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Opinionated India belies any definition. When it is opinionated, can there be any glass ceiling? There is absolutely no way out to declare some areas to be opinionated and others open to democratic and objective thinking. Leaving facts and data and creating an opinion on your own and declare that to be final, is one part of the story,  the more tragic part is what happens to the concepts, the thought processes, the mindsets, democratic traditions and conventions and the running of legislatures itself. So is the case with any ecosystem, how to do manage it, the checks and balances coming down the line, is that of any consequence or  you are ready dismantle it for an opinion of yours, which had nothing to do with that earlier. Not believing in democratic and societal checks and balances is the worst form of an opinionated nation.

We can start with the basic concepts on which we live, we are well within our rights to treat it both political and societal concepts and by the  same stretch of imagination in a multi religious country, these can be treated as existential concepts.  It makes life liveable and pleasurable in the real sense. Today, opinionated India has its own diverse opinions of communalism. Whatever, they think is the right. When opinionated becomes the norm, the stage we are slowly getting into,  all groups start taking an opinionated stand and from the current point of view, certainly not so objective stand. When one group or leader gets blatantly opinionated, other groups also follow suit. The tinderbox what communalism has been for ages  becomes super tinderbox, ready to get erupted at the fall of a hat.

The same story goes for secularism, the bulwark of our polity and democracy. If India has a variety of opinions on secularism, where do we go from here. An opinionated India can lead to a clash internally, still working under the same framework of secularism in the overall gamut of democracy. Not having India on the same page with regards to secularism, would amount to leaving a termite ridden nation for the next generation. What is to be solidified and made a foundation for robust and a vibrant democracy, would turn out to be its biggest handicap. How are different opinions and each one with full finality working in one single ecosystem. It can only happen in one manner; friction, friction and friction and its dangerous fallouts.

If opinion fixates you, you cannot overcome it, whatever may come, you remain in an opinionated state, you can never find any savour, because you feel you are in a perfect state. If you need one, only then you can find one. You / community / organization gets into an echo chamber; get, find and live with the people having the same opinion. Others don’t exist and if they do, they can only be treated as adversaries of a type, you go to any extent to damage them. They are not democratic adversaries. Other groups and people also start getting opinionated. The stand which comes out of opinionated people is etched in stone. Opinionated people, communities, organizations cannot add up into a democratic nation. The fissures keep on growing till it becomes unmanageable.


Sanjay Sahay

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