Recently, we have seen many fake news on Hindus driven by media houses. Hindus who are mostly reside in India and have been following the Vedic tradition for more than 10,000 years, accounts for 15% of the World population. ISKCON, Yog, Ayurveda are some of the aspects of the Vedic civilization which has benefitted millions of humans outside India. There are trends in the media houses and films to show Hindus as violent as Nazis. The movies like “Laila’ and ”Sacred Games” on Netflix, portray Hinduism as a Nazi ideology.
The fake news against anyone not only harm the consumer of fake news but also the world. It is a duty of every human to stand against the fake news and stop them before it result in any harm.
Given yoga is just 1% of what Hinduism has to offer to humanity, world is expected to miss-out on the great service of Hinduism if fake news against Hinduism do not stop. The rest of the article explain the process by which fake news create hurdles for world peace.
Human beings make a decision based on the information and intuition. The decisions are culminated into an action (Karma). The action could be to act in a certain way or not to act at all. Every action (or Karma) is associated with the outcome. The outcome affects not only the individual but the world. If the information provided to human is wrong, the decision made by him is expected to be wrong. The wrong decisions are likely to bring bad actions (karma). The outcome for the human being and the world based on such actions is likely to be worse than usual.
To understand this, I will use following two examples
Example 1: There is a crossing, named Blue crossing, where it has no signal. The Blue crossing recently got a new signal (turns red to suggest stop the vehicle and green to suggest go). A person named, Shyam drives through Blue crossing every day. To understand the effect of information on the actions of Shyam and its impact to world, let us assume that Shyam has weak memory. Shyam wakes up in the morning and reads the newspaper. He saw the news headline that “Blue crossing has a new signal”. Since this news adds to his information base, he expects to be watchful of the signal when passing through Blue crossing. He drove as usual, and make an effort to check for signal at the blue crossing to ensure its Green or Red so he can safely either keep driving or make a stop at the signal to ensure no accident. The result of his decision is that there are no accidents and no traffic jams for others, world moves safely.
Now if we change the scenario on the news report and make the headline of news little misleading. Shyam wakes up and sees the headline that the “Blue Crossing now has smoother flow of traffic”. He expects smooth flow of traffic through blue crossing. He drove as usual and put his car on Cruise Control as he don’t expect any signal. To his bad luck, he got distracted for a moment and didn’t see a Red signal or the Blue crossing. He met an accident. The world sees long traffic jam due to his accident. The World suffers.
Example 2: There are Bengal tigers who have turned meat eaters due to regular flooding in the area. The humans get washed away with flood waters and end up in Sudarbans where Tigers eat them. This fact is observed by many people who live in the area when they are attacked by the Tiger.
Now, in a just world we expect a report in the newspaper spreading the factual information on the Bengal Tigers that they are turned man-eater due to flooding. When a person name Shyam visits Sundarbans (a forest area in Bengal), he is expected to be more careful after reading the report on Bengal Tiger. If his car broke in the forest of
Sundarbans, he is expected to stay within the car until the help arrives. This way, Shyam is expected to stay safe from the Bengal Tiger and pursue his work to serve his family and society.
In a scenario where we have a reporter who is all full of love for Tigers or is illiterate in
sciences or general studies to understand the danger of Bengal Tiger turning into Man-eater, writes a report claiming that Bengal Tigers are adorable and could be a great pet. We call it a fake news as the report has no link to the factual information which is needed for the reader to make a informed decision. Our friend Shyam, reads this fake news and imbibed this information that Bengal Tigers are adorable and could be great pet. Now given the case of his travel to Sunder bans and his car being broken in the middle of the forest, Shyam is expected to stay out of the car and look for Bengal Tiger to adore him. There is a likelihood that Shyam will lookout to make a Bengal Tiger his pet. The chances of Shyam being eaten up by the Bengal Tiger is very high now. If Shyam is killed, his family and society will miss-out on services Shyam is expected to provide to them.
In above two examples, we have seen how fake news could not only harm the consumer of fake news, but also penalize the society. The fact that the world is diverse and so are human preference and perception, is well imbibed by Hinduism in its fundamentals. This is evident from diverse kind of practices prevalent and accepted in the religion. As Jaggi Vasudev Ji, a well-known Mystic of India, has mention in his several talks, India remains a country of Truth seekers rather than country of believers. Now it is time for the world to move towards seeking truth rather than believing any news at its face value.
The article is published in a journal of Marg Foundation, MARG V16N5 (September – October issue). Same is based on my talk at the Marg Foundation Seminar on “The Hinduism in 21 st Century” held on May 4, 2019 at the Hindu Temple, Adelphi, College Park, Maryland, USA
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