If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have a disability of some sort. So be nice about those whose affliction just happens to be more visible.(iStock Photo)
If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have a disability of some sort. So be nice about those whose affliction just happens to be more visible.(iStock Photo)

Take a moment to think about how words said out of thoughtlessness can hurt

Too much political correctness can be a pain, but it’s worth being a little careful if it means one can escape the sin of unintentionally wounding others
By Renuka Narayanan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 26, 2016 11:19 AM IST

It’s not just the word ‘rape’ that some people use flippantly. I’m taken aback when I hear ‘normal’ people say ‘spaz’ (spastic) scornfully if someone is butter-fingered or not-so-well coordinated. Our culture can be callous in the way people get labelled ‘langde’, ‘andhe’ and ‘goonge’.

Bollywood has done its share to perpetuate this mindset; it has made fun of disability for years. Who were the people who wrote those unkind scripts and who were the people who found those scenes funny? Dismayingly, many, even people who are so ‘sensitive’ otherwise, about things that hurt their notions of dignity, pride or self-image.

Too much political correctness may be a pain (how much is ‘too much’?) but it’s worth a thought, surely, to be a little more self-aware and escape the sin of unintentionally hurting others? People may pretend not to mind, and move on, because they don’t want to be drawn into exhausting cycles of reproof and defence, but they do mind. They mind very much.

However, I wonder if it’s right to blame the public entirely, given our conditioning. For instance, take an example from the epic: in my view, Draupadi is appallingly rude and disrespectful, calling Duryodhana the ‘blind son of a blind man’. Is that how a princess should talk? And as for the way a real person like the blind poet Surdas was treated, it doesn’t bear thinking about. How much we take for granted, that these cruel patterns of word and deed are still active in us.

Although several relationships in the Ramayana and Mahabharata set a brutally transactional norm that is out of sync with the modern Upanishad, our Constitution, we need not rush to condemn the epics wholesale as some do. The gods are part of our hard-wiring and we own our scriptures, we are free to interpret them in a modern, compassionate way instead of harping on the negative points. Examples like Dwarakadeesh’s hospitality to shabby, timid Sudama and Ram’s scrupulous correctness even to Meghnad and Ravan are the real take-home for our own dealings, in place of the foul-mouthed public behaviour that burns our ears today in every walk of life.

In particular, we could consider the example of Shiva, one of whose most dearly beloved epithets is ‘Asutosh’, meaning ‘Easily Pleased’. His lack of greed and his high tolerance and acceptance of frailty are in harmony with his other famous epithet, ‘Vaideeshwar’ or ‘Vaidyanath’, the ‘Lord of Healers’. His bhutas and ganas are social misfits who find honourable inclusion on Kailash. Snakes, feared and loathed across creation, find sanctuary and a place of honour on Shiva’s own neck and he is known in myth to be especially kind to the physically and emotionally challenged. Besides ‘aushadi’ and yoga, one of his healing therapies is music.

Bollywood has given us such wonderful music and so many memorable stories that it, too, has an epic duty to the people. It cannot avoid action and evade responsibility. Tell those gritty stories, Bollywood, but be nice, please, about those who cannot help an affliction or have suffered a wrong?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)

LGBT+ Americans inch closer to 'freedom' as House passes Equality Act

Reuters, New York
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:47 PM IST
LGBT+ Americans moved a step closer to winning legal protection from discrimination on Thursday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed a key civil rights bill backed by President Joe Biden.
Close
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)

Another plea in HC for recognition of same sex marriages

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:16 PM IST
Four more people belonging to the gay and lesbian community urged the Delhi High Court on Thursday to declare that marriages between any two persons irrespective of their sex be solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.
Close
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.

Pawri Dilli me ho rai hai: Viral meme reference makes it to wedding invites!

By Aprajita Sharad, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:52 PM IST
Youngsters in Delhi-NCR are choosing to use viral memes and pandemic references to create informal, fun wedding invites.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

With LGBT members trapped home, homophobia soared in Israel amid Covid lockdowns

Reuters, London
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 02:02 PM IST
Hatred ruins the lives of thousands of LGBTQs who are asking to live their life with dignity and safety.
Close
Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights(Twitter/G3nderE)
Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights(Twitter/G3nderE)

Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:13 AM IST
In its annual report, the World Bank warns of Covid-19 pandemic reinforcing gender inequality in many countries, with women on average having just 76% of men’s legal rights in their economic opportunities like travel, disadvantages in parenting and retirement
Close
Abhinav Shukla and Rubina Dilaik(Instagram)
Abhinav Shukla and Rubina Dilaik(Instagram)

Post Bigg Boss, winner Rubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla to renew marriage vows

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 05:16 PM IST
Rubina Dilaik admitted that she and husband Abhinav Shukla were having marital problems, but doing the reality show helped them, saying, "We are going to renew our marriage vows."
Close
Be cautious when entering into a relationship
Be cautious when entering into a relationship

Be cautious when entering into a relationship

By Swati Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 10:48 PM IST
When we go out to meet a partner for a date, the eternal question that goes on in our mind is whether he is into us or not? Age old wisdom believes that one’s behavior is the telltale sign of someone’s true nature and words are fleeting. Actions always speak louder than words.
Close
Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads(Twitter/Complex)
Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads(Twitter/Complex)

Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 07:25 PM IST
Less than a week after making their romance official on Instagram, American musician Travis Barker shares a love note he received from girlfriend and reality star Kourtney Kardashian
Close
Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one(Instagram/arjunkapoor)
Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one(Instagram/arjunkapoor)

Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 02:09 PM IST
  • Even after 10 years of losing his mother Mona Shourie Kapoor, Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor continues to grieve her death like a fresh wound and recently shared a relatable post by a fan page that offers a heartwarming truth of grieving a loved one irrespective of the time. Read on
Close
According to the People magazine, the 'Graveyard' singer, who is expecting her first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, took to her Instagram handle and posted several snapshots which included a sunny bikini baby bump picture.(Instagram )
According to the People magazine, the 'Graveyard' singer, who is expecting her first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, took to her Instagram handle and posted several snapshots which included a sunny bikini baby bump picture.(Instagram )

Halsey reveals pregnancy has entirely leveled her gender perception

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 01:35 PM IST
American singer and songwriter, Halsey, who is currently expecting her first child, recently got candid and revealed how pregnancy makes her feel.
Close
Chrissy Teigen remembers son on what would have been his due date(Instagram/chrissyteigen)
Chrissy Teigen remembers son on what would have been his due date(Instagram/chrissyteigen)

Chrissy Teigen honours son on what would have been his due date: Thinking of you

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 01:28 PM IST
  • Chrissy Teigen is remembering her son Jack on what would have been his due date. The model, in October 2020, had shared that she lost her third child due to complications in pregnancy and had posted heartbreaking images on social media.
Close
Actor Dia Mirza, who got married to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi on February 15, thanked the woman priest Sheela Atta for officiating her wedding, on social media.
Actor Dia Mirza, who got married to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi on February 15, thanked the woman priest Sheela Atta for officiating her wedding, on social media.

Weddings encourage equality, break stereotypes: Female priest, no kanyadan

By Naina Arora, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 11:47 AM IST
Bollywood actor Dia Mirza’s recent wedding has brought back the focus on the brave, bold and unconventional move to get marriages officiated by female priests.
Close
Princess Eugenie reveals newborn son's name(Instagram/ princesseugenie)
Princess Eugenie reveals newborn son's name(Instagram/ princesseugenie)

Princess Eugenie shares newborn son's name, pays loving tribute to Prince Philip

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 10:08 AM IST
  • Princess Eugenie welcomed her first child with husband Jack Brooksbank on February 9 and she recently revealed that she has named her baby, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank. The name is an ode to her grandfather Prince Philip, who is admitted in a hospital at the moment.
Close
Kim Kardashian files for a divorce(Instagram/kimkardashian)
Kim Kardashian files for a divorce(Instagram/kimkardashian)

Kim and Kanye will have a smooth and amicable divorce, says initial report

AP, Los Angeles
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 07:53 AM IST
  • The two mega stars, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have a prenuptial agreement in place, that is why, Southern California's celebrity divorce attorney Daniel Jaffe feels, "there won’t be any major property issues."
Close
Chris Evans sews pet dog’s stuff toy to surprise it after surgery, wins hearts(Instagram/chrisevans)
Chris Evans sews pet dog’s stuff toy to surprise it after surgery, wins hearts(Instagram/chrisevans)

Chris Evans sews pet dog’s stuff toy to surprise it after surgery, wins hearts

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 12:08 PM IST
  • Chris Evans surprises his pet dog, Dodger, after its hip replacement surgery by sewing up a nasty tear in its favourite stuffed toy lion and we can’t help but give the Captain America star a ‘Dog Parent of the Year’ trophy already
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP