I have an interesting question from a reader. He wants to know why I don't cover current affairs. I said send me your question and I will respond. This is what he has sent me:
"Can i know how far the flood relief given by the govt has reached the lower people?
Because some of the private channels say that the relief is not given properly, till now the places has not cleard from water logging oin roads.
hope i'll get a positive result frm u.
keep developing ur post everyday"
We also chatted and discussed the present state of sordid affairs. The Ruling Party, the Opposition, each channel, newspaper and magazine have their own bias, special preferences. Who do we believe? What do we do?
The rain in Tamil Nadu and the relief fund that is attached to it has given rise to a lot of controversy. The ruling party will say we have provided relief to everyone and the opposition will say they have not done anything to anyone. The truth in fact might lie somewhere in between.
What should the common man do? Who should he believe?
Believe those who have data to support their argument. Many news channels just catch hold of a couple of people and ask them to speak for or against somebody. This kind of cheap manipulation is useless and such data is worthless. No one can believe such blatant lies.
The ruling party should be able to say, out of X number of places we have been able to provide relief to so many people. They should be able to share the balance sheet with the people. The opposition should be able to say the damage was so much and the money collected was X amount and it should have been used for a, b, c purposes but it is being used for x, y, z purposes.
People should support newspapers and channels which listen to both the parties and question both of them objectively and without any partiality.
For example in this news item, The Hindu has covered all the viewpoints including the protestors, resisdents of the affected area, the Minister, the collector and the police commissioner. This is an objective report.
The Government has started eGovernance and the municipality has a website.
Example: Vellore Municipality website
The site has a provision: Submit your grievance
Here people can complain about their problems. After complaining they can check the status of their complant by going to:
Check status of your grievance
The Municipality also says:
"We request your comments and suggestions to help us to improve this website and our services to you."
This shows that this Municipality has made every effort to help people. How many people use this provision and how many of their problems are solved is a different question. But nobody can deny the fact that the Municipality has made every effort to address the problems of the people.
If you are the Ruling Party and want to blow your trumpet do it with grace. Support whatever you say with real data that can withstand the scrutiny of the opposition.
If you are the Opposition and want to tear the ruling party to pieces do it with facts. Collect data to support your arguments.
If you are a news site or news paper channel, even if you are sponsored by one of the parties, improve your credibility by giving both points of view or multiple points of view. And base your opinion on statistics.
If you are a common man attacked on all sides by all these people, keep your mind open, seek proof, read the implied meaning of the person who gives you the information and respond with criticism and appreciation.
If you are the Rain God please have some mercy on the Tamil Nadu people. They have already been beaten to death by the downpour of political speeches.