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Political Correctness Has Gone Too Far

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely believe that free speech should not be purposefully offensive, threatening or an incitement to violence.

That said, it should be pursued with passion and vigour. After all, it is something that affects pretty much every aspect of our lives, work, where we live and the countries in which we dwell.

But today, political correctness is ruining free speech.

I would imagine that you’re all too familiar with what political correctness is. However, for the sake of complete clarity, here’s what the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:

“…avoiding language or behavior that any particular group of people might find is unkind or offensive.”

Now that’s fine, on the face of it. Calling millions of people of a different race or religion a derogatory name, based on the belief that they are evil or somehow lesser, is unacceptable.

However, it’s gone too far in that it now leaves us treading on eggshells, scared to voice an opinion on pretty much anything for fear of offending somebody’s politically correct sensibilities.

mime-not-speak

Image Source: Public Domain Pictures

Create a villain when there is none

Not being able to call a blackboard “a blackboard” perfectly sums up how political correctness has gone too far. I call it a “blackboard” because it’s black!

I’m a white male, but I don’t recoil in politically correct horror when someone asks me to make a presentation on a whiteboard. You really can have too much of a good thing.

The corrosiveness of political correctness has long permeated the media. Words and phrases that would once not have led anyone to bat an eyelid, are now frowned upon and surgically substituted with “less offensive” versions.

not-ok

Image Source: Twitter

Take for example the reporting of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” That really does give you an explanation as to what is going on there. However, some in the media now balk at that description for fear of religious offence.

Do I think all Muslims are terrorists? Absolutely not and for anyone to say that they are is ridiculous.

Am I though aware that a very small minority of Muslims have become radicalized, with some of those then going on to commit acts of terror? Absolutely yes.

I live in the US, where gun ownership and violence, are commonplace. Are most mass-shootings in the US committed by white, male people? The overwhelming evidence says “yes they are.”

Am I offended because someone might suggest on the evening news that the US has a dreadful mass-shooting problem that is perpetrated by mostly white men? Not in the slightest.

The PC culture not only stops you from stating a fact; it will demonize you if you somehow go ahead and say it. Creating a villain out of someone who has said a factually correct statement is simply wrong, but what’s worse is that prominent people, media houses, businesses and even nations actually support it.

Some do this out of fear of being shamed, others do it because they genuinely believe that they by silencing hard truths, they are fighting bigotry.

the-future-is-female

Image Source: Twitter

Britain – A Shining Example

I’ve lived in both the UK and the USA and I’ve always welcomed the wide range of diversity that I have found in those two countries. I regard myself as liberal and progressive too.

Islamic-Terrorism-In-UK

Image Source: Dailystar

However, with hair-trigger political correctness radars constantly on the look-out for transgressors, I now find myself scared to talk about diversity, or multiculturalism, in case I set off a politically correct fire-storm with someone.

The UK, today, is especially guilty of this.

Britain has been going through a host of issues due to a certain section of its population. This section contains mostly radicalized Muslims. However, both the British media and politicians not only are too afraid to call out this issue, they even refuse to acknowledge it.

Rochdale ScandalImage Source: Daily Mirror

And a similar trend is visible in other countries as well.

Politicians have been sacked, people have been jailed and the media has demonized anybody who doesn’t give in to this PC culture. But even then, Britain and other countries remain blind to how political correctness has destroyed, and is continuing to destroy, the very fabric of their society.

princeton-bans-manImage Source: Daily Mail

justin-trudeau-people-kindImage Source: The Guardian

The Consequence

The fact the political correctness has gone too far may have been one of the main reasons that voters in America found Donald Trump to be worthy of their vote – and without necessarily believing in a lot of what he stands for.

For years now, regular Americans have found themselves increasingly under pressure to conform to extreme political correctness. Someone like Trump, who mostly says what he feels, allowed millions of US voters to have a relief valve for that build-up of pressure.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard a Trump voter say of him that “he says it like it is…” – which is the diametric opposite of what political correctness stands for. And that in turn affects voting patterns:

“[The statement] ‘there is too much political correctness in this country’ was the second most reliable predictor of whether a given person intended to vote for Trump.” [2]

So, in that sense, political correctness has actually proven to be counter-productive in that it fired up people who were tired of it so much that Trump became a breath of fresh air from it. They were so fed up of it that they actually elected a bigot who ‘says it like it is’.

How about that then – that the most divisive, controversial American President, arguably ever, owes part of his stunning 2016 victory to, of all things, political correctness.

Trump - grab them by the

 

And this isn’t even exclusive to America. World over, there’s a sharp rise in the number of leaders and politicians with ‘extreme’ ideologies as a direct consequence of this PC culture and being afraid to call a spade a spade.

This suffocating culture of dictating one can or cannot say has made a lot of people support politicians who they don’t necessarily like, but admire their ability to ‘say it like it is’ even if what they say is purely horrible.

But this is the fault of the social justice brigade who think that everyone should follow their rules, and label anyone who doesn’t as a bigot. The world is pushing back by choosing actual bigots, thanks to the constant and exhausting check they have to keep for ‘not hurting feelings’.

Look, I don’t want politicians to insult or demonize anybody or any societal group. Politics should always be better than that.

At the same time, I don’t want my politicians to pussy-foot around issues and subjects that may be of vital importance to me or my country’s national security.

While feelings are of course important, it doesn’t automatically make them facts. Being offended at the drop of a hat doesn’t default your position to being automatically correct.

Given that it is beyond doubt that political correctness has gone too far, I genuinely worry about the adverse effect that that will have on democracies around the world.

political-correctnes-george-carlin

 

Freedom of speech and expression are vital components of a healthy, functioning democracy. And politics needs to, at times, address issues with straight-talking that is anchored in reality and not wrapped in the cotton-wool of political correctness.

If there is a genuine political problem, I want my political leaders to tackle it in a genuine way – and that includes the language that they use.

Similarly, as an average joe, I don’t wish to be held hostage by racist or sexist political comments and commentary, but at the same time, I also have no wish to be held hostage by the perennial fear of saying or endorsing something that may be obscurely politically correct.

This is a serious business that affects everyone. We shouldn’t be letting feelings become facts and letting extreme political correctness shame us about saying things that we really have no need to feel shameful about at all.

However, that doesn’t give you the right to become a bigot. Yes, you should be able to call things as they are, but that does not mean you can go around being a sexist, racist or xenophobic douchebag, who curses anyone he doesn’t agree with under the guise of ‘fighting political correctness’.

political-correctness

Image Source: Washington Post

At the same time, you cannot let people and their skewed sense of morality dictate what you can or cannot say. More often than not, political correctness is used by people with an agenda, people who want to control the narrative by shaming those who do not agree with them.

You are an adult living in a democracy. You should be able to communicate what you really want [your right] without hate [your responsibility].

Modi-in-waterfall

12 hilarious posts by ‘you know who’s’ IT Cell that our parents believed

In our country, a particular party’s IT cell has been quite notorious for circulating fake news and pushing propaganda. Some of them are so damn obvious that it’s painful to see them even try telling these lies. However, most of our parent’s are quite open-minded when it comes to accepting these so-called ‘news’ and facts.

One could only wonder how our parents decide what to believe or not. By some twisted logic, Whatsapp is a more credible source than their own son. It’s moments like these that make you feel that you are adopted. But as the joke goes, “Agar adopt karna hota to tujhe kyun lete” makes me sure that I am their own majboori.

So, children of gullible parents, let’s have a look at some things that the IT cell made them believe:

 

1. Note mein chip

Nano chip

 

Demonetisation was a weird time man. On one side you people dying outside ATMs, and on the other, you have people like explaining to you how the ‘nano-chip’ in our pinky 2000 rupee note works.

 

2. Apne baap ka UNESCO

best_currency_unesco

 

UNESCO even declared the 2000 rupee note as the ‘best currency in the world’ (God knows what that meant). Anyway, I am very proud to be an Indian, and you?

 

3. UNESCO returns

Best-PM

 

UNESCO declared so many things in the past 4 years that it felt less like UNESCO and more like Star Parivaar awards. As if the best currency award wasn’t enough, it also declared Modi ji as the best PM in the world. Feeling prod.

 

4. Rare Diamond and Doshi Naagin

doshi_naagin

 

Whoever came up with this was one lazy troll. Not because Modi’s new anagram had one letter missing, because it’s so childish that it makes even 5th graders look edgier.

 

5. Demonetization’s shocking secret (You won’t believe)

shocking_secret_demonetisation

 

Pakistan was ready to print 15 trillion of Indian currency notes with 5 presses. When Modi ji got to know about it, he decided to do notebandi as a ‘F**k you, ab kya kar lega’ to Pakistan. Even Rahul Gandhi knew about it, because all of a sudden he is a credible source to go to.

 

6. Nostradamus died again

Amazing-Facts-1

Amazing-Facts-2Amazing-Facts-4

 

This is a long one, but worth the read. Not only Nostradamus wrote that ‘Ram Rajya is coming’, he also predicted tenure of Modi as PM. But wait, there’s more. These people somehow justified Modi leaving his wife by comparing him to Buddha and Mahaveer. IS IT JUST COINCIDENCE OR HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF.

 

7. Saptrishi Nagamani

saptrishi-nagamani-1

saptrishi-nagamani-2saptrishi-nagamani-

 

Bitcoin was all the fad. So how could IT cell let go of such a fine opportunity? Enter Saptrishi Nagamani, the founder of Bitcoin and chaddi buddy of our PM.

 

8. Robert Downey Jr. fight with the Mullas

robert_downey_jr_

 

Yes, our very own Iron Man is a victim of these Muslim fanatics because he is a kattar Hindu. Oh, did I mention he had a shivling in his heart?

 

9. Slave I Remain

slave_i_remain

 

 

This was made when even the IT Cell people got bored. Muslims weren’t doing much, other political parties were doing their usual “This morning, I woke up at night” thing. So, In order to create a villain, they went to our all-time favorite enemies, the British. To show the ‘goras’ as the villain, they took the first thing they could think of and went full retard.

 

10. ATMs close because Pakistan

atms_because_pakistan

 

Yes, this one is fresh! When our bankers went to strike a few days back, the IT cell decided to do something about it. And by God, they did.

 

11. All great people are Indian because f*ck you

great_indian_philosophers

 

I fear the man who can say that Confucius’s real name was Karnaphool Singh and Aristotle was Haristuti Lal.

 

12. Bhosadike

bhosadike

 

This one is an obvious troll and not by the IT Cell (at least I hope it’s not) but it’s funny as hell.

But my favourite one, the one that is actually close to my heart will always be this kudrat ka karishma-

Modi-in-waterfall

 

And there you have it. Let me know if I missed anyone. Feeling prod as an Indian.

– forwarded as received.

 

Image sources – Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, my own Whatsapp

Hate

They’re feeding you hate

There is not a single day when I scroll my Facebook feed or go to Twitter or watch TV and NOT see people fighting about something. The sheer amount of hate that I see today in people around me is astounding. And It’s everywhere. The recent revelations by Cambridge Analytica and Cobrapost show how big corporates and media houses, in greed to be even richer, are destroying the empathy and love in us. To grow richer, to stay in power, they’re feeding you hate.

That same hate has made you so blind that you can’t see past the other person’s gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, caste or basically any other trait that you don’t share or agree with.

 

When, how and why did it start?

Newspapers

 

Contrary to the popular belief, this phenomenon is not new. As soon as a big enough chunk of the society start consuming any form of media, the rich and powerful start trying to control it, to maintain their influence. First, there were newspapers, then came the television, then with the advent of the internet, this game got more sophisticated and bigger. Now, you could influence the whole world in less than 140 characters.

First came the corporates, showing their ads, pushing their products at every turn. But they soon realised that people were getting smarter so they shifted their agenda. Now, they weren’t just trying to sell you the product, they wanted to make you one. Creating ads that don’t feel like ads. Capitalising on the emotions of people was far more effective and profitable than to show them an ad. And guess what? They soon realised that people were highly gullible. That they weren’t just limited to existing emotions, they can create emotions. They could make people outrage, they could make them sad or guilty or they could make them open happiness, at will.

 

What’s happening now?

These corporates made a fortune from these social media and television ads. But they wanted more. How could they churn out more profit from people? Simple. You control the ones who make the rules.

Politicians and political parties have a huge influence on people, both direct and indirect. In some countries, people are willing to even kill for them, for free. Every political party wants to come into power, to form a government. Because once they do, the whole game changes. They become the rule makers. They can legally make people do what they want them to do.

But they need money to come into power. Who can give them that kind of money? Maybe someone who already has lots of it and wants to have a friend who can help him make even more.

Corporates

 

Yep, the corporates.

See, the relationship between the corporates and political parties is a win-win^10000 . Together, they are such a profitable machinery that they literally rule the world. There is nothing that they can’t do. Start a ‘revolution’, bring ‘peace’ to another country, pass bills that help them make even more money…..you name it.

But they still want more. More money, more power.

They realise that people are highly unpredictable. To stay in power, You need to keep them in check.

And that’s where media comes into play.

 

What is the media’s role?

See earlier, corporates figured out that not only they can capitalise on people’s emotions, they can actually engineer them. They realised that the technique that they used for selling their product can also be used to sell a propaganda. See, political parties don’t have a tangible product to sell, what they have is an ideology. You can’t sell an ideology as a physical product, you have to do it another way. You have to be smart, consistent and subtle. There’s one way that they can do that – Controlling the media.

Repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth. Today, media is everywhere. You spend most of your day consuming information from one of these media channels. That makes it the perfect platform to push someone’s agenda. Even if you are conscious about your information intake, you can’t escape the constant bombardment of fake news and propaganda from everywhere. They’re feeding you hate with the very thing that was supposed to show you the truth.

This is what Cambridge Analytica and Cobrapost’s Sting showed. If you followed/watched them you’d understand how did they operate and why it was so successful. Take Cobrapost as an example. The reporter, Pushp Sharma, goes to these media houses with the Hindutva agenda that he wants to push. He says that first, he wants to start with ‘soft-hindutva’. Bhajans, Bhagwad Geeta quotes, live telecast of Ganga Aarti etc. Later, when the elections come close, those same media channels start pushing his real agenda. Posting negative news about the opposition, the minorities and whatnot – influencing public opinion just before elections.

But why do they start with soft hindutva? To reel them in. Any religious person, regardless of their political inclination, feels good when he/she is shown something good about his/her God. The soft hindutva phase is to target those people – innocent individuals who love their religion. I mean, what is wrong about loving your own religion? But these power hungry people don’t care about your sentiments. They just want more power and they know they can get it by toying with your faith. Once they have you under their influence, you/me/anyone would defend them, as someone who’d defend their faith.

Cobrapost showed how the traditional media – news channels, engineer mass opinions for money. I mean it’s more money than most of us have ever seen in our lives but it’s still wrong. The sting had almost all of the major news channels and media houses accepting bribes, showing paid news, engineering opinions, pushing agenda and even laundering money.

On the digital side, things are worse. As the public shifted from traditional media to digital, the politicians did too. All these pages, all these influencers, all these paid trolls are there to keep you under control. You can see the tools with which they’re feeding you hate – fake news, photoshopped images, and bogus articles is the new norm. And you believe that, because they have made you believe that they are fighting for YOUR cause – One that you didn’t even know you had. 

Outrage

 

On Facebook and Twitter, things have gotten so bad that if you say something about the current government, an army of faceless people, the online trolls will come and abuse the crap out of you. People who don’t want conflict will back off, which is considered a ‘win’ for these trolls. But even the ones who want to fight back can’t because of the sheer number of them.  

 

Why Hate though? And how is it changing us?

They’re feeding you hate because it sells.

The people are angry. They’re frustrated at every point in their lives. There are no jobs, no good colleges or schools, no good healthcare, you have to bribe your way in the world. Even those who have jobs have to work long hours, get stuck in traffic, and sometimes even have to work on the weekends, for a salary that is barely enough to survive for a month, without so much as a ‘thank you’.

You realise that there is no one who will help you. Not your company, not your boss, no one.

Hate

 

So along comes a person that says this particular person or this particular community/religion is the cause of all your problems. Suddenly, all your problems have a name, a face. Would you let go of such a vent that allows you take out all your frustration?

I am not saying that giving in to such a way out makes you a bad person. This is perhaps one of the major traits that makes you human. But look at the cost. Is it worth it? Is taking out all your anger that you have for life on people who’re going through the same crap as you worth it? Is it worth starting a fight over? Is it worth killing over?

Look at how it has changed us. People are now killing each other in the name of caste, in the name of religion, hell, in the name of your political affiliation. People are so angry today that as soon as they see the ‘villain’, they lose it. And it’s killing the country.

 

What now?

See they’re feeding you hate and they’ll keep on doing this. I mean, why wouldn’t they? It’s REALLY profitable for everyone. Except for you. You have to decide, whether to give in because you’re angry at the world or with life or anything. Or, you take control, not of politics, not of media but of yourself. You can decide not to fall into the propaganda they’re feeding, not to give into hate. Who knows? Maybe someday, you’ll be able to fight these powerful forces and win, together as brothers, as Indians.

Image Sources – Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, Pxhere, Flickr, Publicdomainpictures.net

Death-Of-Democracy

Last week, Democracy was killed

Oh, our sweet, sweet democracy. You had a good run. We had our moments. You’ve been with us for so long. But sorry, we don’t need you anymore. You’re just a burden now.

Death-Of-Democracy

 

On March 13, 2018, Lok Sabha passed 2 bills and 218 amendments in 30 minutes. The time that Domino’s promises to deliver your pizza (which, let’s all agree, it never fulfills), Lok Sabha passed bills that affects over 1.2 Billion people.

 

No debates, no discussions.

 

Hey, but ishturd guy, the speaker used ‘guillotine’ that empowers her to pass grants without discussion.

 

True. And it was super effective!

 

But WHY did she use it?

 

Well, in those 30 minutes, she passed the following demands, so you be the judge of the ‘why’.

 

  1. Among the 218 amendments, a little one was to legalize all foreign fundings to political parties over 42 years, since 1976. To put it into perspective, Sholay came out a year before that. Or a better perspective would be that this is one year before the Janata Party (later, BJP) defeated Congress in ‘77, after the emergency. Still wondering why that specific year?
  2. The second one was a salary hike. No, really! While we work for the entire year without so much as a thank you and the annual  ‘generous according to your performance’ increment of 14%, these people decided that they aren’t getting paid enough. So they changed from 55,000 to 127,000 per month. But who are we kidding? That’s not their salary waali salary stupid! Ye to papers par numbers hain!
  3. Oh there’s more good news for you, you gullible, clueless middle-class citizen. Any long-term equities you’re planning to buy after January 31, 2018, will now be subjected to a capital gains tax of 10%. Life is so much fun! Your money is yours, and here take some of ours too!
  4. What do we have here? The Appropriation Bill? What does that do? Well this year waala let’s the government to withdraw 80 thousand crores (I don’t know, I never feel right writing these big numbers in words. Takes the whole intensity, doesn’t it? Let’s try again) or 800000000000 from the consolidated funds of India. Isn’t that nice?

There are a lot of other things that were passed. But these were just on top of my head (I’m joking, of course but so is the government!). So coming back to the original question. Was guillotine really necessary?

Absolutely!

 

How could have they done what they have with all the discussions and debates? (Frankly, I don’t think that Foreign Funding bill would’ve had any objections as both of our lovely parties are held guilty by Delhi High court for receiving foreign funds, but who are to judge?)

 

In my opinion, they could’ve just made a putla (jo wo movies ke protest ke time jalane ke liye banate hain), named it democracy, peed all over it and then burnt it. Because that’s what we want.

Padmaavat-Protest

 

 

Some of those might be saying – NOOOOOO, we don’t want that!

 

Oh, yes you do. 

 

You’re not worth crap.

Pooping-Dog

 

Keep worrying about the next weekend or that annual increment while the country dies. Because that’s what they want.

 

This will keep happening to you.

 

You know why? Because you’re just a –

Stupid-Common-Man

 

Image Sources – Pixabay, Flickr, New Indian Express, YouTube