The shout house

Why is Assembly becoming an institution of noise?

AJAZ UL HAQUE
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 20 2018 11:33PM | Updated Date: Jan 20 2018 11:33PM
The shout houseFile Photo

Anything said will not be heard unless it's cried out loud. Noise has become the signature tone of our proceedings. Political, religious, social, cultural, private or public – what is not shouted is not heard. Our preachers don't feel like preaching unless they thump their pulpit and yell their guts out. Our television panelists scream to reach us even though we can listen to their whispers. Why have we become a fuming, furious lot? What is wrong with us? Is it the problem with our audibility or with our sensibility? Do we lack conduct or this is what defines our conduct? No I don't mean an ideal situation where people are punished for intervention, what I mean is a normal condition which is only punctuated, not characterised by noise.

Our legislature is the most notorious institution where louder you get, more you are talked about. Whether it's a budget session or a border issue or a crime scene or anything that is relevant or timely, all we witness is a chaotic jumble of voices. It's like a hundred music beats played at once. If we unscramble the mess, we can follow it. But we are not satisfied unless our rivals are floored on the floor of the house. The hall rocks, thunders with the demands, the claims, the allegations, the counter-allegations. Everyone talks, no one listens. Who bothers about the issue, it all gets drowned in the noise.

In all this what is killed is the sense of the story. Adjournments and walkouts are the escape routes. The real test of a good deliberation lies in meeting the point. Yes on occasions arguments carry heat. I's not always possible to get noise-free especially where political parties score points against each other. Sometimes even the coolest can lose their cool but why make ruckus a permanent feature of legislature. 

Er. Rashid (my Mr. Furious) is a new version of Albert Pinto who (personally warm and nice) suddenly heats up when he enters the hall. Er. Rashid ko gussa kyoun aataa hai is the question his fans keep asking?  He can redirect his courage. It's not only standing up and speaking out, it's also sitting down and listening. Anger weakens your point like speed slackens the grip. Engineer  doesn't miss anything unless he hammers it down with a single arm-waving, lung-bursting scream. Why get dragged from the house, why be thrashed by the security, why let others catch you by the collar of your shirt. There are more dignified ways of lodging your protest where you can save your breath, save your cool and save your shirt as well. Fury is an asset to be nourished. It's a weapon which works when it's not used, fails when it is. If our legislators want to be taken seriously, they will have to get a little calmer so that we can get them right. So that they say what they mean. Otherwise we enjoy the noise, miss the point. 

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