Years ago, a man named Kuhn demonstrated the way in which one can can be made to see a thing as something entirely different, due to paradigm shift. History seems to be repeating itself. The impact of this paradigm shift manifests as rabbit-duck wars-the ones who see a rabbit refuse to acknowledge anyone who sees a duck and are willing to resort to any measure to prove the solitary existence of the rabbit! That doesn’t disprove the co-existence of the two animals in the picture but sure does prove that we no longer care about what the others’ perspective- we are too busy defending ours!
One one hand, we claim to have become highly independent, opinionated people who must voice an opinion about everything and stick to it and on the other hand, we form those opinions based on prejudices we harbour and the side of the coin shown to us by media or people who influence us.
Are they really our opinions then? Do we need to defend them with so much angst?
Dr.Jekyll or Mr.Hyde?
I am a doctor. Two decades back in time, when my parents were planning a future for me, they could think of no profession that was more respected than medicine. It felt just right to guide their children towards the same. Today I would not do the same when it comes to my daughter. The highly esteemed profession is suddenly laced with more danger than respect.
A celebrity took to campaigning social causes and everyone decided to believe the reel hero and make a villian out of the real heroes who work day in and day out to save lives. Everyone categorised the medical profession as a business and doctors as businessmen. Another movie came along and the ventilator, which has saved innumerable lives, became to be seen as an instrument used by doctors to ‘keep a dead person alive’ with the sole motive of extracting money.
I work as an administrator now and manage hospitals. I see people demanding their patient to be put off the ventilator so that they may ascertain whether he is actually alive or not. I have a hard time explaining that the ventilator is only used on a patient who needs respiratory support and would not be able to breathe without it. It makes me wonder why it is so easy for a dramatic visualisation on screen to have more impact than reality. Who has not seen doctors save patients and bring them back from the brink of death?
Ever wondered if medicine was so fool-proof, would any doctor or his kin ever die an untimely death?
I got a call at 1 am from my junior resident that a patient had expired in the ICU and his family members had broken the telephones and the glass outside the ICU, which in turn fell on other relatives waiting downstairs in the lobby. They had then tried to hit the doctor who had run inside the OT and locked himself in. The ICU remained unmanned by any doctor for fifteen minutes till the security could get the relatives out and shut the doors. What about the other patients? What if something happened to them in the fifteen long minutes? The patient who had died was an 80 year old man who was suffering from cancer of the prostate since years. The prognosis had been well explained. Then why the violence against a 20 something doctor who was only doing his job?
Would some celebrity care to endorse the plight of doctors? Maybe not. Not dramatic enough.
I don’t mean to say that doctors don’t make mistakes;they do. Sadly, they are human too. But do you think a doctor can function in the middle of night and take the risk of attending to a critical patient when he fears that failure might mean his life besides the patient’s?
If you raise your hand against the one who only uses his to heal and save, there won’t be many hands willing to serve any more. Violence against doctors is not only shameful and disgusting, but also a foolish thing to do.
Change your perspective. Be aware but don’t be paranoid. Don’t form generalised assumptions and care to see the duck in the picture.
Out of focus media
Media and journalism is showing an increasing trend towards sensational new instead of relevant news. Sensational news sells more and since it is covered widely and given lots of importance, it is misconceived as relevant too. After all, this is also an industry and numbers matter.
Open the newspaper and the front page of a newspaper is either dedicated as an advertisement or is full of features on murder, sex or drug rackets. The television news channels are also dominated by sensational news reporters, who are fit to act in Ekta Kapoor serials, considering the drama they add. Or you see debates where no one is actually listening to the others.
Instead of serving news to us, quite some many of these channels are serving opinions and we are lapping them up.
The case of violent protests going on parallel to OROP silent agitation was highlighted well but soldiers on a Satyagrah is not sensational enough to be covered much.
Celebrities and their break ups garner more media attention than a soldier who gets hurt in an operation.
Terrorists and mafia gurus are highlighted more than good samaritans who are trying to contribute to the world instead of cribbing. Know Gangadhar Tilak of Hyderabad? Exactly my point!
We are to be blamed as well for this shift of focus. We enjoy being voyeurs and peep into the lives of others. The murder of a teenager in NCR became the subject of two movies and a book and we lined up to seek the answer-‘Who did it?’ The question was born out of curiosity and not for the demand of justice for the victim. Time to rethink!
Why do we seek entertainment in news? Why have we become so insensitive that we love serving up and partaking of slices of sadistic pleasure that comes out of exposing personal lives of others?
Free to disagree!
The latest thing in fashion is opposition. You utter anything…and I shall disagree! After all, it is a free country we are living in and I enjoy freedom of expression. I shall use it to disagree. Saying yes has gone long out of fashion. I shall not agree with the government, with the laws, with judiciary, with sense and sensibility and I shall take side with a terror guru and sing slogans in his praise just so that my right to freedom of expression does not go waste. How does it matter if it goes against my nation? How does it matter if it ridicules the very word called patriotism…that emotion is best left for the soldiers who guard the borders and die doing that.
How foolish is this? When a nation is attacked by a terror outfit, the citizens stand together in solidarity. A bunch of students shouted anti-national slogans and instead of ensuring that the miscreants are punished for the same, the issue has been blown out of proportion and has taken an ugly political turn with parties taking sides in this. Knock knock everyone! This is not about the government, this is about the nation. What is wrong? Wake up! For once, have a sense of belonging for your motherland and stand up against those who dare to ridicule. Do not take the word opposition literally! Why can we not trust the judiciary and let it decide?
The question should have been whether the incident happened or not ,and not whether freedom of expression is more important than patriotism. The foci are blurring and we are disillusioned by what we see.
It is time we end these rabbit-duck wars and stop creating an issue out of everything for the sake of taking sides. Some things are just wrong or right; we don’t need to look for shades of grey and then fight over the shade. Where sides must be taken, while we must vehemently support ours and oppose the other, we must not start consider those on the other side as enemies. We must agree to disagree and yet co-exist in harmony. Sound pretty tough in the given conditions, but is the need of the hour. Wasting our times and energies on tolerance-intolerance and my opinion-your opinion wars, we must understand that it is not serving any purpose.
Let us not let the rabbit and the duck mock at us; after all, it all but an illusion and the fact is that though we see things differently, it does not alter the reality!
Author’s note: This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.