Home Philosophy The Collapse of the Individual Voice

The Collapse of the Individual Voice

The Collapse of the Individual Voice

Ordinary people who suffer in the streets, have no narrative. They only have a voice, which their leaders try to scuttle.

Dr. Jernail S. Anand

Of the several forces which make history of the civilization move forward at a particular moment, the most potent is its politics and the political outreach of the leaders and the masses. There is no dearth of social media groups, or channels owing allegiance to the party in power, which are there to set a narrative in favour or against a particular political party, what has disappeared from the scene is the individual voice. Today, I am going to mourn its death.

What is an Individual Voice?

It is highly lamentable that these days, individual has lost his voice. No doubt, we carry a lot of noise, which we happily add to the already prevailing cacophony, in the name of freedom of speech, but do we hold individual views about anything? And even if we hold them, we do not air them. Rather, we are not allowed to air them. Parliament is a sacred place where members must speak their mind. But alas! a Member of the Parliament, is no more than a number, and numbers do not speak, except as an irrecognizable mass. They have no individual identity except the Adhar Card.  They are all alike, all the same, and speak the same language, and mean the same thing. One wonders why they are so many if they are not allowed to think, and lack an individual voice.

The voice has a tendency to belong to an individual, but a narrative belongs to a community. A voice is natural whereas a narrative is architected with a purpose.

While fighting elections, the entire focus of the party is to win as many number of seats as possible. Because, it is this number which will add up to their strength, and they can form a government. In this power play of numbers, quality has disappeared, and quantity has taken over. How candidates are selected for election? There is only one criterion. Winnability. Those who have criminal past, and can intimidate the adversaries by flaunting weapons, they are preferred over any sane and sagacious person, who believes in goodness, and the sanctity of rules.

Wealth, Power and Crime

What happens when we have a huge number of such people whose only asset is wealth, power and crime? In the party meetings, do you think they have anything to contribute? They have weapons to flaunt, not words. The presence of bodyguards makes the leader look like a people’s true representative. Apart from this, no member has the audacity to speak a word in criticism of the policies undertaken by the govt. The reason is simple: if they do so, and annoy the political leadership, next time they will be washed out. As immediate punishment for holding individual views and expressing them in public, you may not get any plum post.

Critics and criticism have no place in the scheme of things these days. Silence is really golden. And if a proposal is put to vote, they must speak something, but in one voice they say: all the powers are now vested in the leader. Let him take the decision on our behalf. Thus, whatever power they had, they have surrendered it to the leader.

Decline of the Debate

In the Parliament, during debates, we see debates. But those who speak are most of the time toeing the line of their masters. The speeches are mostly tailor-made. The individual has no choice, nor any voice. The essence of Parliamentary proceedings is that every issue is put to vote. And if it garners more votes, it is adopted. But, what we see here is that an individual member is no more than a vote. He has no individual views on any issue. If the party is against it, he votes against it and if the party is in favour of it, he votes for it. It is the party high command, which is vocal, not the member. He cannot give voice to what his people think, who gave him votes and elected him. Whatever he says, it is not for the people of his constituency, but to please his party bosses.

Even in intra-party meetings, an individual member has stopped thinking seriously about politics, his role as a member, and the problems of the people. He understands it very well that his only purpose to come to power is to stay in power. And for that he has to please his bosses. And bosses are most happy with members who hold no private views who have no philosophy, who have no voice. In Parliament, where parleys used to be held, now we have members who vote after the party dictates, and the major issue before them is neither social service, nor any exalted thought, but simply to survive in power even if your voice is the price one has to pay.

It is the question of survival which silences people. And this is seen as a very dangerous development among the political parties. The matter of concern is : the infection is growing. Even in ordinary life, people are afraid to say anything before the camera. Intellectuals who are known to hold individual and strong views, are afraid of the authority if they express any ideas which violate official commands. We are the times when men have lost the urge to speak and they have developed a strange tendency to please the authority whenever they utter a word.

From Voice to Narrative

The voice has a tendency to belong to an individual, but a narrative belongs to a community. A voice is natural whereas a narrative is architected with a purpose. The narrative is, thus, an artificial voice created with an eye over specific results. Ordinary people who suffer in the streets, have no narrative. They only have a voice, which their leaders try to scuttle.



Jernail SinghDr. Jernail Singh Anand, President of the International Academy of Ethics, is author of 161 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and spirituality. He was awarded Charter of Morava, the great Award by Serbian Writers Association, Belgrade and his name was engraved on the Poets’ Rock in Serbia. The Academy of Arts and philosophical Sciences of Bari [Italy] honored him with the award of an Honorable Academic.  Recently, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy [Honoris Causa] by the University of Engineering and Management, Jaipur. Recently, he organized an International Conference on Contemporary Ethics at Chandigarh. His most phenomenal book is Lustus: The Prince of Darkness [first epic of the Mahkaal Trilogy]. [Email: anandjs55@yahoo.com

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