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It isn't Humor, it's Insecurity

Most commentators seem to think the recent brouhaha over cartoons in textbooks has more to do with our political class not having a sense of humor than anything else.

I don't agree.

Humor has nothing to do with it. Insecurity, everything. Its insecure people who protest at 'seeming' insults. Secure people on the other hand laugh it off. Its a pity, though understandable how Dalit MPs reacted to a 'seeming' insult on their icon, Dr. Ambedkar. Though I would have wished otherwise I can quite understand the Dalits taking time to inculcate a sense of security after having faced centuries of discrimination.

But not so for others. But then again, there's another story there. Culturally, most of what we tend to believe in focuses on everything on the 'outside', Meaning, our sense of security comes not from within, but from 'out there'. And out there are all those symbols and icons that we hold dear and take to, so as to craft an identity for ourselves. Our 'outside' thus is populated by our dear deities, dead icons, and other such worshipful beings. Any notion of an insult on them isn't tolerated by us. Which explains perfectly why we go into an abnormal tizzy and ban movies, books, people, and so on.

Insecure people are welcome consumers to marketers. The purchases they make are inclined towards an attempt at masking their insecurity. So if its a car they're buying, it will be 'grand' enough to make a 'statement'. The houses they build and dwell in will reek in ostentation. So will their clothes and their lifestyle.

Now as a nation, we have miles to go before we turn secure. Until then there'll always be recurring 'insults' that offend us. So we'll keep up with our ludicrous demands to out cartoons. And we'll keep up with trying to score points with our purchases.

What can I say, other than amen to the latter.

Comments

Ranjit said…
Hey Professor,
Just 'stumbledupon' your blog, and am hooked good and proper - look forward to reading more of your incisive thoughts.

In this particular cartoon issue, along with the insecurity, could it also be a dose of megalomania - if the two can co-exist? And if so, whats your take on how the marketeer manipulates that in a consumer?
Ray Titus said…
Ranjit,

Thanks, appreciate your comments. :)

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