An Unintended Sin

The trend for Motivational talks have gone up to an extent that it has almost become a regular feed for humans in today’s competitive world where an individual is so very exposed to a range of uninvited elements including depression, inferiority and the feeling of being insecure. I am not sure how much impact does these talks make on a person’s mind but certainly to some extent it does allow a person to deviate his vision away from negativity in order to converge his ideas towards positive thoughts. One of the very common thought that I have observed during such talks is that a person should never feel hesitant when it comes to making mistakes; after all a true winner is the one who learns from his past mistakes and convert them into opportunities for future.Even I remember on the first day of my very first job, I was being told by the group HR that “Since this is your first job, make as many mistakes as possible. This is the most easiest way to learn.” The world would have been a different place altogether if this ideology would have been applicable across all the walks of life. However the reality is far from different where your tiniest of mistake could turn out to be a deadly sin that may be unpardonable for the rest of the world.

There has been this one particular incident that happened recently which has truly exposed not only the flaws in our system but also the hidden demons in our ideologies and principles. The news of these happenings has been spreading like a virus across all media channels making almost everyone aware of the current situation. But what the surprising part is that despite of everyone having knowledge of the series of events that occurred, there has been multiple opinions and viewpoints coming from different ends. Let me just once again summarize what really happened in order to bring all of us on the same page. A major clash took place between students of a popular college in Delhi and a political outfit regarding an event that was going to take place in college. During this clash, several students and teachers were beaten up and got severely injured. A girl stood up to display her protest regarding the clash on social media challenging the political outfit. From nowhere, an old video started surfacing on social media of the same girl in which mentioned the requirement to maintain peace between India & Pakistan in order to avoid another war taking place between the two countries after 1999. Since the recent incidents between the two countries have not been keeping well because of tension across the border, the idea of peace presented by the girl was not taken very well by a section of people of the country. Even a few celebrities who are known to be active tweeters tried to mock the idea in order to share a good laugh. Now the mocking was also not taken very well by a certain another section of people of the country. Then there were other celebrities who literally bashed the mockers on social media for being insensitive. There was again a counter attack by the players who felt insulted by the intellectuals. In the end, the event that started off with a clash among political outfits went on to to become the issue of freedom of speech, social media harassment, hidden political motivation of youth, nationalism vs anti- nationalism, misogynistic mindset of people and the battle between so-called intellectuals of the country. Truly this one incident exposed how insecure and vulnerable we all are towards an opposing opinion.

It was actually quite upsetting & saddening to see what was happening. There has been enough of debates that has taken place across different media channels to figure out whose mistake it truly was. So I wont spend more time to allocate the percentage of mistakes committed by all the participants of this major incident including the students, the political outfit, the daughter of a martyr, the film stars and sports personalities or even people like you and me. But still if I am asked to identify the true culprit of this incident, it would be none other than what we popularly call it as ‘The Opinion‘. Opinions are actually the root cause of discussions to take place whenever there are differences between two or more individuals or group of individuals but in case the differences do not go away, it would take no time for discussions to convert into conflicts. The weirdest thing about opinions is that these are subject to change with time. For example we are born with zero beliefs but as we grow and get exposed to the world, the process of forming opinions begin and the process continues as long as we keep on interacting with our surrounding environment. There may be times when you might have observed that you present opinion could be diagonally opposite to what it was probably five years ago. But at a particular point of time it forms the deep ideology of an individual and sometimes even a part of his/her identity for which he/she will leave no stone unturned to prove its righteousness.

Since last so many years there has been talks about building an era of freedom of speech where everyone would be free to share his/her opinions. There has been protests, marches, rallies and what not by the country citizens to bring out the necessity of freedom of speech. But when incidents like these happen that too on a frequent basis, I am sure an iota of doubt must have come in everybody’s mind if we are really prepared to deploy the principle of freedom of speech in our society. A few years ago when a comic event took place in Mumbai, the comedy group had to face criminal charges for ruining the culture of the country. When an artist drew paintings to depict his anger for the prevalent situation of the country, he was smashed with sedition charges. And now when a young girl tried to discuss about peace between two countries, she was labelled as anti-national and was bombarded with death and rape threats. Is this an era of freedom of expression we intended to build ??

Coming back to the topic of making mistakes, humans will continue to make mistakes as these always lead them to find the right path. Even when we share an opinion, we may realize at a certain point on being on a wrong track and probably it was a mistake of forming such opinion earlier but as long as we continue to express ourselves, it won’t take too long to switch ourselves back to the right one. But if we are going to label an opinion as a sin, probably in future no one will have the courage to form an opinion at first place. In life, sometimes we intend to make mistakes to prepare ourselves for tough times ahead, but if according to the world we have committed a sin that too which we never intended to, then making a mistake in future would not be that simpler.

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