16 Sep 2023  |   06:09am IST


Glen Fernandes

In any society, the ability to express one’s thoughts and opinions freely is a fundamental right. Speaking our minds is highly crucial in a world where information is available everywhere. It is vital not to mute people’s voices; the value of listening to their complaints cannot be underscored. When people voice their complaints and grievances, there is a critical window of opportunity for understanding, development, and progress. In a world where grievances are often met with indifference or neglect, the simple act of listening can be transformative.

More often than not, political leaders may attempt to stifle the voices of the people they are meant to serve. When people voice their discontent, politicians may perceive it as a challenge to their beliefs, decisions or competence which can trigger emotional responses. To prevent us from hearing various voices, they control what we see and hear in the media and online. Any correction or issue of concern is received negatively. We can’t come up with new and better ideas when people are afraid to talk. They may intimidate or threaten anyone who want to speak up. When politicians try to quiet the populace, they not only undermine democracy but also hinder the potential for positive change.

People’s voices are the most effective way to express their complaints about a variety of issues including deteriorating law and order, lack of essential services, environmental concern, incorrect development and so forth. Suppressing grievances can lead to a myriad of problems both on an individual and societal level. When people are unable to voice their concerns, it creates a sense of frustration, helplessness and even anger. When grievances are ignored or dismissed, they tend to escalate. What might start as a minor concern can snowball into a major problem when left unaddressed. This escalation could be detrimental to communities, teams and relationships. People begin to doubt whether their concerns are ever taken seriously. Allowing individuals to express their issues provides emotional relief and release pent-up frustration.

Political Leaders need to be open to varied viewpoints and criticisms and manage it in a proactive way because that's how we learn and grow. They should embrace criticism and differing opinions as a means of growth and progress. By setting an example of open and honest communication, leaders can demonstrate that they are attentive to input and willing to listen. Open discussion about grievances encourages positive conflict resolution. Differences can be resolved and compromise is achievable when they are acknowledged and discussed.

The ability to hear others out and respond to their complaints is a sign of strength and maturity rather than of weakness. It is a vital component of healthy relationships, efficient organizations and thriving communities. People’s grievances deserve to be heard and their voices should never be silenced. By listening, understanding and working together to address concerns, we can foster healthier relationships, more productive workplaces and a more equitable and just society for all.


Idhar Udhar