So, we have recently ushered into a new year. Within closed homes and under restrictions, the human race yet again entered a new calendar year. The Pandemic has imposed a global lockdown and the economic parameters are certainly facing a stiff road as the balance between demand and supply is becoming more and more unpredictable. But in recent times, what seems to be in abundance is opinions & judgments, sometimes needed and most of the times not needed at all.
Of course, the expression of viewpoints is a vital requirement. If something is wrong, it needs to be called out no matter what. But to see what is wrong, one should also have the knowledge of what is right. And I wonder if the world exists in just black & white! Well, never !! The world is painted in the shade of grey mostly. There is overlapping of many congruent spheres which might have similarities yet have their own distinctiveness. But in recent times, the very credibility of passing comments has lost its way, having an opinion especially when one lacks the requisite background knowledge is perhaps becoming the norm of the day.
Talk about political discourse, and the whole bandwagon jumps in taking sides. I agree the sources of having non-opinion-biased news is reducing and paid news is what triggers us day in and day out. This is not only wrong but unethical on many fronts. I can understand, there is this creamy intelligentsia crowd who can sense it all but not a common man! For a common man, who is busy struggling to meet his ends, surviving a normal day that can seem hard on many levels, where is the time to analyze whether a piece of news that he heard from a trusted source is biased or not, favors a certain political party or not? And to add to the drama, let us not even get started on the topic of how the drama factor gets embedded into a simple piece of news! To take sides, without bothering about what is the agenda , the propaganda is considered a heroic stunt! The degrading political scenario of the country, the hesitance of the academicians to give an unbiased opinion, has made the civil society reactive but not responsive.
When we take a social issue, be it like marriage or divorce, single parenting, etc, there also you find every single soul to have their two cents to contribute. No this is a free country and everyone is free to voice what they feel. But, can we not just take a step back as rational individuals and understand that just like the fingers on our own hands are dissimilar to each other, just like no single fingerprint matches another or just like the retina structure on every single individual is different, why is it difficult to understand that be it the union or separation of two mature individuals from the matrimonial alliance under legal aspect is different? And every single case, the circumstances leading both to positive and negative consequences is different and sometimes does not warrant your opinions that are half baked because a lot, I repeat a lot happens which never comes out in public. But people, being people have to contribute to anything and everything. These same people are also often seen giving gyan( knowledge) as ” Perceptions are elusive “.Exactly! perceptions are elusive and these unnecessary comments or notions add to the ever judgemental society and perceptions. Yes, there has to be a social order and we must abide by it to have a peaceful existence. But, barring a few exceptions, we all need love, peace, harmony, money, success, fame, etc. The degrees may vary for everyone. But life is not fair, situations are not simple and hence there is either a marriage or divorce that are typically not accepted or easily understood by this society! There can be successful marriages with huge age gaps or partners maintaining a difficult yet doable long-distance alliance. And there can be a divorce in what seemed to be a perfect match! People jump in, opine when they themselves never have faced such issues personally! And what is frustrating is even the well-educated minds give in and add themselves to the bandwagon!
Times are changing, women are becoming more aware of their rights, voicing it out despite the societal blocks, men are finding it difficult to accept ambitious or liberated women, the equality seems all the more distant and complicated. Many will agree with me that it is never easy to choose a different path and no we are not talking about choosing a different career path. That might seem fascinating to many but not living a different pattern of life, forever. It has it’s own challenges. Be it a man or a woman, being naturally born, both ‘generally ‘need what a normal human being wants starting from company, affection, warmth, empathy, loyalty, compassion or the strong desire to procreate. And to face the rough patches of life, the strong faith in each other to tide across such difficult phases is sometimes much needed. More than love, I think it is mutual respect & care that sustains a marriage, makes it a perfect partnership, well probably. And as always, what is perfect is always rare to find! Hence, we see the changing times having it’s impact on this institution. But, I do not understand the craze to justify one’s viewpoint, to have an opinion even if we personally do not know the mental turmoil the party involved goes through!
What bothers me is, today having an opinion is a symbol of ” knowing it all”! Why is being neutral underrated? Why is it shameful to accept that one lacks knowledge on a certain aspect ? Why is it not ok to not agree to generalizations? Why is it a fashion today to scream at the top of a voice about anything, everything? The cheap internet, the burgeoning arrogance levels, the false sense of pride of getting acceptance even in the virtual world is slowly paralysing us mentally as a society.
We are all connected virtually but we lack the real connections that previous generations had who never had the privilege that we have in current times. We all are turning into isolated islands despite having access to each other. And we know what happens when disasters attack islands. The islands need to be connected to the mainland to survive. Just as we need each other to function as a society. Today, we see but deny to understand, we feel but deny to empathize, we seek loyalty but are ready to betray, we have access to unlimited information, but lack the power of reasoning or rationality. We are a generation of technological advancements, fit bodies, advanced minds with deteriorating value -systems, degrading emotional quotients. May we realize this before it is too late, before we fail to repair what seems to be on the verge of breaking. So, before forming an opinion, let us pause and think! Do we really need to? Are we equipped to?