- Of late, society appears to be deeply polarized on any issues – relevant or irrelevant, burning or contentious or innocuous – dividing the country vertically. Everybody seems to be assuming the role of experts though mostly unrelated but never hesitating to opine views despite carrying neither traction nor expertise to elaborate lucidly on such matters. Political parties and their hallowed leaders wading into the already muddied waters is on expected lines. You see, our leaders cannot stay away from voicing ill-informed opinions albeit lacking the expertise to stay in the limelight. Passing diatribe with consummate ease acquired over years of connivingly deceitful dispositions comes naturally to our masters.
- Most disconcertingly, political leaders also believe in owning unacknowledged patents to welcome or ridicule any views and/or counterviews that might be forthcoming from different quarters including but not restricted to their fraternity. The intended target could be renowned celebrities, famous personalities, and of course, overzealous activists possessing strong opinions on matters of concern. No wonder, there is a growing tendency to brand people from diverse walks of life as nationalists or anti-nationals who support/criticize policies of powers-that-be as perceived solely based on the statements originating from them.
- If the ruling dispensation is questioned or anything remotely conceived as ranging against the tenet of the party in power, it is bound to receive instant flak resulting in the adoption of draconian provisions like sedition and unlawful activities laws to muzzle those voices. There is any number of instances where celebrated personalities, journalists, activists are targeted leading to cries of harassment and mental torture from the affected lot. Suffering lots only recourse to get freed from the clutches of unpleasant situations is to seek refuge from the judiciary. Even there, traversing to different levels of the justice delivery system is quite a cumbersome task.
PC: Geoffrey Brickley
- No less than the Supreme Court has had to step in as the last resort for the cornered people who not only have to show extraordinary resolve to fight the rampaging government machinery but also undergo considerable rigmarole to reach the portals of the judiciary to seek relief. Moot point to ponder over here is why cannot a bonafide citizen of this country raise his/her voice to opinionate on issues concerning the nation as guaranteed by the Constitution in the form of fundamental rights? A democratic form of governance precisely offers us the freedom to express or speak without crossing a decent line that could be categorized as hurtful or venomous.
- Like politicians, even known personalities have individual opinions that cannot be curtailed or muzzled under the garb of terming pro-government or anti-government. Opinions forthcoming from people with tremendous achievements behind them carry enough traction to inspire common citizens to shape their thought processes on issues of greater concern. Branding them as one or the other defeats the very purpose of thriving democracy facilitating platforms to express views freely. No one group, party, or individual owns the country that belongs to each of us. Encouraging rather than ridiculing opinions, from celebrities too, should be welcomed as well as upheld. More opinions mean some more views to mull over.