‘Do you find yourself getting offended… by people who get offended?’ asks Pat Condell, in what I think is one of his funniest and most hard-hitting pieces. He takes to task an Irishman who claimed compensation for being offended at an Irish joke. (FYI: The English have a million jokes about how stupid the Irish are. So do the Dutch about the Belgians, this fellow from Holland who’s at the lab tells me.)
Stupid-jokes apart, one sees this mentality of phony victimhood far too often for comfort even in India. The people who protest the art of MF Hussain or the writing of Taslima Nasreen because it ‘hurts’ their religious sentiments; people who are ready to torch cinema halls for saying that Jodha Bai was Akbar’s wife, or for doing whatever it is that Akshay Kumar did in ‘Singhh…‘ are all members of this phony victimhood club.
The Shivsena, and the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike are political outfits based entirely on this business of getting offended. Unlike the Irishman or the people protesting Hussain or Taslima Nasreen, though, these thugs probably aren’t hypersensitive. They’re probably as cynical as I am of these ‘feelings’ that are hurt all the time; only, they’re more prepared to use the ‘victim’ card as frequently as they can to their advantage.