1. Mock Questions for UPSC GSM1
  2. Introduction: Origin of Intolerance
  3. Introduction: Origin of Post-Truth

    1. Post Truth in US/UK
    2. Post Truths against Indian Economy
    3. Post-Truths in Indian Society
    4. Post Truth in Science Technology
    5. Post Truths against Indian Judiciary
    6. Post Truth in Indian Politics
  4. Why Post-Truth prevails or Why is Intolerance growing?
  5. Why Post-Truth / Intolerance is bad?
  6. Conclusion

Mock Questions for UPSC Mains

Answer Following Questions:

  1. (GSM1 / Society) “Post-Truth” is a situation in which people accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than on facts. Examine the prevalence of “Post-Truth” in modern India’s socio-political landscape. (200 words)
  2. (GSM2 / Constitution) "Absolutism over the fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief will undermine social fabric and national unity." Comment. (200 words)
  3. Essay: Freedom of thought, conscience and belief.
  4. Essay: Truth vs. Freedom of belief.
  5. Essay: Rise of intolerance in Indian society: a myth or reality?

Introduction: Origin of Intolerance

If the question was about intolerance, then we can start 'origin' with Constitution (and end conclusion @SDG).
Tolerance as a virtue and as an essential asset of a plural society such as India. Hence to safeguard the plurality in India, our Constitution has provided for the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship in the preamble itself. However, following issues / events / actors / factors are undermining it or misusing it in recent years:….

Introduction: Origin of Post Truth

Since Post-truth is already defined in the question itself so how to begin introduction!? We can give the origin then connect it with definition:

  • In 2016, Western media had projected that Hillary Clinton will win US Presidential election and UK will not leave from EU. But the opposite happened in both cases.
  • Subsequently, these media experts articulated that we live in an age in which truth does not matter to an average media consumer, because he believes not in truth but in 'post-truth.’ i.e. objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals and personal belief. Some notable examples in India and abroad are as following:

Post-Truth in US/UK

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
  • The problem of unemployment and slowdown are not unique to UK, these are faced by all EU members states.
  • Overall, UK economy has gained more than it has lost by joining EU.
  • EU's immigration policy and tariffs are responsible for UK's problems. EU membership costs £350 million a week to UK.
  • If we divorce from EU, then rivers of milk and honey will flow.
  • People believed such rhetoric and voted in favor of Brexit referendum.
  • According to Philip Curve, low inflation economy will have high rate of unemployment.
  • Post-subprime crisis: (1) fall in domestic consumption (2) US Fed forced to cut interest rates. 1+2 resulted into low inflation, and therefore high rate of unemployment in USA.
Immigrant Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese and Indians responsible for unemployment and high crime rate in USA.
  • 1973: US Supreme court ruled that woman has "right to abortion" over fetus's "right to life".
Supreme court judgement is against Christianity.
  • While US Constitution provides for the right to bear arms, but there is direct correlation between easy access to automatic rifles vs. incidents of mass shootings at schools, malls and other public places.
  • Hence we need gun control laws in USA.
  • There is no correlation. Such statistical studies are farce.
  • Any person speaking about gun control  is against US Constitution.

Post Truth by Indian Separatists & Terrorists

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
As per the principles of Macroeconomics, ISIS 'kingdom' can't survive because

  1. They kill infidels so agriculture, mfg. and service sector will not grow due to the lack of technological advancement and foreign investment.
  2. They can only export narcotics and sex slaves. (and crude oil to some extent, if infidel engineers are not killed)
  3. So, ISIS will always have adverse balance of payment (BoP), thereby currency depreciation and high level of domestic food inflation, which will force even the staunch ISIS-supporters to migrate to secular  countries.
  • Rivers of milk and honey will flow in ISIS Caliphate.
  • Misguided Indian youth Mehdi Masroor Biswas and his 17,000 twitter followers believe this.
  • Kashmir is an integral part of India. And even if Kashmir had got "aazadi" (independence), from pure macroeconomics point of view, it couldn't have survived for long.
  • Even if Kashmir had joined Pakistan, they'd be treated as Muhajir / second class citizens- fully exploited and fully neglected.
  • Rivers of milk and honey will flow once Kashmir gains independence or joins Pakistan.
  • Separatists and their stone-pelting brethren believe in this post-truth.
26/11 attack was done by Pakistani terrorists. 26/11 could be a conspiracy by RSS according to a book released by Digvijay Singh.

Post Truths against Indian Economy

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
  • To combat high inflation, RBI has to pursue hawkish / tight monetary policy.
  • Even when inflation has eased but commercial banks are not passing off the benefits of previous rate-cuts, then RBI can't be expected to cut the policy rate further.
RBI is Anti-people and Anti-businessman. And if RBI governor happens to have studied / worked in foreign country, then he is anti-national also.
  • An indirect tax on consumption with "input credit at every stage of supply"- will remove cascading effect and reduce chances of tax-evasion.
  • Indian Constitution empowers both Union and States to levy taxes. Hence two streams of tax "input credit" are necessary (CGST & SGST). Therefore, suppliers have to maintain multiple registers/ records.
  • State governments will never agree to have a single tax rate on all commodities.
GST was promised to be a "one India one tax". But since it's so many slabs and compliance norms, therefore, GST is Anti-people and Anti-Businessman.
  • Demonetization resulted into hardship for ordinary people and unorganized sector.
  • It has brought in people into banking and card network. The subsequent 'less cash economy' will reduce transaction cost, black money and subsidy leakage in future.
Banks and Credit card companies get commission on every transaction- that's why government wanted demonetization / "less cash economy" because Modi government is run by "corporates".
  • After demonetization 99% of the banned currencies have returned back to RBI.
  • IT department has sent notice to high value transactions and bank transfers / deposits during demonetization. Although recovery of such black money will take time.
  • Demonetization has hurt ISI and Dawood's fake currency network.
Demonetization is a 100% failed experiment. It was done only for two reasons:

  1. Removing black money of regional parties before UP state assembly elections to ensure BJP's victory.
  2. Flooding PSBs with cash to solve their NPA problem.
  • Farmers sell their land to businessmen at premium rates, receive payments in cash to avoid paying stamp duty.
  • Many industrialists and film stars register as farmers to avoid income tax.
  • If such 'rich' farmers are taxed, it'll improve the fiscal capacity of the state.
Farmers are committing suicide therefore anyone speaking about tax on agriculture income is insensitive and inhuman.
If we remove all direct and indirect taxes and impose a banking transaction tax (BTT), there is a possibility that people would simply shift to gold / diamonds / barter economy for high value transactions to evade BTT.
  • Under banking transaction tax (BTT ) regime there will be no black money or parallel economy.
  • People enthusiastically forward such tweets / messages so they believe in such 'post-truth'.

Post-Truths in Indian Society

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
  • If dead cattle carcass is not removed, it will create foul air and public health problems.
  • Leather industry can't survive without the hides from dead animals.
  • Non-milk producing cattle is an economic burden on the farmer. Farmers themselves are keen to sell it to slaughterhouse.
SC and Muslims do these activities to hurt Hindu sentiments.
  • Given the centauries of migration, conquests, intermixing and assimilation of various races there is no "pure racial bloodline" in any continent. except may be some primitive tribes.
  • And, given the imbalance in boy:girl ratio, dowry issues and expectations of education and career, not every person can marry within his/her caste/religion in the modern India.
  • Intercaste / Intra-Gautra marriages destroy the 'purity of racial bloodline'.
  • Every inter-faith marriage is Love jihad.
  • For inclusion of a new caste into SC/ST/OBC list: If only Registrar General of India (RGI) and respective national commission agree to the need for including a particular caste, then the prayer is processed further.
  • This process takes a lot of time, and neither Constitution or any law has prescribed any 'deadline' to process such petitions in 24 hour.
  • Highschool failed self-proclaimed caste leader sits on Dharna demanding reservation without making petition at the appropriate forum / commission.
  • Government doesn't immediately declare the caste in SC/ST/OBC. Therefore ruling party is against our caste. Let's burn railways.
People change religion because of

  1. Push factors in original faith
  2. Pull factors in new faith
  3. Monetary considerations
  4. Genuine interest.
Money offered by missionaries is the only reason for anyone converting to Christianity.
Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān to immortalize his wife Mumtāz Maḥal. Taj Mahal was actually a temple of Shiva, known as Tejo Mahalaya. Ref
Christianity is a religion stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth in the 1st century AD. Christianity was originally a Vedic religion  known as Krishna-Neeti. REF
  • Punjab's porous border with Pakistan and internal corruption helps narcotics drug trade.
  • Youth becomes drug addict due to lack of education / family support or bad influence.
  • Udta Punjab is a fictional movie about the drug menace in Punjab.
70% of Punjabi youth are drug addicts as per Rahul Gandhi's statement.
? Arushi and 'naukar' Hemraj's murder.

Post Truth in Science Technology

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
  • Aeroplane was invented by the Wright Brothers in USA.
  • Indian inventor Shivkar Bapuji Talpade also tried but it failed to operate because of design limits.
  • Aeroplane was a vehicle discovered in the Vedic age by Indian Rishis.
  • This vedic plane could not just move from one country to another, but also from one planet to another.
  • English physiologist Robert G Edwards invented IVF.
  • J. L. Baird invented Television
  • All these things were invented by Indian rishis, as per the supplementary reading book in Gujarat education board. REF
Stem cell therapy has great applications in treating hard to cure diseases such as Leukemia, regeneration of neurons and damaged organs etc. Stem cell clinics embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses. Therefore, stem cell therapy kills a 'life, hence it's against Christianity.

Post Truths against Indian Judiciary

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
To safeguard the rights of women, Supreme court of India ruled that

  1. Triple talaq i.e. granting of instant divorce is unconstitutional. Even Islamic countries have abolished it. We must also get rid of it. (August 2017)
  2. Sex with underage wife is rape. (October 2017)
Supreme court judgements are against Islam (Some clerics and their followers believe this).
SC banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi to protect its air quality and Asthama patients. Supreme court judgement is against Hinduism. Disregarding the objective fact that same SC also delivered judgement against Triple Talaq.
  • Supreme Court sentenced Justice C.S. Karnan of the Calcutta High Court to six months in jail for contempt.
  • C.S. Karnan is a scheduled caste.
  • Supreme court's "brahminical" judges are against scheduled caste. REF.
  • Gurmeet Ram Ramrahim is a rapist.
  • His conviction resulted into rioting and destruction of public property by his goons.
  • Chinese Media's post-truth: India uses the border disputes to divert public attention away from the domestic conflicts arising from societal problem like this Dera sect leader's conviction! REF
  • Baba's own newspaper: Baba was wrongly framed by the drug mafia of Pakistan and to resolve the Doklam crisis.REF

Post Truth in Indian Politics

Truth Post Truth / Freedom to Believe
  • India has First Past the Post (FPTP) system:  a candidate who gets one vote more than other candidate is declared as winner.
  • In 2014 General Election, BJP's vote share was 31%
  • Even combined vote share of BJP+Congress was ~50%
  • Modi doesn't have "moral" mandate to rule over the country because Majority of the Indians and all MUSLIMS have 'rejected' him!
  • And many people believe and enthusiastically forward such tweets, FB posts and whatsapp messages, disregarding the objective fact that even Congress never won with absolute 51% of total eligible voters.
Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited data shows that more electricity was provided during Diwali than Ramzan or Eid. Ref Accusation that Samajwadi party supplied more electricity during Muslim festivals.
UID / Aadhar card is essential for targeted delivery of subsidies and entitlements.
  • Post-Truth#1: Government will always misuse it for mass-surveillance.
  • Post-Truth#2: anyone speaking #1 is automatically an anti-national, Pakistani or Naxalite.
  • To cultivate and enhance strategic and economic ties with foreign countries, a prime minister must be in touch with his counterparts. Many issues can't be concluded via phone, chatting or video conference. Leaders have to meet in-person behind closed doors.
  • ISRO has to launch Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan to showcase its technological prowess, which will help ISRO to get contracts to launch foreign satellites in outsourcing business.
  • Similarly, bullet train, metro train, mega sports-stadiums and other gigantic projects are necessary to showcase the skills of our engineers beyond CAT and CSAT so that we can do "project export" whenever other developing countries are interested in developing such infrastructure.
  • Even If we don't do above things, still farmers will still commit suicide- if not for debt then for family problems.
  • Farmers are dying and India sucks at global hunger report therefore Congress, BJP and all these big parties and their gigantic projects are 'anti-poor'.
  • A lokpal will solve the problem of political corruption.
  • Ishrat Jahan encounter.

Why Post-Truth prevails or Why is Intolerance growing?

  • It is a counter revolutionary retro-backlash against successive waves of progressive cultural change and social tolerance e.g. intercaste  / interfaith / intra-gautra marriages, legalization of LGBT marriages in some US states.
  • The older generation, particularly rural men with less formal education resent the displacement of their traditional social values. This creates pool of unhappy voters / supporters who'd be susceptible to seductive populist appeals to return to a golden age of national identity and social values (e.g. Hindu Rashtra / Islamic State / Criminalizing LGBT).
  • Post-industrial societies have increased economic inequality on one hand, and democracy on the other hand has provided rights and securities to migrants and backward communities. Hence part of the population feels resented towards them.
  • Individual / personality driven politics under which a leader exercises power based on direct support from large numbers of unorganized followers against an enemy from "Elite" social class. (E.g. Trump vs "Crooked" Hilary. Modi vs "Madam" Sonia & "Sehzada" Rahul.)
  • Traditional bureaucracy  / appointed executive leans more towards conservatism, incrementalism, checks and balances while designing new schemes, policies, laws and reforms. The elected executive feels restless with this laziness, prefer to speak directly with people to quickly announce his ideas (Trump on Twitter, Modi on Mann Ki Baat). Such haste sometimes prevents due-diligence and precaution, therefore, end outcome of that scheme / initiative is less than desired. (GST, demonetization).
  • Rise of a professional expertocratic political class has disenfranchised ordinary citizens and grassroots workers. e.g. Prashant Kishor, the election campaign manager. When a Constituency is seen as a 'mathematical equation', it results into minoritism or majoritarianism. Whoever feels neglected, will believe in Post-Truth suitable to his own ideas.
  • Too much liberalism and environmentalism also doesn't sit well with majority. e.g. White Christian family in a country side (=rural USA) will vote against Hilary because they believe her "environmentalism" will cost their jobs in coal mines.
  • Post-Truth is not always 'error in judgement' by the people. It is possible that Modern day journalists and political 'elites' don't always have firm understanding of ground realities, long range socio-economic studies and demographic changes occurring in a country. Hence what they're paddling could be 'pre-truth', 'paid news' or 'false statement', and what actually occurs is the not 'post-truth' but actual 'truth'!
  • In the modern age of social media, fear, rumour and gossip can spread alarmingly fast with feelings and emotions often carrying more weight than facts and evidence.
  • Lure of reward among academicians: Writing Sanskritized history and glorification of Vedic age will help landing membership at some good national level institute or atleast membership at state level public service commission. Bashing Hinduism and writing about Dalit atrocities will help getting research grant from UK and so forth.

Why Post-Truth / Intolerance is bad?

  1. Increases the panic, disgust and fear among people to such level that spark of a fake news / photoshopped image in whatsapp is sufficient to spark lynching and riots. See examples in my answer to Fake News Question.
  2. It harms the social fabric of the country. Lynching, Cow vigilantism and tacit silence of the ruling state governments.
  3. It encourages political opportunism.  (e.g. Nitish Kumar joining hands with arch-rival Lalu to prove his "secular votes" of Bihari Muslims before election, and then siding with BJP for his own political stability.)
  4. Post-Truth about science technology harms India's global reputation. Indian-born Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan vowed to boycott all future programs of Indian Science Congress (ISC) because it has become a 'circus where very little science is discussed.'
  5. Manipulated history and glorification of past doesn't help building character of students.
  6. Media gives more highlight to speeches of controversial persons- who make speech and scoot, and have large number of followers. It's difficult to undo their damage even with 500 pages of research data because truth teller doesn't have that large following on social media. (E.g. Rahul Gandhi with  nearly 4 million twitter followers saying 70% Punjabi youth are drug addicts vs some social activist of Punjab with only 100 twitter followers saying that you're wrong!)
  7. Attention of masses diverted away from the real issues.
  8. Growing intolerance towards artistic freedom. Frequent vandalism against a book or movie. Ban Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Padmavati. Ban entry of Taslima Nasreen etc.


Post-Truth & Intolerance in India

Type#1: Summary

  • Whether it's India or USA, too much “political correctness”, too much “identity politics”, Too much "minoritism" doesn't go well with the majority and vice versa.
  • Compounded by the lack of right education, rising number of unemployed and the growing menace of fake news- public opinion is swayed by many factors other than objective facts. This results into belief in post-truth / growing intolerance.
  • This unhealthy phenomenon must be tackled before it does any further damage to the social fabric of India.

It has been a while since I blew the pipudi (trumpet) of SDG. So let try that route as well:

Type#2: SDG

  • Sustainable Development Goal #16 requires all the member-states to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  • Post-Truth / Alternate Facts / Growing intolerance harms in these endeavors. Therefore, they must be nipped in the bud by the collective and cooperative action of the state, society and individuals.

Regarding the  GSM2-question "absolutism" over right to freedom of thought:

  • Freedom of thought, belief and expression are the signs of a vibrant democracy, and the makers of our constitution who wanted to transform ordinary individuals into moral and enlightened citizens, have provided for such rights.
  • However, given the rise of social media & electronic media, and the prevalence of post-truth, paid news and alternate facts in them, such rights can't be kept unrestrained. Because SDG ki pipudi