ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Trade-off of Values in Real Politics


It has been historically true that a significant section of the population, particularly the youth, has been pliant to the communal and ethnically oppressive and narrow agenda that is taken on board by socio-religious forces in order to serve their particular political interests. The young people lend themselves to manipulation by the politicians, who can seek and trap them into the vortex of communal violence, which is made to irrupt periodically in order to favour one party or the other. The recent communal mobilisation in Maharashtra and Uttarakhand proves the social tendency of such mobilisation towards violence, and it does have the youth as a major component who contribute to it, either directly or indirectly, by spreading fake, distorted news through a rather gross misuse of various social media platforms. We need to employ a certain kind of framework of moral values within which both those who use these youths and those who lend themselves to such manipulation can be evaluated. Those who lend themselves to such manipulation do have value inasmuch as they are willing to be utilised by prospective forces who have enormous power and resources to decide the value of those employed for communal mobilisation.

It is needless to mention that the politics of manipulation for communal mobilisation is based on the exchange of values that have an instrumental character. The intrinsic values such as dignity and self-respect, arguably, do have a fixed quantum of force. In fact, it is constant; it can neither be minimised nor maximised. For example, intrinsic values such as self-respect or dignity based on conviction are arguably constant. Put differently, it would be absurd to say that one is enjoying self-respect in degrees or in percentages. Instrumental value, on the other hand, is flexible, and hence can be maximised or minimised. Both the material price which has a bearing on the usefulness of a person depends on the varied scale. Thus, the instrumental hierarchy that one finds in terms of closeness and distance from a particular political personality with an impressive clout is suggestive of the flexible nature of instrumental value.

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Updated On : 5th Jul, 2023
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