By Shazia Anwer Cheema
Van Din Tran in his book published in 1987 entitled “Communication and diplomacy in a changing world » calls that the art of communication for diplomacy is what blood is for the human body. Whenever communication ceases, the body of international politics, the process of diplomacy, is dead, and the result is violent conflict or atrophy.
I am confused to refer to this definition when looking at the communication that Pakistani statesmen use. The international compulsory communication that Van Din speaks of must have generic parameters of morality and decency. For three years, Pakistani elected officials have used everything except diplomatic communication. It cannot even be meant as communication. If we agree that communication is blood for diplomacy, I am afraid that the type of communication that Pakistani statesmen practice is thalassemia for diplomacy.
I always refrain from discussing domestic politics, on the one hand there is almost nothing substantiated worth discussing, on the other hand basically I have made peace with the strangeness of this “circus of democracy”. But our current election fleets of weird humans have made it impossible to look away, especially when the bleakness of your future falls on you. Imagine Prime Minister Shabaz Gill’s official spokesperson using the same vocabulary while representing us (Pakistanis) to the outside world. Imagine that he utters insults such as Dallah, Begherat, Munafik on an international media forum. Imagine Pakistan’s Home Minister Sheikh Rasheed using the insult Veshi Jatt and making the same ambiguous gestures when he talks about Bilawal Zardari. Calling adversaries donkeys, diesels, horses, whores, Chaprasishoeshiner, bhagorey is the new normal in Pakistan. Will this type of speech also be considered extremely important for diplomacy? I am afraid that sending these people to represent us (Pakistan) is suicide because their only vocabulary is based on insults.
From a linguistic point of view, insults are the lowest form of communication, while higher order communication requires reasoning and evaluation keeping societal norms on the one hand and personal reputation on the other. . Poor reasoning ability and opaque judgment will lead to slurred language.
Kent Bach in the newspaper “Loaded words – On the semantics and pragmatics of insults” writes that people use insults to put others down. It explains the meaning of terms used to insult people based on things like race, ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, ideology, gender, and sexual orientation. He further says that the use of an insult expresses contempt, not as a matter of meaning, but because it attributes contempt to the person it is used.
Kent Bach believes that for a speaker to impute contempt for being in a certain group is itself offensive, as well as explanatory of the speaker’s expression of contempt.
The following statement by Kent Bach makes perfect reference to a situation from a recent lecture on a television program in which Prime Minister Imran Khan’s official spokesman, Shabaz Gill, called a Member of Parliament from a minority group as “Dallah” (English meanings closer to the word pimp).
Kent Bach makes specific reference to this situation in his article “Loaded Words—On the Semantics and Pragmatics of Slurs” and writes that the use of a slur is not offensive to people who share contempt for the target group and find expression of such contempt perfectly acceptable. . Besides, sometimes contempt is necessary and its expression too.
If we see the habit of insulting and abusing others through the theories of psychology, we learn that there are many reasons why a person is abusive. Behavioral psychology categorically indicates that these people have a disorder reminiscent of an antisocial (sociopathic or psychopathic) and sadistic personality disorder. Subjects with these disorders find pleasure in seeing others suffer and even more pleasure when they are the ones inflicting the agony. They abuse others for their personal pleasure.
Another reason may be that they were abused. Some abusers vent their dysfunctional behavior on others because it was done to them. In a subconscious effort to resolve their own abuse, they do the same to another person. This type of abusive behavior is identical, meaning it matches almost exactly their childhood experience.
When the communicators are Pakistani politicians, and communication is, what we’ve been bombarded with over the past two years, will there be any chance that we can show our faces to the world like the Pakistanis, let’s assume, in a few years.
Forgive me for getting into the internal mechanics of insults or insults, but I couldn’t refrain from hammering home that our entire current federal cabinet, with few exceptions, is a sociopath. Let me ease my mind by not admitting this, I think they are victims of the exposure that surrounds them. You have all experienced in your professional life that if the boss is punctual, everyone has to be on time if the boss allows a few to gossip about others for his own administrative convenience, the whole office develops a culture of gossip a few days after nepotism is nurtured that the chosen one forgets the habit of being dedicated in no time. I understand this as a trigger or snowball effect. And this effect triggers in the general population, to my dismay I saw a video of a social media user explaining the house of Sindh as a red light area; like let’s take a look at Heera Mandi Lahore, here bodies are sold and sins are bought… so on another social media user made a mosaic which is embedded in the article please watch this further close.
I agree that communication is the most sophisticated attribute homo sapiens possess and I have no doubt that it plays a crucial role in character formation, nation building for any sovereign country. But when the communicators are Pakistani politicians, and communication is, what we’ve been bombarded with in the last two years, will there be a chance that we can show our faces to the world like Pakistanis, let’s assume , in a few more years . We already have too much to answer, too much to reason about just to save our faces, how come we will justify ourselves if God forbids us to be labeled as a nation without morals and without civic sense, where the representatives of the State use insults in their serious speech.
Fighting for our own sovereignty will be an almost impossible task without talking about Kashmir, Palestine and any other cause for that matter. A nation that lacks the basic principle of decent communication, a nation of callers. Apathetic race with muddy language infused with hatred and humiliation, unable to reason and handle any argumentative scenario, a nation that wants to be praised or will make dirty puns in case you disagree with “you are the best and prettiest of all things. It’s the downward trigger effect with the top-down approach that I fear.
Martha Finley (April 26, 1828 – January 30, 1909) was an American teacher and author of several books for children and their education. She is known for her stories for the moral teaching of mothers too. In one of her essays written on the positive upbringing of a child by the child’s mother, she says:
It’s an easy thing to call names; any fool is equal to that… and the weapon of vituperation is usually used by those who lack the brains to argue or are on the wrong side.
Note: Writer Shazia Anwer Cheema is a Prague-based book author and foreign affairs expert who writes for national and international media. She is a doctoral student. Researcher in semiotics and philosophy of communication at Charles University in Prague. She leads the DND think tank. She can be reached at: Twitter @ShaziaAnwerCh Email: [email protected]
The views and opinions expressed in this article/opinion/commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Think Tank and Dispatch News Bureau (DND). Assumptions made in the analysis do not reflect the position of the DND Think Tank and the Dispatch News Desk.