There was a time, good time I can say, when I didn’t know many things in the world and I was perfectly fine with it. Even now, I don’t know many things, but, I am not happy with it. I want to have opinion on everything which is impossible, rational part of me knows that too. It’s not just me, it is current Indian (or the world?) scenario. People WANT to have opinions though there is any need for that. I don’t need to have an opinion on what Canadian president eats, but, I want him to eat what I eat. That is exactly where the problem lies.

We are so consumed by so-called ‘intellect’ discussion on walls and time-lines of social networks; having opinion has become a daily need. To prove one’s point of view on an issue, people start giving statistics, as if statistics don’t lie. Yes, they do when you have presented case facts just from one side of the issue. Our generation is a very fortunate one, we didn’t have to face great famine or a great war, at least till now. When we have no war to fight for, we have become keyboard-warriors, fancy word, isn’t it?

In the history of modern humans, a war was never fought between two countries or two regions; a war has always been based on two mutually conflict ideologies. Vital part of the war is to make warriors believe their ideology is the right one and better than the rest. First step towards that belief is to inject a thought or opinion in the minds of people to turn them into warriors. When there is no opinion, there will be no ideology and no differences. Sadly, in India we have multitude of opinions on everything ranging from soldiers to cows. When one ideological difference is good enough to start a conflict, we have plenty of them, Hindu Vs Muslim, South Vs North, Vegetarian food Vs non-vegetarian food and what not. We have reached to a point where humans started lynching other of their own kind merely because they have different food choices.

In behavioral theory, there is something called confirmation bias, which loosely states that an individual will only look for information that suits his already established opinion and ignores the rest. That is exactly what we are suffering from, but on a monumental scale.  When we start to see the only things that are in line with our established opinions, hypocrisy prevails. There are right wingers and there are left wingers and currently there is no middle ground. The one who chooses the middle ground is a coward and ignorant.

Having opinion is a good thing as long as you are receptive to the other side of the story too. But, we are not. When we are not receptive to the holistic view, insecurities start to grow. Certain section of people backed a terrorist who planned an attack on our parliament, and other sect of people supported a group who lynched a man of different food choice. What is the difference between those two sections of people? If you ask me that question, answer will be no difference. If you do not agree with me, that’s fine. You are entitled to have your opinion, but, I suggest you to read the definition of ‘terrorist’ before forming an opinion.

There is no universal good and no universally accepted bad. Though it sounds philosophical, it is true. We cannot say World War II was entirely Hitler’s fault, yes, he was a major contributor but was not the sole contributor. All I say is, in India you are entitled to have an opinion, any opinion, which is totally fine as long as you don’t try to rub it on others. But, before classifying other’s opinion as wrong/bad, listen to their version of the story, you might find something that will change your opinion too. Trust me; changing your opinion is a noble thing, not cowardice. 

- Vasudeva Reddy D

Image Credits:
2. Can Stock.