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Rethinking The Definition of Vulgarity/ Fahashi

How does one respond to a word whose very utterance implies a deeper and more sinister meaning? Any sight of the bare skin of the opposite gender makes our eyes pop. Any hint of song and dance makes our nerves tremble. Any trail of the interactions between youths awaken every self righteous person.

What is vulgar and what is not, who gets to decide? And have we made the right decision?

Many people claim that television adverts featuring any connection with a female are vulgar. Some claim that the particular length of the cloth on an individual’s arm determines the presence or absence of vulgarity. It is also implied that singing and dancing in weddings is the very practical application of the word. It seems like we have got nothing else to worry about. Why are we so obsessed with such trivial matters?

It is argued that all these displays of superior morality arise due to societal fabric. Everything is done in good intention of course, for the benefit of the people as a whole. It is astonishing that this sense of morality vanishes in thin air when fathers and brothers kill their daughters and sisters in the pretension of perceived honor. The men who were supposed to be ‘protectors’ turn out to be murderers yet our sense of goodness remains untouched. Does this not breach the societal fabric in the least bit? Can we not constitute honor killings as ‘Fahashi’.

We seem to be living in a parallel universe where crimes against humanity are daily occurrences and daily occurrences have been termed as crimes against humanity. In the land of the pure, a lady belonging to a religious minority is sentenced to death due to a quarrel she had with her neighbor involving a drink of water. Our state is of the opinion that she is to be killed. The courts have sentenced her to death and she is yet to appeal to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.

This is a society where mothers commit suicide along with their children because they do not have anything to feed them. This is a land where millions of of children work in bonded labor without an access to an education. This is a place where killers are heroes and heroes are killed. This is a land where young teenage kids are willing to strap bombs and blow themselves up in the hope of heavenly reward. I fail to understand what is vulgar and what is not.

Although we like to distinguish ourselves from others by implying the perceived notion that we are somewhat superior in terms of goodness as result of our faith. When was the last time we held ourselves accountable?

Perhaps it is about time that our obsessions over trivial matters is over and done with. Perhaps the shedding innocent blood deserves the same condemnation as a breach of a particular social code. Perhaps our priorities need to change. Perhaps the definition of vulgarity needs to change.

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