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Saturday, February 29, 2020

An Ode To Arrogance!


Arrogance is one of the defining characteristics of human beings. Arrogance can be easily discerned or felt by us in every word or act or posture or gait displayed by the inflicted persons. We confront them everywhere—at home where the arrogance of the head of the household is as ancient as the homo sapiens; at workplace where the arrogance of the boss percolates down the line very often apart from the others in various sycophantic roles; at educational institutions where the most scholarly often displays the most arrogance apart from the others in various emphatic roles; in the ruling class hierarchy arrogance has been a trademark notwithstanding the transformation from monarchy/dictatorship to democracy in many nations of the world; and so on. Of course, no generalization has been attempted here: else, how on earth can we have the magnanimity of discussing it!

The word ‘arrogance’ has, logically, numerous synonyms. Here we’ll mention a few examples so that our discourse is easier to understand. These are: Haughtiness, Condescension, Egotism, Swagger, Snobbishness, Superciliousness, Mocking, Sneering, and Big-headedness. Based largely on these we can list out a few characteristic features of the arrogant as below:

·    The ideology or the ideals they adhere to are the perfect which everybody should follow unquestioningly. They know everything, and are absolute scholars, philosophers and writers.
·            What they do or say or imply is always right and no living soul should ever vouch on the contrary.
·         What they eat, what they wear and what styles or standards they adopt are the most discrete ones, and no one should ever think disobey.
·         They are extremely intolerant of others’ opinions, forget about dissent which you only think is the hallmark of a democracy, and anyone who dares to contest gets condemned as unfaithful or criminals or traitors.
·          They are also extremely capable of making fun of others—that they possess an indomitable appetite to go on mocking others with an omnipresent all-knowing grin; if they are forced by circumstances to give befitting replies to daringly democratic voices.

As we had mentioned earlier we meet arrogant people at every walk of life. At best, we can get over them with slight inconveniences; at worst, we get affected by them so grievously that our life gets derailed or even damaged—all such situations being at a personal level though. However, if arrogance takes over at the macro level, meaning at the level of state administration or governance then it’s a recipe for absolute disaster. Unfortunately, such kind of ‘governance with arrogance’ has been happening in many places across the world: bulldozing public opinion or protests or democratic traditions or basic principles of humanity. The tragic consequences are all there to behold: use of the time-tested divide-and-rule policy, particularly during elections; unparalleled display, preaching and spread of hatred; racist and communal violence; mob fury, lynching and riots; and of course, tragic loss of innocent lives—so unnecessary and so eminently preventable.

Why then ‘an ode’ to such an undeserving phenomenon? Well, democratic sentiments are still embedded in numerous souls of numerous hapless subjects like this writer, and so, we, some of the people, still strive to respect the spirit of a democracy. We’d earlier said about the unfortunate phenomenon of  ‘governance with arrogance’ seen in quite a few countries of the world, and what is doubly unfortunate is the fact that large chunks of subjects tend to support or vote for the phenomenon. These large chunks often prove to be the majority in respective countries. In a democracy we respect all sections of the society—their needs, interests and opinions, and therefore, if the majorities themselves are with the ‘change’ then how on earth could we ignore such overwhelmingly democratic spontaneity!

It’s altogether a different matter if the majorities fail miserably to distinguish the ‘right’ from the ‘wrong’. And, it’s altogether a very justifiable matter if we decide to use the ‘an ode’ prefix.

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