IS DEBATING AN END IN ITSELF

DailyPost 178

IS DEBATING AN END IN ITSELF

 Right to freedom of speech & expression is enshrined in our Constitution and rightly so, is the cornerstone of our democratic existence.  It has led to wonderful results in parliamentary debates, inside political parties, think tanks, print & electronic media, of late in the social media and endless other forums which vibrant democracies offer.  The differing points of view should finally lead to a decision through the democratic process and in interest of the individual, society and the nation.  The Constituent Assembly delivered the ultimate document through the same process, the Constitution of India, which all Indians are proud of.

 Of late it’s seen on all forums of a hardening of stands on big and small issues and airing of views and debates are turning out to be an end itself rather than a constructive mode to reach an end.  Either decisions / consensus don’t happen or it’s so protracted that the benefits don’t accrue at the right time and hence valuable time is lost. We thus have lost out on moving to the next level and more often than not remain laggards.  GST is a case in point, it’s been in the offing for far so long. National Counter Terrorism Center, NCTC, can be another example.

Debates have become generally futile exercises rather than a energizing source of new ideas. If we go through lots of current debates we get a feeling that it is a repeat of last decade or so even earlier.  The purpose thus gets defeated & valuable amount of national time is wasted whatever might be the forum.  Social Media has added to the malaise with propaganda, trolling etc taking away most part of our energy & debating space.

 A positive, proactive culture of debating should happen sooner than later to provide positive direction to the nation.  Vested interests and hidden agendas can take us nowhere. The best place for this remedial process to happen is our schools and colleges, where awareness, skills, mindset and purpose ought to be ingrained before they start to go astray.

 DEBATE WITH A PURPOSE AND FINALITY CAN PROVIDE WORTHWHILE SOLUTIONS.

    Sanjay Sahay

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