Only a decade back, it was almost unimaginable that India would find itself in this dark place globally where its perception would shift so radically – but the “Digital Age” is unleashing new challenges.
Chaos maybe the permanent feature of our reality but the unprecedented level of chaos that we have witnessed in the last 15 years caught us unprepared. This is especially true at the policy level where inertia is deeply imbedded both, at the structural and agency level. The result? We have globally plunged into a slippery domain of non-strategic and non-instrumental policy-making, unable and unwilling to fully fathom and embrace the pace of this chaos. It is almost as if the policy system is exhausted and functioning on the day-to-day basis waking up every morning finding a new target to chase which by the nightfall is irrelevant.
This chaos will have both winners and losers based upon how the nations and its leaders maneuver around and master the chaos. But how do we define chaos? It is by definition a complex environment driven by unpredictability and random occurrences where at one hand even small change in the input could topple over the system and on the other hand even a large input has no effect on the system. Let’s start with the could-be losers first.
The most damning effect of this policy shift is evident with frustrated public in several democracies around the world electing demagogues as leaders that then foolishly use this chaos to arbitrarily redefine the geography, human rights and nationhood as a way to appropriate blame and reignite nationalism around the “other”. We witnessed that during the four years of President Trump’s rule. We are also continuing to witness the same with PM Modi’s regime in India that has not only occupied IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir) but has regressed India into the largest exporter of hate and fake news around the world.