Major social change does not happen within the space of a year. Yet, to a large number of observers around the world, the “post-truth” phenomenon seemed to emerge from nowhere in 2016.
Two key events of 2016 shaped our understanding of the post-truth world: one was in June, when Britain voted in favour of leaving the European Union. The other was in November, when political maverick Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Trump’s administration spent the third day of his presidency speaking of “alternative facts”, and making false claims about the size of the crowds that had attended his inauguration.… Seguir leyendo »
The world is full of stark contrasts; and contrasts present great opportunities for spin doctors. In India, the spectre of black money – untaxed stashes of cash hoarded by individuals – coexists with the world’s highest number of people living in extreme poverty. This contrast has been there for years.
So when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an immediate ban on two high-value bank notes – 500 rupees (worth roughly US$7.27) and 1,000 rupees (US$14.54) – to fight the menace of black money, as well as fake currency and terror financing, was it sound policy, or yet more spin? Or was it, as Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh has called it, “organised loot and legalised plunder”?… Seguir leyendo »