‘I am so happy to see you, after such a long time, Madhu’ Shiela said, as she hugged her.
‘Me too’ Madhu replied, with a huge grin trying to hide her true emotions, as she embraced Shiela. The hug lacked the warmth and even the friendly touch was amiss!
How often, do we really mean what we say? This is a fine art which when indulged in with sophistication and finesse is not even evident to an onlooker!! There are some people we genuinely like and meet them in a normal manner with the usual greetings and warmth!
Then there are some with who we are just on hello/hi terms and we greet them in a formal manner. The examples are in abundance, like P3 personalities, who give a hug, kiss in air and move on. Also, in places of work there are many we are familiar with but not very close, so just a hello and smile works. There is yet another category of people whom we detest and still we cannot avoid them. The reaction could vary from a curt greeting, to total avoidance, or worst ignoring their presence!!
Some people have a habit of constantly talking ill about others and are blessed with all the negative traits, like scowling, making faces and acidic tongue which lashes mercilessly. When they find companions of similar traits, it is a bonanza to witness the discussions as a bystander. No wonder birds of similar feather flock together!!
As we have to deal with all kinds of people all the time and not all are familiar ones, it could sometimes be difficult to comprehend how one would react. Treading with caution is perhaps the best approach when sailing on uncharted ground and being politically correct, when reacting. When dealing with known devils, the Chanakya niti (principle) works the best of Sam*(treat as equal), Dam*(Bribe if required), Dand*(punish), Bhed*( keeping one guessing about intent).
According to Chanakya, a person should not be too straight as the straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first. Machiavelli, the genius politician and author of ‘The Prince’ believed that the rulers must maintain a separate set of public and private morality to rule well. He believed that besides ethics it was necessary sometimes to use brute force as well as deceit. Most of the rulers who have ruled the world have known these axioms well. Everywhere in the world those in seat of power indulge in this with impunity! Nevertheless with the reach of technology and media, those in developed world see more rationale in running their country compared to those nations still taking baby steps forward, tumbling often, rising and learning to find their feet.
Another interesting historical fact is the origin of double speak is still unknown but best known recorded theory emerges from George Orwell’s classic ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’. Due to the deceptive nature of Double Speak, it is often linked to the ‘Conflict Theory’. The ‘bourgeoisie’ or the ruling class often indulge in the art of double speak, so as to stand apart from the working class. This laid the foundation of the Theory of Communism’ by Karl Marx, propounded against the evil of capitalist exploitation. There are enough evidence of media propaganda indulged by news and print media which indicate the double standards of reporting, manipulation of news and double speak. German Nazi Party member Joseph Goebbels became Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister, which gave him power over all German media. His most virulent propaganda was against the Jews. As a compelling orator he was next only to Hitler. Utterly disparaging he believed only in the self-justification of power. He remained loyal to Hitler until the end.
Finally some examples of humorous usage of double speak in day to day life are as follows:
- "Using the facilities" instead of going to the bathroom
- "Reducing costs" as opposed to cutting peoples' salaries or the amount of supplies going into work
- "Capital punishment" instead of the death penalty
- "Ethnic cleansing" instead of genocide
- "Gone to the Lord" instead of died
PS 1. *- Hindi words with translation in English in brackets
2. Image Kind courtesy Google
3. I wish all readers a Merry X Mas and a Happy New Year