CREATIVE DEBATE AND NOISE: WHAT TO CHOOSE?
By Syed Mustafa Ahmad
Debate can be defined as to argue about a particular subject, in a formal way. Debate has been the salient feature of a civilized society. Any innovative thought is thoroughly discussed. The pros and cons of a thing are taken into account. There is no status quo in that society. A solid truth is reinterpreted according to the nature of time. However, it doesn’t mean that truth doesn’t remain the truth at all but the approach, understanding, behavior, etc., found in a particular period, may be different in another period. So, it is creative debate that removes anomalies, if found in a society. But on the other hand, we have noise. Some debates are no debates at all. There only is noise and noise. Nothing good comes out from those debates. The audience feels suffocated. They abhor the word “ debate’ and don’t want to discuss it in their lives. If this is the case, what is the way to be followed to have a creative debate. In order to remain aloof from noise, what are the salient features that are to be accepted in order to have a creative debate. What is the difference between a creative debate and noise? When we call any discussion a creative debate and when not. Where is the creative debate organized? These are some prerequisites that come in a person’s mind when he wants to differentiate between the two terms. Here, I will try my best to make it clear that what is the creative debate in reality. Moreover, the main focus of my article will be about the conditions required for the creative debate. First is that with the passage of time, the change is felt in every domain of life. Social life, economic life, political life, moral life, etc., go through a change. The obsolete thoughts give space to new ones. In this transition, there is necessity of changing our outlook. It is here where the need for the creative debate emerges. There is a deliberation about the past and the present. Those things that were true in the past and are relevant to the present, are taken into account. They are preserved and the future course of action is taken accordingly. Those things that are no longer relevant to the present, are discarded. If this is the situation, where the history of any nation is sieved, there are cent percent chances that this society will progress far and wide. But on the other hand, if the past only is the condition for the future, there are cent percent chances that this society will fall headlong into the pit of abyss. Like in case of the Muslims, they have the best Constitution in the world, i.e., the holy Qur’an. Its principles are unalterable. They are compatible with the society. It is for all ages. But the Qur’an itself wants from us is that you should make decisions according to the principles of this book, but the present world should be kept in mind. The ongoing circumstances should be pondered over and accordingly the decisions should be made. But sometimes, the orthodox people are not in a position to accept bit and called it blasphemy. At this point of time, it is difficult to carry out the creative debates. Second is that we should be in a position to learn from others. When we have this feature, we will have the creative debates. A prejudiced mind never learns anything. He or she won’t be in a position to replace his or her obsolete thoughts with new ones. Hence, it will hamper the smooth functioning of the creative debates. The Muslims learnt philosophy from the Greeks while the world learnt hygiene, equality, Scientific temper, broad mindedness, etc., from the Muslims. It is a give and take method. But the problem starts when a nation exaggerates in many domains, without looking at the world outside. Every event leaves an effect on history. But the essential thing is that good principles from each other should be learnt, discussed and followed. Third is that we should not judge a book by its cover. On the ground level, a thing looks filthy. But when we remove the layers, the thing comes to the surface with its splendor. This is the biggest fault in the modern times. We see a group of people by its outward appearance and never bother to learn about them deeply. If we take an example of coal. A piece of coal is black in color. But among the pieces of coal, there lies diamond. Same is the situation in the present world. We have to find reasonable persons among all the communities so that the ground is prepared for effective debates. There are persons who have this capacity but due to many hurdles, they don’t come to the surface. They hate the same noise that has occupied each and every corner of the world. Without these persons, nothing good will availed of. So, this is one of the most important factors in this regard. Fourth and last is that the common people should be prepared for this. They are not ready. Their minds are barren. They are biased and partial. Their minds are stuffed with some different material. That should be erased. A new initiative has to be started which can lead to new ideas. People generally take noise as a debate. But they should be taught that there is a wide gap between the creative debate and noise. Noise is made by the half intellectuals. They know things superficially. They have no hold over things. Hence, it may provide some boost to the creative debates. In the light of above discussion, we should be ready to learn everything that is good according to the divine principles. Take everything that is good for humanity. The principles that bind us together, should be welcomed and the things that disintegrate us, should be abhorred. We have miles to go in order to make this place fit to live. It still is full of challenges. Let intellectualism prevail and the society differentiates between the creative debate and noise.