A lady who shall go unnamed called me up now, and started screaming and crying saying that I have written about her on my blog. “Teacher, Shanu called me Donkey.”
She is a journalist. I do not understand such people. There was nothing of a personal nature in that post. I do not mean to say that my position on this would have changed at all if there were something personal. I am often surprised seeing how shallow people are, and how easily offended they are.
Shame, Shame, Puppy Shame! 😛
A few days ago, a gentleman called me and asked about what I had written about him, in my blog post on homosexuality. He was very polite to me. He did not question my right to write about him, even once. I thought, “What a decent fellow this Vikram Johri is.” But, this is not typical.
Much as I rant against liberals, I think it is a great thing that in the recent past, there is a broad consensus among the people who read and write that there is something really wrong with all this. This is perhaps a relic of our barbaric past. A lot of this happens because people do not read. The less you understand the written word, the more you are likely to lose yourself over something someone wrote somewhere.
How insecure do we have to be to let mere words affect us so much? A few months ago, a salesman from a finance company called me a couple of times to try and sell me an insurance package. I was irritable that day, and the second time I said something to the effect of “… and don’t f***in’ call me again!” before hanging up. 30 seconds later, the phone rings. It’s the same guy, demanding to know “Why you call me f***er? WHY YOU USE BAD LANGUAGE?” I lost it this time, and unleashed a string of pejoratives at the fellow. I hung up again, he called me again. Though I did not answer any more of his calls, he called me about 35 times in the next two days, and his number is still saved in my mobile phonebook as ‘Birla Sunlife Troll.’ All that is a shame, and an example of what’s wrong with our legal system. But there is also something wrong with us, that so many of us take offence so easily at something we could so easily ignore.
“There are two ways through which things are getting better. The first area of importance is public outrage. Even if India has laws that hinder free speech, we should all speak up and establish social norms in favour of free speech, where the use of existing laws that support attacks on freedom of speech is just not done. As an example, Vodafone embarked on legal bullying against one person, but backed away when faced with outrage. A splendid example of this push back is IIPM. Recent events (link, link) should make IIPM regret having gone down this route. Speaking for me, I have not accepted and will not accept invitations from IIPM for speaking or writing in their publications, and I will be quite circumspect about resumes that carry the name IIPM. (This is my standard operating procedure for left tail organisations in India). If enough of us do this, it will establish deterrence. Outrage matters. We should be naming and shaming the offenders and maintaining a hall of shame.”
But, I know the irony in quoting this passage.