“You are a Snobbish Basterd!” A gentleman at a gathering declared me so at my house. A friend’s friend whom I had never met.
His reasoning behind calling me so, was very simple. Because I could NOT have a conversation with certain people, primarily because we thought very differently not only on certain subjects but also on the subjects worthy of having a conversation.
“Conversation is the kind of speech that happens informally, symmetrically, and for the purposes of establishing and maintaining social ties."
While it is important to maintain social ties, I cannot blame myself for not knowing the new song by Badhshah (Indian rapper), in fact, I can’t blame myself for not knowing who Badshah is. Similarly I can’t blame the other person for not knowing the singer that I may be listening to.
The world sure is a strange place, and India even more so. The times, they are a changing and the achhe din are around the corner. The middle class is doing fantastically well, buying new cars and new models of Iphones and organizing a rain dance to raise funds for the families of soldiers who are dying in terrorist attacks at their camps.
And while the soldiers are dying in the terrorist attacks at their camps, what am I doing?? Writing this piece!!!!
The conversation today has become a Mob culture. The Mob culture was always there. It’s not a new phenomenon; what is new is the fact that there is no space for the misfits now. You are either with them or against them.
Not making sense, is it?? Let me explain …slowly and step by step. ..
Now man is a social animal, he needs to socialize, to communicate, to talk, to put his views across, to have a conversation, to debate, to agree, to disagree…etc etc.
The times when we didn’t have achhe din were also the times when Social Media was not the only place where we were social. So when we talked, debated, agreed- disagreed, we had a healthy argument. We didn’t drag each other’s mothers and sisters in the conversation just because we disagreed with each other. This is what we called TAHZEEB or etiquettes.
Problem today is that of the subject of the conversations. While the general conversations are about the hang out places, new movies, the badshah songs or the new flat that one may have booked in outskirts or the PHOREN trips to Bangkok or similar places; there are those like me who have nothing to add in such conversations and hence keep quiet. It’s not that this breed of misfits can’t talk cinema or music or the food but the content of the conversation is very different from that of the general public.
So the only common ground for any kind of conversation is sports, weather or the current state of politics in the country. This however, also doesn’t last long, because everything that the Prime Minister does is right. If by any chance you happen to have a problem with anything that he has done, then that SOCIAL conversation becomes an uncouth, uncivilized debate.
And it’s not just the social conversations in your house or cafes or pubs. It’s the national conversation that needs to change. There are only a limited few subjects that our national conversation is strung around. The government conversation is all about nationalism, cows, religion and identity cards. The media conversation is also about nationalism, cows, religion and identity cards. The social media conversation is also about nationalism, cows, religion and identity cards and all these conversations about nationalism, cows, religion and identity cards are SAME.
And when you actually share your incapability to be able to have a normal conversation with someone whose take on life is limited to the popular take on subjects mentioned above, you are tagged a snobbish basterd.
I think it’s about time that the basterds got together, it’s about time we are left alone, and it’s about time we stop tolerating the intellect attacking Nazis.
Basterd of the country Unite!!! Let’s get them and as Lt. Aldo Raine says in “Inglorious Basterds” -
I got a word of warning for all you would-be warriors. When you join my command, you take on debit. A debit you owe me personally. Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y'all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis.
(Nitin Sukhija is a senior media professional. He loves to tell a story when he is not dabbling with media.)
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