The notorious 'doubt' and gloried 'questions'


Illustration credits: Dakshita Joshi

'Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.' -Voltaire

Since as far as I can remember, we have kept our ‘questions’ on a very high pedestal. We have applauded our ability to ask intelligent questions. Heck, we have made a profession out of it (read: Journalism). But we have almost never brought close to the limelight, the feeling that precedes a question asked – doubt.

Before Aristotle discovered that the Earth is round, he questioned the true shape of it. But even before he raised this question, he doubted the existing belief that the Earth is flat.

Great discoveries are born out of great questions asked. But the need to ask those questions arises out of the doubting the existing scenarios. And although doubt is what sows the seeds of questions and grows into a big tree of answers standing strong in the face of the world, it has never been given the credit it deserves.

Instead of being seen as the starting point of great discoveries, doubt is rather viewed limited only to what a wife feels when her husband doesn’t return home on time or what your long distance friend feels when you say ‘I miss you’.

‘Will she be on time?’

‘I doubt!’

The term doubt is like the Karna of Mahabharata - comes with a good intention, does a lot more than is supposed to, never gets the stardom it deserves. And yet, just like Karna, there is nothing that ceases this word in making its presence felt. Even, in today’s world where people are ready to put a question mark after any accepted belief fed to them.

‘Most Christians have at some point experienced a time of spiritual doubt when they questioned what they believed about their religion or God.’ (CNN, Washington)

We are increasingly becoming a population that is doubtful of a lot of things. But this fact needs to be taken as good, contrary to the common feeling attached with ‘doubt’. A population of doubtful people means a population that is raising questions and seeking answers. It means a population that does not blindly accept and a population of many Aristotles and Galileos. A population that is equipped with the ‘Power of Doubt’.

Posted by Anjali Singh

Anjali is a twenty-one year young student of the Delhi Technological University. Spending her growing years in Delhi, she feels that this city has nurtured in her a love for theatre, travelling and writing. She dreams of changing the world through the power of ink whilst voyage the mountains of Leh on a Bullet.