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Not The News

Depending on the news source you've subscribed to, people are either dying in "queues" due to demonization and the zombie apocalypse, or people are ecstatic that others who are "unfairly" richer than them could now be as poor as them.

There's a news article for every opinion you can imagine. Sometimes the same news source carries two completely contradictory opinions. I'm guessing that is a form of A/B testing to ascertain what's more popular...or profitable. Tonnes of fake news websites and opinion blogs have cropped up to promote all kinds of crazy "bubbles". People subscribe to news they find comforting and dig deeper into ideas they find agreeable with their personal value-systems. But where's the truth in all this mess?

Apparently, you can't handle the truth. Read the rest at your own peril.

So here are a few things that are not true —

  • Arnoob Goswami approves Moodi's demonetization move; undecided populous now know what to think of it

  • Sikh groups distribute seed funds to starving startup founders in bank queues

  • Bank manager in coma after using ergonomic keyboard for 3 days

  • Farmers, soldiers, senior citizens, school children to form political party. Allege decades of abuse by political class

  • Popular pizza chain offers free chai in Mumbai banks; townies demand Marie Gold

  • Retail market takes a hit, people insist on paying with "SMS votes"

  • ATMs fail to dispense burgers nationwide

  • In Gujarat, ATMs fail to dispense theplas

  • Microsooft announces old notes can be used to purchase Windows 10 licenses

  • Barbie (Mattel) sues RBI over use of pink in Rs. 2000 notes. RBI cries magenta

  • Bhakts and AAPtards unite to launch donation campaign for hostile Twitter Inc takeover. Twitter retaliates with new grammar and spell-check features

  • Most ATMs use Windows and closed-source software, alleged Kejroowal. LG confers prestigious Stallman title to Kejroowal

  • Moomata rejects govt demonetization move, confusingly claims demonic possession "very dangerous"

  • Demonetisation issue brings Parliament to a halt. Congress demands "credit" in "cash" to resume normality

  • Moodi insists recycling opposition ideas in line with the Paris Climate Agreement

  • Rahool stands in bank queue, uses Italian heritage, scores free pizza from popular pizza chain

  • Kejroowal visits family of missing startup founder; accuses Delhi Police of weak password policy

  • AAP tackles attrition in party, offers free Reliance Jio SIMs for party supporters

  • Oonna Hazare supports demonetization move, says everyone should experience life-threatening hunger at least once

  • Rapes in Delhi drop sharply after crackdown on black-money, reports Zee News

  • Congress gears up to disrupt Parliament session, starts official Youtube channel with viral Rahool videos to raise fresh captial

  • P.Chidoombaram breaks his silence on demonetization; says he knows all the loopholes but he's not on Quora

  • Rahool tears in Moodi with "soldiers are dying at the border" speech. Pak scraps Kashmir dreams, announces indefinite ceasefire

  • Aroon Jaitley insists cash invalidation is hard; software engineers pledge support

  • Minority groups insist Rahool is their saviour; will personally deliver them free pizzas

  • Polls show people support BJP govt in demonetization drive. Emotional Moodi asks people to be patient and credit 'Moodi govt'

  • Arnoob Goswami quits Times Now, crosses LoC, destroys Pak with loud hyperbole

  • Peas preacher Zookir Naik banned for 5 years for allegedly promoting supremacy of peas over other veggies

  • NDTV imposes self-ban by blocking ad-blockers on its website

  • Roovish Kumar angry with NDTV after Roodia tapes link Boorkha Dutt to bad fashion sense. Blames UDP for delayed memo

  • Left-wing news outlets criticizing demonetization plan using photos of sad farmers sued by Getty Images

  • 5-year old girl child creates online news aggregation service in node.js. Service declares 10% population dead from standing in bank queues. Rahool calls for fresh census

  • JNU management screens 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' in last ditch move to drive students out of campus

  • RSS upgrades hardware after decades. More drones added to group. Still XML

  • Bollywood moves all black-money to "impenetrable" Soolman Khan residence

  • Aishoowarya Rai Bachhan supports demonetization, Panama Papers show

  • Gone Viral: Farmers died. Moodi cried. Inky pinky ponky

We are slowly moving into our own bubbles. I think you'll find that most people are either with Modi or anti-Modi. There's no real middle-ground. Either that, or the voices of people in the middle are drowned out by the shouting match on either side.

I was once labelled an "AAPtard". At the time, the anti-establishment Kejriwal made sense. Much like US politics right now, I thought that the political class wasn't working for us regardless of who was in power. That the Congress and BJP basically dined together at the same lavish parties thrown by the same people. Towards the end of the election cycle, it became clear that Kejriwal would be CM of Delhi and Modi would be PM. This was the best-case scenario, really. We got to see what each had to offer.

While Kejriwal's drama-queen tendencies and attention-hungry actions were a sign of things to come, his IIT-cred trumped all else. He was still one of us commoners who worked through the ranks and hardships to get where he was. Then came the hunger for power. Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee joined Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav on stage to take on the BJP. That was the moment of disillusionment. This wasn't the grass-roots "white knight" the alt-left deserved. This is murky, old-school, powerplay politics. Despite my fairly vocal opposition to Kejriwal since then, I'm still labelled an AAPtard. Like "bhakt", AAPtard too is a lame putdown word used to excuse themselves from having a rational, intellectual conversation. I don't mind it. It's actually quite revealing of the other person.

In a lot of areas, the current govt is doing a commendable job. Have I turned into a bhakt? Nope. Far from it. I would describe my opinion of the current state as, "Cautiously optimistic".

It would be unfair to not give credit for good work. It would also be utterly stupid if we placed all our faith in the political class and expected them to selflessly act in the best interest of the people.

Human nature is far more nuanced than "good" and "evil".

I do lament about the absence of an effective opposition though. The govt could practically get away with anything with no one to stop them. As long as Arnoob approves, of course.