On Criticism and Hypocrisy


Recently, an interesting incident  came to my notice.Although I was a third-party spectator to this incident and don’t have access to the details , it probably went this way –

 A show was performed by a group of people, who we shall name X . To make the show entertaining , members of group X  slogged for over a month, sometimes staying awake for even 36 hours a stretch.In a nutshell – they put their heart and soul into the show.  The show finally happens ,  but does not go down well with the audience,  who make their disappointment clear in a review . However one member of the audience Y , goes a step further and  gives a scathing, disparaging ( apparently even arrogant ) review .Members of X get offended by this review and launch a series of  slurs and insults at Y.

Let us look at the situation carefully here. It looks quite familiar to us , considering we stay in India – land where criticism is hard to accept for most people.We are a nation whose politicians get reporters bashed up for reporters unfavorably about them. When we view the above incident now, verbal slurs hardly seem a big deal.

Hence , I do not wish to argue on who was right in the above scenario. It emerges that both parties were at some fault , and without getting into the knitty-gritties of who started it and other childish stuff( I have had enough of those in my class) , let us get straight into the point. I am solely against the argument given by X to secure the right to abuse Y. The argument given by Y was this: ” Y has no knowledge of how a show is made and hence has no right to comment. Being unqualified in the art of show-making, Y has to be a silent spectator”.

Seriously, are you kidding me? The reason I found the above argument amusing would become clear when we look at the behavior of people like the members of X  in similar alternate situations, suggesting hypocrisy.

  • They watch international cricket and football matches and automatically acquire the right to comment on whether Sehwag knows cricket and whether Roberto Mancini or Arsene Wenger knows how to manage a club.
  • They know nothing about how a country is run but feel free to make comments like “This government is a seriously screwed up on.They epitomize bad governance.”
  • They believe that  they know the nuances of filmmaking, the theme and inspiration of the director and tell friends on which films are shitty and which are not. ( i.e, which films you should download and cause a loss to the producer and which should not)
  • They launch victory parades filled with  verbal abuses against competing rival shows on being victors.
X might now counter argue that in these situations, they were not serious but hypocrites as they are , they won’t give the same benefit of doubt to Y. X would even argue that the above instances are not similar, but if they look carefully, I am sure they will notice the  striking similarities.
My free piece of advice to X : Stop being hypocrites. GROW UP. ( I fail to understand how the adjective BAD can offend grown ups. Even fourth grade  kids  in my class do not get affected by it).
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