Saturday, July 16, 2011

Need new words for expressions...

Mind your Language By Vidya Bhushan Rawat The feudal caste values of our subcontinent often reflect in our expressions. One of the reasons for the usage of these terminologies is the ‘feeling’ of ‘empowerment’ in our heart. How can a ‘helpless’ or a powerful person shows his empowerment. The powerful can abuse and be violent but a ‘helpless’ has only abuses. And interestingly these abuses get more contemptuous in descending order of our society. It means they are hurled more at the most marginalized and physically weak one. Why should we abuse to the others ? And the answer is provided in the various terminologies of our society which have stereotyped these and justify their aggression or failures in doing so. So, there is a blame game through these abuses and terminologies. Police did not act in Mumbai as it was ‘Napunsak’ i.e. impotent or people saw fellow citizen dying on the street because there was no ‘mard ka bachcha’ ( son of MAN), as if women can not save or have not saved any one. Why is, the non functionality of our governments termed as ‘lame duck’. They call proudly ‘yeh langdi sarkar hai’. How does it feel when a person suffering from physical disability and trying to walk as fast as so-called ‘able’ people do, listens to these ‘macho’ dialogues? Have we tried to understand that? Do the people suffering from physical disability not work efficiently? Can they never be efficient and equal like ‘others’? Often in our political platforms the leaders abuse the government saying ‘yeh sarkar bahri and andhi ho gayee hai’. I don’t know but what that means is that all the men and women who are unable to hear and see are incapable. The other day, I had objection to the terminology of ‘kaladhan’ or ‘black money’ for the illicit or ill-gotten money. Why do we use this terminology? Why is black that bad that all the bad things are linked to it. For me black remains the most beautiful color, a color of change. What will we call to the money obtained by the people whose color are not fare as white skinned. I also maintained that most of this ‘so-called’ black money is actually not owned by the ‘black people’ hence why to defame an entire race. Our society is racist in nature. Not all will realize that what the reason of Mahabharata was. While we all condemn the ‘cheer- haran’ of Draupadi, (if that is a true story), but we should also remember how contemptuously she laughed at Duryodhan when he falls in to pool assuming that a glass floor. And the comment that followed was ‘andhe ka beta agar andha nahee hoga to kya hoga’ (the son of a blind will only be a blind, what else he could be). Actually, this reflects the psychology of Indians. The feeling that we can not change and we must do what we are parents and forefathers have been doing for generations. So, a person whose father was a cobbler must do the same work and not think of change. That is the reason of why people hate reservation because they feel that these children who should have been doing menial work are actually now thinking of coming to power. How can the children of cobblers, goldsmiths, iron smiths, farmers, workers, laborers be allowed to rule the country? What will they bring to us except misfortune? It is this very reason, why our middle classes get very reactive of corruption among Dalits and OBCs. Oh, how have these guys got so much of wealth? Why don’t they go back to the community? But the same questions are not asked as where from Anna Hazare got the money to sit on fast and why were businessmen so concern about ‘corruption’ and were donating handsomely to Baba Ramdev. If the same funds are given by some Christians and Muslims, immediately the question would arise, as why are they interested in our cause? Why can’t we ask the question as why the tax evading class is interested in fighting against corruption? If that fast and crowd was mobilized by Udit Raj, everyone would have been asking where the money has come from. Nobody ask the ‘polite’ upper caste about this. It is assumed that they have it for generations and hence nobody needs to question it. So, the donation to the high quality people is on ‘will’ and for a cause and for the others it is meant for ‘corruption’ and ‘conversion’. One of the biggest comments in our films and political circle is made on the inability or inefficiency of a person or a government is ‘yeh napunsak hai. This is an impotent government. ‘Be man’. What will happen if the government is headed by a woman? So any leader who is involved in all kind of misbehavior is termed as ‘impotent’ as if all the bad deeds and sexual abuse are carried over by the sexually inactive persons. Many sexual scandals of our political leaders are getting exposed these days. Should we call them ‘impotent’ or sexually pervert? It not that just physicality matters in our society. Gender and caste abuses are often part of our discourse. It is shocking to see them being used by the caste Hindus. Some of them are often used by even the ‘so-called’ revolutionaries to score a point and degrade some one’s caste. These are part of our rural culture and their daily language. Aamir Khan’s Bosedeeke is nothing but justifying these stereotype where abuses are hurled at regular basis on gender basis (most of the indigenous abuses are caste and gender biased) and cowardliness and betrayal are related to particular communities. Most of our idioms and local sayings are actually based on deep gender and caste prejudices. These idioms are nothing but glorification of our false caste pride and promote macho values which are anti woman. You can always find dialogues of Hindi films saying ‘are koi mard ka bachcha jo mujhse bhide.’ (Is there any son of a MAN who can fight me?. Often the ‘Mard’ i.e. MAN word has used in the bollywood films to degrade woman and promote patriarchical values. I do not think if there is any English equivalent to this word except MAN with a big ego in heart. This has virtually degenerated our entire system. In the 21st century India, the empowerment of communities and societies will happen through a change in our culture and not through guns and bombs. We all know society can not change over night but at least those who claim for it, work for it and want to change it must change themselves. For a healthy society we need a healthy vocabulary and not rhetoric based on prejudices towards the marginalized and physically challenged people.

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