S.M. Patel Debate Championship (Transcript)

A video went viral and the donations increased by 3500%. In a single month the ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE has raised about a 100 million dollars. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for this philanthropic blockbuster, for all the donors,
and for the Virtual Social Media.

A very good morning to the august house.

I, Prerna Somani, stand before you to deliver my opinions against the motion ‘The virtual world is making us indifferent and insensitive towards the real world’.

At the outset, we must define the term ‘virtual world’. Virtual reality, which is sometimes also referred to as ‘immersive multimedia’ is a computer-based realistic simulation of an environment using three-dimensional graphics.
Simply put, the virtual reality is what we see On the Screen. So everything from television serials to computer games, social networking over the internet, motion pictures, videos, holograms, force field… everything, whose essence is derived from pixels and not flesh and bone, can be categorized as an element of the Virtual Reality. To me, the virtual world is a culmination of the information and technology revolution that has gripped the world.

In 2014 we stand at the threshold of a complete virtual revolution. In these times, we must take a pause and ponder – are we going in the right direction? Is the virtual world good for us?

Today my opponents criticize the synthetic world on the counts of spreading indifference and insensitivity. Well, is that how you would categorize the protests that erupted all over the country against Israel’s offensive in Gaza? Friends, this war was happening in a different continent all together, and it wasn’t even affecting us directly. So what were we rallying against?
Cruelty. Bloodshed. Violence. The entire planet protested against the lack of humane treatment meted out to our fellow world citizens. Is this insensitivity or indifference, because we all know virtual media is responsible for the spreading of awareness?

Very recently, the country was stormed by the Anti-Corruption Movement. It is doubtless to everyone sitting here that the entire movement was coordinated and conducted by the means of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and television.
Did anyone else notice the increase in voter turn-out this elections? 66.4% of India voted this summer, which is the highest in our 68 years of formation.
Let’s not forget the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’; a viral initiative started by the Aam Admi Party which encourages the people to donate a sack of rice to a person in need. Is uniting millions of people for a real noble cause synonymous to spreading indifference and insensitivity?

Uncountable lives have been victims to the brutal fanaticism of the Taliban. How did we come to know about it, though? When Malala Yousafazi was shot, we all took the wound. When Nirbhaya was raped and murdered, we all took suffering. Is this indifference?

June 2014, doctors from top American Universities conducted a research to map the effect of violent video games in real lives of the gamers. After thorough study and analysis, they concluded that violent behaviour in the virtual world is actually making the people morally sensitive in their real lives. Their findings conclude that the emotional experiences evoked by media exposure are increasing the intuitive foundations upon which human beings make judgement.

Friends, large distances, lack of time, lack of proper means of communication make us indifferent and insensitive. Man-to-man interaction has not stopped; on the contrary it has increased, the only difference is in the means of communication. We haven’t forgotten wishing near and dear ones of their birthdays, only the means of remembering have changed. We haven’t used the virtual world to escape from reality; in fact the virtual world has brought us closer to it.
Let us not unnecessarily demonize the virtual world to hide our own flaws. My worthy opponents have come up with all sorts of statistics and examples to debate against the virtual reality, thanks to the virtual world.
The virtual world has made us more aware, compassionate, thoughtful and careful. No dictionary will ever describe them as synonyms to ‘indifference’ and ‘insensitive’. We are progressing towards a radical future that eradicates the boundaries of caste, creed, gender and birth; a future envisioned by Tagore – once again thanks to the virtual world.

Thank you.
Jai Hind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s