing their wisdom by expressing their views on diverse matters. The discourse is full of confusion in and around words. On the one hand there are usages as what one might call genuinely technical terms which might clarify matters, and on the other hand there are usages as buzz words employed for obfuscation. These conflicting and confusing uses often impede reasoned debate.
For example: Socialism, social justice, communalism, secularism, nationalism, democracy, corruption, free-market, and many such are oft repeated words.
None of the parties or individuals are ever cross-examined on what exactly they mean or imply when they use such terms; nor are their meanings and implications examined if they have internal contradictions.
This has led to wide-spread hypocrisy in public discourse with the electorate and the public helplessly watching this as some meaningless entertainment.
We feel that there may be some way to get around this. And one such way is to design questionnaires for each topics. Those who express views in public could be required to commit their answers to these questions. They may be allowed to change their views, but then such changes will be recorded in the media, and can be used as reminders for public memory. Further, if there are stark inconsistencies in their views, such hypocrisies will be brought out in the open very effectively.
We may, as an exercise, consider the concept of Freedom of Art, Expression and Speech which was so hyped about in India in relation to an old man who died recently. And we could always ask the following:
In terms of Freedom of Expression which of these should be permissible by the law? The answers must be in yes or no.
1. Making nude pictures of Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati, etc.
2. Making nude pictures of Mohammad. (For much less, see Danish Cartoons)
3. Picturing Mohammad enjoying his time with a goat. (see geiten neukers)
4. The pictures shown by Andres Serrano as Piss-Christ.
5. The pole-dance video caricaturing Mohandas K Gandhi.
6. Picturing Gautam Buddha drinking wine.
7. Picturing Mahaveer Swami eating meat.
and so on.
The above set is merely suggestive, and it is clear that anyone who says "no" to any of the questions above is displaying inconsistency in his position.
We need to develop and improve such questionnaires to expose the hypocrisy of our public figures including politicians, journalists, media, and other celebrity riff-raff!
Of course, as many readers would have guessed, most of those asked would prefer to reply with "no comments"! These along with the hypocrites must be weeded out from reasoned debates.
We welcome readers' suggestions towards many more such sets of questions.