HAVING AN OPINION IS EXPENSIVE
Having an opinion is expensive. Birth in an Indian middle family class means a life of struggle and an unknown death. Very few middle class Indians have managed to reach zenith but what keeps this particular section of our society peculiar is that these people live on nothing more than hope, hope bounded by their ideologies and their pre conceived notions is the fuel which keeps the engine of Indian middle class rolling.
Hatred and anger are two distinct emotions, but it can be said that one leads to the other. Scientifically it has been found that the human brain is by default set to be compassionate, loving and caring. Despite such lovable settings in each one of our brains, the world today is as horrific as one can imagine it to be. We are made to love and care but humans generally act the otherwise. Why do we hate people around us is a major question. In this essay of ours we shall be discussing a major cause of societal hatred keeping in mind the Indian middle class society.
Scholars and scientists have listed out numerous reasons behind hatred but one reason which is perhaps the major propellant of hatred and thus of all evils in our societies is ‘ideological differences’. Ideological differences in the context of this essay may be briefly explained as ‘the distinction and differentiation in the ways that the two people or the two parties concerned, adopt to carry out their daily life and to achieve the broader set goals’ thus the ideological differences, while discussing societal hatred, does not necessarily refer to religious distinctions only for even the people of a same community hate each other. Ideological differences refer to the ideals adopted and implied by a person or by a family in their day to day life which could be as puny as ‘greeting the neighbors’, ‘spending the income’ or ‘studying in a particular school/ college’. In other words ‘a way of life’
When an individual with a particular ideology, say ‘X’ meets, interact and socializes with another person with another ideology say ‘Y’ then there are chances that the two may confront with one another at various instances on various issues. Normally due to existence of various societal institutions, these confrontations do not take a violent turn and only end up creating a rift between the two which ultimately grows into hatred. Below I’ve explained, by the means of example and in stages, how this rift ultimately creates insurmountable differences between the two individuals and how hatred is created.
Stage 1 - Decline in the conversation rate between the two
Stage 2 – Talking ill about the person behind their back
Stage 3 – Ignoring the person
Stage 4 – Openly criticizing each other
Stage 5 – Completely ending all modes of interaction
Stage 6 – attempts to create unnecessary problems for each other
Stage 7 – passing on the same hatred to the others in the family and trying to sway others in the society against the other party.
From stage 1 up to stage 4 we can see how the rift slowly widens and by stage 6 hatred is ultimately created. These stages may be followed by either one of the two parties concerned or by both of them. It may also happen that one side imitates these stages while the other may start endorsing them later on as a response. Thus at each stage, the intensity and the gravity of action and reaction magnifies. Most of us would have experienced these stages. Further it must also be noted that the instances stated in each stage are merely examples used to explain the difference in the degree of rift at each stage. There can be and there are however various more examples/instances which could be listed under the ambit of each stage.
It so happens that each person, by nature and nurture, follows a particular set of principles in his/her life and these principles are different for each. Hatred and differences between two individuals is directly proportional to the degree of distinction in the principles that the two follow. When the two manage to overcome their ideological differences or create a mechanism where in the ideals of each is equally valued then the society gets to witness exemplary relationships. Humans normally hate each other when they feel that their ideals or their principles are supreme and better than the other person’s. Hence hatred is almost inevitable.
This brings us to the second and final question of this essay. How do we find out whose ideals are better and who shall be the judge in such cases.
Given below are two cases of two middle class Indian families who follow a distinct set of ideals. Let us read their cases and try to find out whose ideals are better.
CASE 1 – FAMILY A
There is a family of 4 individuals. Husband, wife and their two children (one boy + one girl) the family is a respectable one and is famous amongst their peers for living a much planned life. The father is the only earning member of the family and ever since the day of the birth of his elder child (girl) he has been saving money to one day spend in her wedding. The elders in the family give up most of their desires in order to meet the everyday increasing needs of their children and also to save for the marriage. The children are made to study in the schools and colleges of their wish. But when it comes to the marriage of the girl she isn’t given much of a choice and her marriage is also arranged and planned like every other happening. The family insists upon maintaining a clear social image and is thus against love marriage but not dowry. Love marriage for this family is evil but dowry isn’t. The daughter is wedded in her early 20s and all the savings are spent on her wedding leaving the family in debt but what remains in the end is a high social image, sense of relief and high hopes that the daughter shall now be living an equally safe and a happy life for her marriage was arranged and the groom was the one chosen by her father.
CASE 2 - FAMILY B
There is a family of 4 individuals. Husband, wife and their two children (one boy + one girl) the family is known for lavishly spending on the luxuries of life. The father is the only earning member of the family. The elders of the family save only enough to meet the near needs of the family. No one in the family is made to kill their desires and they live a life which makes their peers envious of them. The children study in schools of their choice and grow up. The elders believe that the daughter (elder) should start earning after her studies and they aren’t even against wedding her off with the love of her life. This family, unlike the other families in his society, is persistent to break the old societal norms and supports love marriages and stands up against dowry. The daughter is given the choice to marry whenever she wished to and with whoever she wished to. The society does not appreciate them nor do they respect them for their ultra modern stands but the family cares the least and goes ahead with what they believe in and with what they support. The daughter is wedded in her late 20s to a man of her choice and with no dowry.
The first family sacrifices all for the sake of respect and principles and thus may seem to be more appealing to those having similar ideals and principles while the second family lives life on their terms. Whose ideals are better is a debatable question. As an old proverb goes ‘birds of feather flock together’, if give to vote, people would be having a divided stance on the stated issue and will be bent more towards the case which is more descriptive of their own state of mind. It may also happen that some would not just restrain themselves to voting for one of the two cases but may also go to the extent to condemning and criticizing the other.
As a matter of fact, none of the two cases stated above represent is a perfect scenario and there exist numerous pros and cons to each one of them. But in practice it so happens that the person adopting a particular way of life believes that his is the best and the most appropriate way of life. The person has no problem if the people around him/her follow his ideals and a similar way of life but the problem and hatred arises when two individuals or families with distinct ideologies interact and share the environment.
I am no preacher but I would attempt preaching and thereby conclude this essay. Confrontations, fights and quarrels, which lead to hatred, usually happen only because both individuals and parties involved in it right but in their own way. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong we tend to start hating people when we see that their priorities do not match by ours because according to us only we are right and what we do is best, but it isn’t so. Our believes, principles and ideals are those set of rules and conventions which develop over the years of our growth and it would be wrong to ask any individual to sacrifice their faiths, believes and principles. What can be done is realizing that just like us the others too have a view point which is not necessarily wrong. If individuals decide to be flexible enough to give room and respect to the views of others then much of the hatred which prevails around us can be done away with.