Editorial: After the Jamia Attack, How to be Wary of Information

Dissent is countered with propaganda, always. It falls on us to be very wary of all that we choose to believe in. This isn’t mongering for fear, it’s mere mindfulness of how we process information in the days to come.

See how things have played out in the last two days. The primary argument the Delhi police is citing to justify its aggression revolves around the torching of vehicles. There are videos circulating online which point to the contrary.

Was it the violence of the students which necessitated such extreme reaction by the police? Was it only the students who were protesting or were the protestors a mixed group of local people? Was the violence which these protestors are being accused of committed by students of Jamia or just someone in the crowd? What are people actually protesting for, and what has the material and ideological activity of the state and police been around this?

You’re going to read multiple narratives on a daily basis. It’s going to make you wonder who deserves what, how protests should be carried out, and what should be the appropriate response of the state. But before that, ask yourself if you are equipped to be making these judgements. Do you have every fact, every truth?

You wouldn’t believe how things can be spun in a million different ways. Videos can be edited, words can be doctored, scenes can be replaced to make something appear what it is not. Instead of choosing to pointlessly mull the moralistic argument, acknowledge your knowledge barrier. See where every video, every picture comes from, who posted it, if their location matches with their activity, what and why are they telling you something.

You’re living in a time when this influx of correct/incorrect information is meant only for disruption, and the people in power will try to lull you into believing nothing is wrong with the world. This chaos is a terrible weight we all have to bear, and the only hope is to be accountable for your knowledge.

Truth is no longer authentic, factual information; it is whatever illusion, distortion, propaganda someone chooses to subject you to. Be very, very critical.