Total Pageviews

Friday, July 5, 2024


On Political Correctness
I am only nominally on Facebook because it is now like a crowded country market place where there is not much of interest left for you . Obtrusive hawkers hard sell you things you hate or could not be bothered about. Complete strangers solicit your time and attention to “like” what they purvey, you are conscripted to random groups and then get bombarded with invitations to join their activity. Your time on Facebook is no longer your own, you are drawn in a situation you had never opted for . So a couple of days ago , or may be a couple of weeks or months ago, who cares , when the Facebook threw up a ‘memory’ of an old post , in a rare departure from norm , I shared it on ‘Facebook ’ . It was not such a soul stirring post . Someone called it “wicked” and there were a few titters .That was that. Then comes the Facebook political correctness police, removing the post and reprimanding me for violating community standards . I tried to repost it for reference but I think it has been snuffed out of existence .What could one do about it, for theirs is the kingdom! It was my fantasy to set up a debate between my two women friends, equally cerebral , equally articulate , but diametrically opposed in their views and ideologies and sit back , like a lady up in the pavilion , and watch them slug it out. It enjoyed a few years uneventful existence on Facebook. It was kosher when FB dug out the memory urging me ‘share’ it , but by the time I shared it , the lexicon of “woke” taboos had expanded in those few days to encompass it as a taboo .
That is when I said to myself : enough is enough. Facebook has gone too far, way too far in its “wokism”. The( PC ) political correctness police are now all over the turf .You have to constantly watch out what you say and yet you may end up saying something that you ought not have said because the “woke” never sleeps; he /she /it /LGBTQ or whatever alphabet soup they are into , keep inventing and adding something new to the lexicon of political correctness. Those of us who are not card carrying members realise our gaffe only after we have committed it . Sentiments and norms that travel under the name of political correctness are now lurching down the lunatic lane. It is time to call them out .
Every day in our quotidian lives we are faced with a situation where on important matters of concern we refrain from expressing our true feelings. In a hierarchy of silences, the silence imposed by dictates of political correctness is the most dangerous and corrosive. What Laing calls “sanity today” is perhaps akin to indoctrination: inner feelings are sacrificed to correct beliefs, and becoming a recognizable member of a group is the overriding aim. He pictures a real person with an “inner personal life hidden behind an ideology.”
But this, as is evident , is not silence born out of paucity of thoughts, not because you having nothing to say , this silence represents, what Tim Morrison, the Black Nobel Laureate calls the “tongue suicide” of intelligent thinking minds, those who have been forced to adopt a politically correct stance, for fear of being cancelled. Political correctness and rational discourse are incompatible ideals. Free expression is an absolute; seeking to balance it is to destroy it. In that sense of the term political correctness saps the spirit of democracy , which is even otherwise being murdered on an hourly basis. The rise and rise of political correctness has seen the decline and free fall of intellectual honesty in public discourse.
We grew up in the late 6os and early seventies, much before we received Slavoj Zizek’ wholesome advice of bonding with that “wonderful sense of shared obscene solidarity.” We were innocent and we could swap obscenities and remarks with women friends . We had not heard of sexism and sexist but nevertheless we were never lacking in respect for women . But today any departure from the official vocabulary in addressing the “person” would invite the reprimand of being a cis gendered Hindu male chauvinist begot.” For the nouvau admis( Cis gender “means most people who are assigned female at birth identify as girls or women, and most people who are assigned male at birth identify as boys or men. These people are cisgender (or cis).”Political correctness is galloping away like the Fifth Horseman of Apocalypse into an abyss of jargon and gibberish .
While we are it we may remind ourself the origin of political correctness. The story may be apocryphal but there is enough recorded evidence that Lenin had raised lying to a state of religion, and then, unofficially , adopted lying as the religion of the state . When confronted “Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.” Lenin, reportedly, said “Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.” Lenin is dead but Leninism lives on, Lenin’s ways of thinking continues to spread gathering more and more followers, especially among students and academics who go to elite colleges and universities. The intellectual marines have landed and planted the flag of political correctness firmly . Salute the standard or stay silent .

No comments: