A significant quality of humans lies in their ability to choose between right and wrong. Still, many times, instead of using our rationality, we tend to make opinions on the basis of emotions which are sold to us by society. This trade of emotions indeed leads to ‘selective sympathy’, thus preventing justice to prevail.

Recently the office of Bollywood actress Kangna Ranaut was demolished in Mumbai, which invited reasonable public and media outrage against the Maharashtra government. However, while the air of enthusiasm was quite visible in the justice campaigns for Kangana, not many stood against the aggressive media trials and rape and life threats against actress Rhea Chakraborty. Although both Kangana’s and Rhea’s cases are under the legal proceedings of court and the ruling is yet to be announced, thanks to the role of the media, the public has already declared the result.

Credits: Mir Suhail

At times, an irrational belief can cause the worst injustices. For example, when the German population sympathized with the emotional speech of the fascist Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, seldom did they realize that their selective sympathy to their leader was causing injustices to many. It might be considered that it is the media, which sells emotions to us considering their enormous capability to influence the masses. However, in reality, they just serve as the brokers in the market of emotions. It is actually the people, who  pass through the stalls of emotions to purchase their stories. But while doing so, they don’t realize that their own voice somehow becomes inaudible under the umbrella of the loud and ugly screams  in this market.

The major problem with supporting someone on the basis of emotional stands is that it is very fragile and can change loyalty towards others if their voice becomes louder. The English playwright William Shakespeare wrote about the Roman citizens who easily changed their opinions and their support, first celebrating the death of Julius Caesar under the influential speech of his assassins, then mourned the loss of his life on hearing the emotional speech of Mark Antony. This phenomenon of ‘mob mentality’ can be seen in not just the Romans but the entire human race regardless of the time and place.

Credits: Shakespeare Navigators

Sometimes people actually know that their emotions are being traded in the market by sellers and traders, even then dare to walk in that market, sometimes in order to justify their own emotionally-charged ideology, and at other times just because of the large lethargic human mindset. 

Renowned Indian singer and lyricist Piyush Mishra wrote a song called Sheher for Bollywood movie Gulaal (2009) highlighting this faulty habit of humans, whose English translation would be:

“…The whole world asked the city, when so much dark was happening,

Brother, why does our city just close their eyes and sleep?

To this, the city replied that it was having a very peaceful sleep

the night when clouds rained blood in my city…”

Piyush Mishra

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In reality, the city which is being referred to in the song is actually inhabited by us humans, who are aware of  all the misdoings which happen but still enjoy our privilege and allow us to fall  prey to the faulty emotions in the name of emotional support.

It should be considered that not falling  prey to the emotional luring does not  mean that we should give up our emotional outlook altogether. Being emotional indeed symbolizes the presence of having a loving heart. However, it should be ensured that the emotions we reflect are not bought from the market controlled by others. They should emerge from our own self and rationality and open to the views and thoughts of others.

Aashish Kochhar is a student pursuing History from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited By: Maryam Ahmed

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

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Written by Aashish Kochhar

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