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Diverse spaces, inclusive spaces, public spaces, wide open spaces; spaces are so important in shaping ideas and thoughts. Good spaces create scope for interactions and nurse good discussions. But off late, I am discovering that the spaces I encounter have become dismissive and alienating. People pounce on each other when a contradicting remark slips into the conversation; there seems to be no room for difference of opinion. There is a tendency to get on the defensive and begin a screaming match. There seems a lack of tolerance to the polar opinion. Patiently listening has suddenly become a rarity. With regards to some topics like religion, a certain chief minister and other controversies are far worse. When I see this happening around me, I wonder what is needed for anyone to talk, discuss and argue without fear of being attacked? It seems simple to keep an open and cool mind, hear the other out and respond with your opinion. It isn’t so hard right? It shouldn’t be, anyway.

Yet, I find there are few such spaces.