In our day to day life, we often come across the term ‘apolitical’, used in different contexts. What is the meaning of this term? To understand this, let’s break this down.
The term ‘apolitical’ stems from the prefix ‘a-‘ meaning ‘not’ or ‘without’, and the term ‘political’. Therefore, when combined, ‘apolitical’ essentially signifies the absence of political views, leanings or interests. That is, if a person is described as being ‘apolitical’, it indicates that they do not engage in or are not influenced by politics.
This lack of political interest can be viewed at different layers. It could mean that an individual doesn’t have specific political opinions, doesn’t support a particular political party, or fundamentally doesn’t consider politics as a significant part of life. They usually maintain a stance of neutrality, avoiding displaying allegiance to any specific political group or ideology.
Some people choose to be apolitical due to various reasons, such as disillusionment with politics, lack of interest, or preferring to focus on personal, non-political matters. A certain percentage of the population simply doesn’t see politics as something relevant or appealing, hence they stay apolitical.
On a larger scale, organizations, corporations, and institutions can also be apolitical. Such organisations do not engage or interfere in political issues, preferring to stay neutral. They don’t endorse any political party or take official positions on political issues. The primary purpose is to maintain impartiality and eliminate any potential accusation of bias.
It is important to understand that being apolitical is not tantamount to being passive or indifferent to societal matters. Many people who identify as apolitical might still hold strong views on social issues or have a deep sense of civic responsibility. They may choose to volunteer, donate, or engage in various forms of activism, without aligning their actions to a particular political stance. Their focus is usually on direct action or involvement rather than political solutions.
Furthermore, the concept of being apolitical extends beyond individuals and organizations. Certain issues or topics can also be described as apolitical. Such issues are not associated with any particular political ideology or party. Instead, they are matters of public concern that cut across political divides. In such cases, the term ‘apolitical’ reinforces the idea that these matters should be addressed based on their merits and should not be subject to partisan politics.
In conclusion, the term ‘apolitical’ represents a conscious choice to refrain from engaging in politics, either personally, organizationally, or with regard to specific issues. However, it does not necessarily speak about the individual’s or entity’s engagement or beliefs about societal matters in broader perspective.