I’m fairly sure you have seen a kid or two in your family throwing tantrums or faking tears when you ask them to do things they typically dislike such as going to the school. Adults have their method of doing it too – ‘getting offended’ is the latest trend. Our generation gets offended at the slightest of opposing view or even humour. Being politically correct or (overly) sensitive is what most believe an ideal way to address any topic under the Sun.
However, I sincerely believe that political correctness never helps solve issues but rather exasperates them. Be it talking about the religious extremism, casteism or racism for that matter. What really makes sense is to open up the conversations on these so-called sensitive issues. But the general population is far too happy participating in debates that hover around the surface of the problem instead of directly addressing it. Because we are always afraid that it might hurt sentiments of someone or the other.
For instance, the liberal left shuns any conversation on Islam by accusing anyone who attempts to talk about it of being an Islamophobic. This doesn’t help reduce the hatred towards Muslims or the radical Islam from spreading. In fact, this restricts any attempt of actually focusing on separating the normal Muslim population and the radical Islamic teachings. The right-wing leverages on this to convince the masses that the left are nothing but Muslim appeasers. The real issue of radical Islam stays untouched.
Other issues such as racism are victims of political correctness too. We put too much emphasis on silencing people to even utter the word ‘black’ and replacing it with coloured. It hardly helps solve the problem and instead makes people too wary of talking about these issues altogether. Ideally, we, as a population should be living in a society where we can openly share race, cast or community-based jokes with one other. Because here, we are not inherently racists or casteists but are creating an easy, effective mode of communication to address these topics through humour.
Personally, when I sit down with my close friends, we banter about the basic traits of communities that we belong to – such as we Marathis being rude, UPites being migrants, Gujaratis being money-minded, Muslims marrying within the family, and Christians attempting to convert others. These open conversations is what we often need to address the social issues.
Because being ‘politically correct’ while debating is like drinking a decaffeinated coffee that gives you a satisfaction of having a coffee but doesn’t really wake you up.