Idle Talk

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In the course of human history, language has developed with every century. Used to communicate the basic signals of hunting in the days when a human being was a hunter gatherer the language slowly but steadily developed into a full fledged human expression encompassing everything. The language in the last two thousand years has been used to express our emotions, our very primal thoughts, our views on universal elements, our views on other human beings and our views on how we should behave with other human beings.

Unfortunately, in some societies there developed a bad habit of idle gossip about the doings of others. In Kashmiri society this trend of carrying tales and idle gossip peaked during Mughal, Afghan, Sikh and Dogra rule. Carrying tales was considered a safe exit route from the brutality of the oppressors. You could simply bad mouth about your neighbour or could say that your neighbour has stored more grain in his attic and get away with flogging, whipping and forced labour(corvee). The famous European historians who visited Kashmir during Afghan, Sikh and Dogra rule have noted at length how Kashmiris would tell upon their neighbour’s just to be in good books of tax collectors.

However, with the coming of democracy to Kashmir this bad trend got a new hue. People now spent hours discussing other people’s lives. A lot of productive time of the nation goes waste because instead of thinking something constructive people just idle away their time talking about the lives of other people. On social networking sites it is usual with a lot of Kashmiris to downgrade, slander and bog down other people. A lot of unwarranted criticism always comes out of the mouths of all and sundry. People in Kashmir take special time to discuss mundane things like how big the banquets served during marriages were, how people got money using dubious sources and how foppishly young men are dressed on the streets. It is amazing how older people take special fancy discussing private lives of people. On shop fronts, during wedding receptions, on the sidewalks or almost everywhere we just relish the prospect of casual idle talk.

All religions strictly forbade idle gossip. It is strictly prohibited to discuss the private life of other people. We must channelize our energies towards constructive ideas instead of discussing other people cuisines, banquets, dresses and wealth.

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