Thursday, October 20, 2011


I had a splitting headache today and had to pop a crocin...
No no..and definitely not the perennial tantrums of my Boss
But because of a hell raising debate...
I really believe I’ll be a very good spouse because of my apathy towards debates and arguments..and I realised at the end of the splitting debate..err.. headache that I definitely will never be able to make in to even the local panchayat forget Lok sabha and the rest..
     The topic though was a trivial one; at the end when the sweet  arbitrator tried to put us to ceasefire and when we,the great debaters who are otherwise good friends,realised that we had whiled away an hour;we both decided to shut up!!
So,have you ever seen a happy end of a debate?
I cant recollect one such example except those debate competitions in school where one holds up a trophy!
         Frankly I feel all those years in school where students are encouraged to take part in debates (pointless again is the entire concept where kids are given a topic,asked to write or get it written,mug up the content and deliver it from their memory in front of a naive audience) goes down in drain..
They say debate is an intellectual pursuit..but how?
At the end of 99% of debates both the parties are left unconvinced and not an iota do they agree with each other.
Human beings are supposed to be opinionated and possess the thing called “ego” which doesn’t feel good when bruised.
In my observation,the more “intellectual” a person claims or is renowned to be ,the more opinions  he has of  his own,and the less likely he is to be budged from his ground of thinking because he has ultimate assurance,confidence and at times even pride in his “intellect”.
         Look at the those correspondents on TV talk shows trying to put debaters to peace when they start screaming at each other on screen .The futile debates in the parliaments and unnecessary interruptions and delays cost so much to our exchequer.
Hailing from an engineering college where we get enough of time for discussions and “bakar” I remember a few incidents.
     During college some of my guy friends had a debate over the complexion of Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal as to which of the 2 singers is fairer..
To prove, both started downloading images on google and trying to prove their point .
Result: An entire night wasted with no conclusions.(Not that even reaching a conclusion on this one would make a huge difference to anyone)
Some similar ones are
Who is the better khan Aamir or Shah Rukh?
Who is the more beautiful of the two?
Aishwarya or Sushmita?
What is better ?
A smart and not-so beautiful wife or a not-so smart but beautiful wife?
Which is innocuous Halal meat or Jhatka?
What is healthier?
Veg food or non veg?
MBA as a career option or not?
Life in big cities or Life in small ones?
Ahh..and those debates men so often get embroiled and start quoting facts and figures just  to prove who is greater of them.
Sir Don Bradman or Sachin Tendulkar?
Pele or Maradona?
Federer or Nadal?
And suddenly some one will quote a statistic and the other party will disagree and bet and go google just to prove him wrong..but damn that still doesn’t end the debate..
Let it just be guys ..There have been issues and debates unresolved since time immemorial..Most of the times I feel the debaters just end up wasting their time and energy.
Like the UN debates of Palestine Vs Israel.
India Vs Pakistan
Communism Vs Democracy
Industrial Development Vs Eco-system sustainability
God Vs Science
    If there is any little benefit out of a debate then it goes to those who are the silent neutral observers,who listen to it with an open mind and seek some knowledge from both the sides . Its like two dogs strive for a bone and the third one runs off with it.But very soon this third dog meets another one and starts fighting as he soon has his own opinion too.
 So how right is it for you to vent your spleen over a statement you believe in?How right is it for you to engage in a debate?
Debate  sure promises a repartee and as movies show even helps forge relationships but I have decided for the umpteenth time to shut up and never engage in one.So what if people think I am dumb and too pacific! After all its my own opinion.  So you don’t want to debate on the “FUTILITY OF DEBATE” .Do you?


shashi said...

so true... i remember so many similar incidences from my college. The most memorable one being when I had a debate with my roomie on the topic, "kya gujarat se karachi dikhta hian ???"

Atul Prasad said...

There is a very thin line between a discussion and a debate. In fact, it totally depends on how the involved people pursue it.

Totally agree with you on school debates being pointless, because one mugs up stuff and usually does not really speak up the opinion she/he has about that . In fact, we can't for a fact say that a child has an opinion on that. I remember I had argued about this with my English teacher and converted a debating event into a panel discussion. My idea was to elicit opinion from my batchmates, and not really prove what is wrong or right.

And that makes me wonder, what is wrong and what is right? :)

rabab said...

Really nice one Sneha!!! I totally agree by all this but debating is so tempting and social gatherings will be so monotonous and boring without those!! So love it or hate it we cant do without it!!

funky-philosopher said...

indeed, wudnt it b so nice if school children were involved more in finding the "way ahead" (even for issues of smaller consequences) rather than disciplined argument!! i think dat wud change the culture altoghtr n something useful wil come out of constructive interaction.

i always feel the whole concept of debate is pointless at every level... the public debates for presidential candidate included. we need not frame sentences with high sounding words to show who "knows" better... the flip side of the education system all over the world where the habit of arguing intelligently is instilled in children, n sadly, is encouraged everywhere else.

given the chance, i'd help students do something beyond what they can see, what they can simply talk about.

...southpaw... said...

no matter how much I agree to all of this now...when a debate arises....just can't hold myself back :P :P