Thursday, January 31, 2013

In defence of taking offense

Being progressive is not about never being offended. It is about being offended and having the ability to either express your feelings in a constructive manner or having the heart to just let go of the insult.

Now, Kamal has the wherewithal to offend people. He is an effective speaker, a great actor and has the stature that automatically makes people take him seriously. And frankly as he has made it abundantly clear, he WANTS to be taken seriously.

I had posted something a few years back about an interview on Vijay TV where he took the trip of Brahmin ladies in an uncouth manner. I can imagine why people could have become hurt by voicing such irreverent opinions. No. Don't close this page. 

Taking a page out of his book, let me try to second guess you. When someone tells you he humiliates Brahmins nonchalantly and hence 'had it coming', they do not mean it as comeuppance. They mean that they are able to sympathize. Our man has been insensitive towards one community. So it is hard to imagine he will tread softly when it comes to other communities or beliefs.

So, here we have a guy who 1) wants to be taken seriously 2) who has the currency to hurt sentiments and 3) who has a proven track record of pissing people off. When someone else claims that this guy has hurt their sentiments, you tend to take the accusers seriously! And you do something about it! This action cannot be construed as a blatant infringement of free speech!

As someone famous once said... "Your freedom ends where my nose begins" when he was accidentally struck on the nose with a walking cane. My defense is only for people who cry about the loss of free speech. Not how the state has handled it nor the current state of affairs.