When power is misused

The recent post titled To write or not to write that I had made was triggered not so much by the issue that was discussed there but more by the feeling that the power of language was being misused. No, I am not saying that the issue is unimportant, but it’s not new for me or for this blog. What had triggered another post on this was the fact that the comment and somebody else’s blog post mentioned there had utterly misused the power of language to drive a disgusting point home. And I couldn’t sort of resist counternig language with language!

That brings me to the gist of this post. Actually the first realization of this issue had come to me back in my school days, when I myself was accused of doing the same thing. It was some debte on the “effect of TV programmes” in Purnea (my hometown), in which I had defended the TV programmes and won the debate. Given the context and kind of people involved, it was not a favourable position to take. One of the organizers, who knew me through other such programmes, had then said something like I was misusing my oratory and literary capabilities to prove a socially undesirable point. I didn’t agree to him then, and I do not agree to him now. But one thing is clear; such danger is there. And at various point of time in my life, I myself, have used the power of langauge for some manipulations, but don’t get me wrong. Never did it for unethical purposes 🙂 It’s just that if people can’t take the rational argument in, to get something rational done, you might need to be manipulative.

But that is not the point. I was talking of potential danger of power of language and oratary or writing skills. I found a misuse like this in the post mentioned in To write or not to write. (Yeah, I am giving a strong judgment, but I stand by it.)

Historically, the most prominent example that comes to my mind is that of Hitler. A reading of Mein Kamph clearly proves as to how acutely he was aware of the power of language and in his case, more particularly of oratory skills. I mean, it’s not an easy task to gain the kind of support he could get from people, right? And he could actually drive people to the kind of atrocities that were performed under the reigns of Natzism. Misuse is the only word that comes to my mind.

Of course, who really knows if the point being advocated is a necessary change and or an undesirable one. Both might look undesirable at the outset. But one has to judge.


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