Friday, 11 September 2015

On Communication

Communication is very important for fostering peace and resolving conflicts. Just talking things over, not necessarily on the points of conflict or difference, prepares an amicable environment conducive for further friendly relations. The diffusion of air from both sides brings about mixing and a uniformity of thought. Contrary to general perception, it does not rob us of our views, thoughts, culture; instead it makes us more tolerant and understanding the view of the other side. Who knows, maybe that other’s thoughts may help us examine our own concepts and aid us in seeing things better. Thus it is generally urged not to withdraw any cricket series between India and Pakistan, not to discourage religious and general tourism, not to ban movies or deny visas to artists, not to cancel formal or informal talks. There would always be forces whose only aim is chaos, and who feed and survive on conflicts; it is to counter these forces that the militaries are required. However, long-lasting and enduring peace is possible only through communication.

Though the need for active communication is generally acknowledged, it is surprising how less it is encouraged or implemented beyond the formal lip service. Such is the case not only at international level between two countries or group of countries, or between two communities, but one also sees the phenomenon happening at the individual level. People are getting more and more uncomfortable in any type of company. A new type of mindset is developing that takes solace in itself, and excludes anything and everything that lies outside its little sphere. Streets are empty, and the playgrounds are mostly used for individual sports and exercises. Even while jogging, earphones are plugged into the ears conveying the ‘do-not-disturb’ message, thus restricting any possible attempt of an occasional greeting from a passer-by and also of making new contacts. The social fabric has completely collapsed. People no longer sit together at tea-shops, reading rooms, parks, in front of radio or TV sets. They prefer to be alone. Yes, they make acquaintances, but out of requirement -- ‘who knows, someday we may need them’. This living in isolation, like on an uninhabited island, cut-off from all society or civilization, is a dangerous development.

photo credit: Chinwag via photopin (license)

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