DailyPost 567


The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen puts forth its point of view on the nature of public narrative. It demonstrates the importance of public debate in Indian traditions generally.” Debating has been our tradition, so called argumentative tradition. Debates are generally of two types first between great philosophers, thinkers & leaders, it remains in public memory for the intellectual stimulus, it provides. The second one are the structured debates in institutions & on electronic media.

Intellect, content & capability to influence through outstanding communication skills is the life line of any debate. The winner is the side of issue which wins . Now public debates, & the narrative has become different. The topics, format, the speakers have all seen a sea change. It is a different entity in itself, with all its novel attributes. The only positive is the selection of topical issues. If debated in earnest will yield fruitful results.

Debater now need not be a successful academic or a practitioner. He can be a person selected by the organisation only for this purpose. Whatever might be the topic he has to hold the fort. Activists also prove their worth in debates. The PR variety, can be hired for this purpose. Individuals are positioned on debating platforms for shadow boxing too. It’s a variegated display of speakers but their stand is well known & premeditated. Cacophony prevails not debating flair. The topical debates need to be connected to hard facts. It’s mad race to influence, but jugglery with words, completely falls flat.

The TRP plays a critical role in keeping the debate alive on the electronic media; the tone, tenor & the energy of the moderator is directly proportional to that. The incapability of the stakeholders to take any issue / debate to its logical conclusion is at the crux of the problem. Till then debating shall go endlessly benefiting all those who are a party to it, but the victim / problem / issue. TRP’s own life cycle is unconnected to finding solutions.


Sanjay Sahay

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