mc_wehaveanopinion2005_net_1.jpgHe that complies against his own will,

Is of his own opinion still.”

Samuel Butler

Man is immortalized in the golden pages of history as the most rational creature on the face of the Planet Earth. As quoted above, it’s pertinent enough for man to be ” opinionated.” In the race to carve out a ‘niche’ for himself, everybody is busy trying to put himself/herself in the center of the scene. And, ‘ opinion’ is just that magic-wand which plays the much needed crucial role. Obliviance and ignorance are considered an intellectual, societal and political scar. Opinions thus are devised as the best substitute to “put-off” the very much despised label.

To re-iterate the age-old saying “Man is a social animal “; it’s innate in the nature of man to seek social desirability as the ladder to satiate his strong hunger for social validation and power. It’s thereby inevitable for us to be affected by our social realities and surroundings. This intricate network of human relationships and its idiosyncratic complexities affects life profoundly in its own different ways.

“Every man is considered to be having a right to utter what he thinks is truth ; and every other man has the right to attack and knock him down for it.” This statement in itself brings out the entire essence of the social construction, given its moral and cultural sanction be it in the times of Mughals or the British rule or our present day structure. Opinions have become all the more important today when the ” politically active citizens” desire to get all their freedoms and rights well exercised in the ‘so-called’ democratic set-up. Very selfishly and smartly relegating the aspect of duties, every active citizen today is deemed to have an opinion. Be it on an ill-informed pretext (whether to consider homosexuality as normal or so to say—abnormal) or on a topic that is just germinating and is in its formative stages (Whether Pluto is justifiably called off as a planet by the scientists) or strongly held conventional issues (like the protracted yet ultimately futile discussions on INDO-PAK debate over KASHMIR or principles of Women Emancipation); we have very strongly held opinions for all the disparate issues possible.

It’s considered a social disgrace if someone is chooses to maintain a reserved or a neutral stand on issues. Even in villages, where the distortions of political and social realities can not reach; it’s considered ” intellectual” to have opinions and is seen as the manifestation of one’s experience.

The present society is so obsessed with the ‘seven lettered word’; that a huge edifice of social reality actually harps on this trait of humans. In fact the entire upcoming media and the advertising sector are constructed on the assumption that human beings have attitudes and opinions and it’s just that which needs to be channelised. The day by day increasing number of reality TV shows and soap operas require people to give their valued, costly “opinion” even on trifle ‘issues’ ( if they can be so called)like “Who is the better Bahu?” or apparently mass-affecting issues like “Should India accept a woman as the head of the Nation?”

It stands in good reason for man to actually put to use his cognitive faculty to rationalize rather than be just the follower of some thinker-tots and imitate them. But, the hollowness at which this rationalizing operates is disheartening and appalling. As quoted—” opinion in good men is all but knowledge in the making.” The opinions that are held with passion are the ones for which no good ground exists; instead passion in the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction. Most of the social constructs are today in such a fuss and mess just because of the sepulcher that is a pervading reality.

Large amount of resources are actually wasted on such cavil efforts to decide and stand by opinions of the individuals rather than materializing ends. The practically feasible and conducive way today is to look at the greater picture of reaching at a conclusion even if that calls in for some sort of coercion against the private interests for the alleviation of the CAUSE.

In conclusion, my opinion on the topic of OPINION is that “an intellectual hatred is despised. Hence, it is a much better idea to have a rationale justification for our beliefs and attitudes. We should not look upon opinions as the accursed substitute for the diffidence due to oblivion.”

Arpita Chakraborty