The statement of senior Congress leader and key member of G-23 Ghulam Nabi Azad that the present generation of Congress is “not open to suggestions” and they are “seen as a crime of rebellion” should be analysed not for its politics for a larger truth about our society, about the human condition, and the state of mindset and attitude of almost all of us today.
Truth is most of us are less democratic and tolerant or respectful of dissent, of criticism, of “suggestions” that are not actually reiterations of loyalty, of support and admiration, even flattery; all dressed up to look like suggestions.
Oscar Wilde, wiser than most intellectuals who still insist on trying to change, or improve, mankind, said — never advise, wise don’t need it and fools don’t take it. But we can’t all help giving suggestions, feedback, or even complaining. Perhaps we are in the worst time in history to feed into that instinct.
If you study the human condition today, no one, sadly, is willing to listen to suggestions from anyone. Not governments, of course, but that is a final consequence of our collective social attitude more than the cause. Artists, film actors, cricketers, business barons — no one likes it anymore when people find faults and suggest ways to become better.
As a generation, our teenagers and youth are extreme — either part of the militant woke or the equally militant alt-right. They have an unalterable monologue ready for everyone older, and scathing cancellations is all you get for “suggestions”.
No one is willing to listen to suggestions because everyone knows they are perfect, absolutely correct, and that you are wrong. Even if they have doubts, they have, in the social media era, already taken a public stand, and therefore, have to pretend and defend their mistakes, and deflect, troll, abuse and reject your wisdom.
This age has a new wisdom — mind your own business. Wait, is that a suggestion?...