IntroductionAll of us, as human beings always remember the good and the bad. The latter comes to our mind when we tend to recollect what happened to someone at some point in time. He or she could have been a brother or a sister, a neighbor, a colleague, a relative, or someone not known to us so intimately. Yet, some insult would have been the center of the storm. It goes without saying that such insults should be totally avoided by any human being. The five big insults that have a zero tolerance of commonality among them are a) Insults to basic traits or physique b) Insults to caste c) Insults to wife or children d) Insults to parents and e) Insults to religion.
Insults to basic traits or physique There have been movies where someone turns violent when he or she was insulted badly by a group or several groups, based on some physical deformity. For example, there is one particular deformity that results in one looking much older than what he or she is. There are some who are nicknamed as "grandfather" or something similar, when very young. The particular word in the local language can cause immense harm to the person. He would tend to withdraw from anyone who uses such a nickname and would align with anyone who does not insult him. This author has seen such insults happening to some individual at some point in life. The individual is prone to violence and can react very badly at the slightest provocation. The resulting commotion is good neither for the individual or the society around him. It sometimes happens to young girls too.
Any insult based on traits is as dangerous as the aforesaid insult resulting from use of a nickname. Some are branded lazy. Very unwise parents use a derogatory phrase called "Dhanda choru" in Tamil. This virtually means wasteful food being given to an unemployed person. Such an insult results in very violent behavior. When the same person becomes employed, there have been cases when he or she had taken revenge and ditched his or her own parents, even if they were affectionate to him or her, much later. Such insults should be totally avoided. If any nickname hurts the person badly, someone should take the lead and put an end to the nonsense. None can tolerate such insults that are best avoided.
Insults to casteMany riots have happened in various parts of India. This is often when some politician or a local thug or some other influential person insult one person or a group of persons, with a derogatory reference to the caste of the person. This often happens when the name of the backward class or even scheduled caste is mentioned. Of course, there are certain legal remedies. However, justice is often not done and when the violence breaks in a particular area, the easy targets for the police are only poor people from among the most backward or scheduled castes. Of late, the spread of education in most parts of South India has brought about a good change. One does hear about atrocities against these classes in parts of North India and this is really sad. We should never ever insult anyone by mentioning his caste detail.
Insults to wife or childrenIn certain pockets of India, where the mother is not highly educated and is unable to cope with the demands of the modern and complex educational system, she is insulted by the teachers of the school who would tend to say "if you are not able to teach your child, get a transfer certificate and put him in a Government school". Such comments are dangerous. The father would pick up a quarrel and would spread the bad word about the school. Even otherwise, there are neighbors who derive some sort of sadistic pleasure by referring to the poor standards of education of some child. This insult pains the mother no end. There have been suicides when such insult goes beyond limits. When the students fail in the public examination, the insults can be very damaging. We need to take all precautions to ensure that the children are not ill-treated or the wife is not insulted for not being educated. This often happens in rural and semi-urban India. One sure method of avoiding any conflict in this regard is to educate all people on the bad effects such insults can cause to the social fabric, that is already destroyed by politicians of all kinds.
Insults to parents If the man takes to booze, the children are often made fun of at school. The wife has to bear the brunt of being beaten by the husband. He would take refuge under a clear defense mechanism, by blaming his wife for all his misery. He would just comment that instead of marrying her if he had married his uncle's daughter, he would not have taken to booze in the first instance!! There have been violent quarrels and the wives even go to the other extreme of ventilating all their frustration to some third person. When this person is a male, all hell breaks loose. Such males act as if they are very kind and develop an extra-marital affair with the person, only to regret it later.
Counseling can help a great deal in such cases. Any insult concerning one's parents can easily put off any person and should be totally avoided. Of course, the role of the mother is very crucial. In the past decade, there have been sea changes and in educated families, no reference is ever made to the weaknesses of the parents, whatever that may be. Insults in this regard need to be totally avoided.
Insults to religion The tit for tat responses that turn totally violent are there for all to see. The Mumbai riots against Muslims had a big backlash. The king of smugglers called Dawood Ibrahim masterminded a series of bomb blasts, and it was commonly believed that he had sworn revenge. The consequences have always been disastrous. The more violent among Muslims have easily started spinning a very good narrative that Muslims around the world are in danger. It does not help that even Saddam Hussein and the late great terrorist called Osama Bin Laden, the brain behind the 2001 twin towers attack in the USA, were heavily armed and supported by the USA. Only when these two people did not obey the dictates of the USA, they turned against the country. The world recession that happened for a full eighteen months, was actually attributed to the global policing role of the USA. Today, when China is threatening to take over the USA in so many areas that are basically business-oriented, the latter wants to have its own brand of international politics and this cuts into Muslim interests, around the world. This is a big cause for worry and since the developed West sort of supports only the US, the war becomes a Christian Vs Muslim war, with disastrous consequences.
At least within India, we need saner voices and a huge amount of protest against voices and action that seeks to make any minority feel insecure in India. At the individual level, we can positively do something and it is our duty to not offend anyone on the basis of religion.
ConclusionIt is high time that we, as a nation understand the wider implications of an insult. At the international level, more action is needed to restrain the US and other powerful forces from acting in any way that is detrimental to peace. Let us live far better lives by taking action that is required at every level.
A thoughtful article, what the author has listed are instigators of violence and discord at various levels (domestic, social, regional and global). The concept of 'Zero tolerance insult' is more practically applicable to violence against women, children and the elderly.
The five insults mentioned can be curtailed, if there is more empathy and maturity among people who can avoid such instances that trigger an argument, a fight or violence. The same can be achieved via diplomacy at the global level.