Debate and discussions are the only mean to bring in change and I am a firm believer in discussions. I was very keen on public debate shows since my college days. I used to watch “We, the people” “Big Fight” “Left Right and Centre” “Big Picture” and so. The public debate in the late 80’s and early 90’s were aiming at identifying the problem if not trying to solve them. In the public discussion and debates that are aired today the panellists and the anchor are more interested in forcing their views rather than making a real attempt to realise the problem and find means to address them. Those on the panel seem to have an opinion on everything. If their point is not accepted they start trivialising the issue of discussion. Hence there is very little or no accountability on what they stand for.
Debates are a way to transcend from the Level of Ignorance to the Level of Truth. The panellist has to think that the final outcome of the discussion is more important than his say-so.
If the discussion is held in a right perspective then what started off as Bhavana (Imagination) in the minds of the panelists will then take the turn as Abhipraya (Opinion). Here the thoughts are related to each other and verified with deep contemplation on the subject in the debate.
Further if the discussion is held in an even more cordial way with calm minds working together then the individual opinions will become Anubhuti (Perception). In this stage the subject in debate is examined from different dimensions and those views which were partial now has multi angles.
The last threshold to reach the truth is Darshana (Vision). In this stage the individual not only examines the subject in debate in details from different angles but also internalise the various ideas, thus developing a holistic vision. Thus it becomes clear about what the imagination were, what the facts are.
Not all know about every topic, some may have knowledge about science some about history some about medicine and so on. Hence in ancient days the most important requirement for the debate was to ascertain if the person was the Adhikari (qualified to talk about the subject). One becomes an adhikari if he has knowledge about the Vishaya (subject of debate). As it is the subject is neutral and it can have a far or against debate. If the person has knowledge of the subject he has to be clear on what he is talking the Sambhanda (connection) is he far or against. Then finally the debater has to be aware of the Prayogana (purpose) of the discussion.
Ironically we have film stars invited to discuss demonetization drive, a model talks about economy, an astrologer debates on spirituality, a leader confined to up-liftment of certain community questions about socialism, a clergy argues on the secularism. I am not saying they should not be invited to discussions but it is better if they have the courtesy to travel from the stage of Imagination to having a vision on the subject of debate. If uniform civil code is made mandatory we have some mullahs opposing it and shouting at the peak of their voice instead of looking at the liberty their women folk enjoy. When the law of the land creates equal status for all to enter a temple some of our pundits and Hindu fundamentalists are offended. The right wing are stuck to their ideologies while the leftist are adamant not to bulge out of their principles none of them are interested in progress of the nation.
Above all this we have the media here which is mostly controlled by capitalist who predetermine the way the debate has to be conducted and have the only intention of climbing up the ladder of the Television Rating Point.
The healthy discussion is the sign of progress and development.......it is a worst thing to run away from discussion and also stall discussion.