Dear Readers,

Yesterday, we gave you the
following practice topic for WAT – “AAPtards
and Bhakts: Is India’s current political discourse worthy of a civilised
In this article, we will look at the correct approach for an essay
on this topic and will also cover some important points which may be used in
this essay.

Guidelines – How to Approach this Question

Like most of the WAT topics, this is also an
opinion-centric question. Whether you agree or disagree with the statement, you
should provide relevant facts and data in your essay. They will make your essay
more impressive.

Before writing the essay, you should take into
account the nature of the question. Since this is a political topic, it is important
that your personal bias against a particular political party/person does not reflect
in your essay. Regardless of your own views, try to provide a balanced

The focus has to be on the current political
discourse and whether it is appropriate or not. You should not take any
aggressive political stand. Being balanced will give an impression of maturity.

What to Write in the Answer

Here are some points which you
can use in your answer:

· Introduction: The introduction to your essay should begin with some relevant background. You
can start by explaining how these days a remark made by a celebrity or a journalist
or a comment on Twitter gives rise to aggressive debates. People immediately
come forward to attack the speaker/writer and the use of slangs and abuses follows.
Sometimes, these debates turn into threats of violence or even threats of death.
Women and journalists are also targeted. In such scenarios, when a journalist
is threatened for doing her/his job, their means of livelihood is being

India is
considered the world’s largest democracy, and it also harboured the first
democracy in the world in the ancient city of Vaishali. You can end your
introduction by connecting these two contrasting ideas – how despite India being
the founder of democracy, the current political discourse may be undemocratic.

Since you have a good number of points for your
introduction, you may want to split them into two shorter paragraphs. This way
you can structure your essay better and provide a better flow to it.

· Main
You can choose to write the essay in favour of or against the topic
or you may choose to present some points both for and against the topic. The
conclusion of your essay should follow from the points that you include in the
body of the essay. Here, we will look at some points for both the sides in this

· YES: In
this view, you agree that India’s current political discourse is worthy of a
civilised nation. In any social or political debate, the use of abusive or threatening
arguments cannot possibly be justified. Thus, it would be unreasonable to say
that the current political discourse is acceptable; instead, you can take a
softer view and explain how the current political discourse is only the result
of circumstances and does not reflect negatively on India’s democratic
foundations. Looking at the topic from this view, you can list out ample points
to support this view. The following are some such points:

The information age began in the 1990s. Doordarshan
was replaced by 24-hour news channels and soon the internet and the social
media came to India. Thus, it is only recently that people got the opportunity
to discuss and debate issues extensively. Hence, our understanding/experience
of debating (and respecting other viewpoints) is still developing. More
importantly, a large percentage of the participants in these online debates is that
of youngsters who are impulsive and relatively immature.

If numbers and statistics are taken into
account, out of 1.3 billion people in India, around 400 million use the
internet. Out of this number, it is a handful of youngsters who are the most
active on social media. Even in polls taken on Twitter and Facebook, the number
of voters are no more than 5000-10,000. A mere 10,000 people cannot reflect the
ethos of 1.3 billion.

If one traces the chronology of politics in
India, up until the 1989 election, India was largely dominated by only one party. It
was only later that multiple parties became very significant/very strong. Wherever there are
different parties, some friction and conflict of ideas is bound to be present. Even
in established democracies like the US, the Republicans and the Democrats have
often called each other abusive names. While the Democrats call the Republicans
illiterate, conservative and even retarded, the Republicans describe their
opponents as socialists, communists, anti-democracy, anti-freedom and
unpatriotic. So long as such volatile exchanges do not lead to actual violence,
it is perfectly acceptable.

· NO: In
this view, you are saying that India’s current political discourse is not worthy of a civilised nation.

India has always had a rich tradition of
Parliamentary debates. Dignified speakers like Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur
Shastri and Atal Bihari Vajpayee have graced the political realm with their powerful
ideas and persuasive and gentlemanly communication. Such leaders set the
standard for democratic discourse.

Today, however, many political leaders attack
their opponents and try to demean them and their political ideologies. Politicians
like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal charge their opponents with grave
accusations and often use abusive terms for their opponents. Some also use
platforms like Twitter and Facebook to do so. The very idea of a healthy
political discourse gets negated in all this name calling. More efforts are
made in attacking each other than in working together.

These sort of actions are undemocratic in their
very nature. And, they percolate to the supporters of various parties who also
become abusive and aggressive. Thus, while freedom of ideas and choices is an
essential part of our democracy, the current political discourse may hurt the
country’s progress in the long run.

· Conclusion: Whether you write in favour of or against the topic, or provide both the
views, a logical conclusion should follow. It should essentially summarise all
the core points covered in your essay. You can end on an optimistic note such
as “With time all things improve/evolve. Let us hope that with time, the level
of political discourse in our country would also become more civilised.”

(Note: The views presented here are merely examples. We do not support or
oppose any political party.)

The next topic is –  “How does migration of people into other
countries affect nationalism and patriotism?”
(IIM Indore, 2013)

The answer to the previous WAT Practice Topic is here.

To access the whole series of our WAT articles, you can start here:…

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