Over the past several years, watching raging social media debates and the shaping of merit in public discourse in India spurred this editorial on merit in public health/policy that appeared in BMJ Global Health as an editorial on August 6, 2021. Many thanks to Seye Abimbola, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief for his comments. As noted in the acknowledgements, a lot of internal reflection and churning from various life events, many of them not necessarily pleasant have shaped this editorial.
The editorial did draw a lot of positive response, but the negative ones did pinch. People feel free to offload their brickbats via email, Twitter DMs, Whatsapp, and phones! The most toxic ones were over Whatsapp, while Twitter was still manageable.