Thursday, February 26, 2009

Words and Meanings

Taken from Orwell's Politics and English language :
" The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. "
In combination with Goodwin's law - we have a "perfect recipe for nauseous cliches" from the media. Anything opposed to the "liberal" interpretation is labeled "fascist" and the actors are Nazi-incarnates.
Of course, GenX cannot fathom the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis (in no small part thanks to our education), so the next best crutch to hang on to is Taliban. So, we have our Hon'ble minister for women's welfare Renuka Chowdhary beating on about "Talibanisation of India" on the Mangalore attack(at the same time mum on the acid throwing incident.)

Reminds me of:
Nothing less is expected from a professional politician, but the media has been the worst offender. Just because the goons involved in Mangalore incident were organized thugs with manifestos which could be used to corner all right-wingers, it made into the front pages. The more dangerous attacks like the ones here 1, 2, (not just in terms of intrusion into society but also due to the apathy on display from the bystanders) are relegated to back pages if not completely ignored. One may shrug away this unscrupulous behaviour from the media giants as profit driven, but the buck doesn't stop there.

As much as we may like to deny it, media goes a long way in shaping the public perceptions. It is important to call its bluff whenever it peddles propaganda or half-truths as news. Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4 among many many others.

1 comment:

Puthali said...

Its a sad sad situation...when girls are attacked in broad daylight 'n nothing is done abt cant help but wonder whats the world coming to...
plus the whole of 2006 saw 6 posts 'n this month alone, you have 8, you seem to be on a roll...
'n the old theme was better...