By Neel Anil Panicker

What’s come of this world and arguably its most social and intelligent inhabitants _ homo sapiens.

We may be human beings but increasingly every single hour and day we seem to be going all out to prove that we are just ‘beings’, and no longer humans.

What else can one make out of the very unfortunate case of Ms Mayawati, four times erstwhile chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, senior political leader, Parliamentarian, and more importantly one of the modern day icons of Dalit struggle and pride, being abused in the vilest language that one think of  for any one, most importantly and especially for a woman, God’s chosen ‘Creator’ on this Earth.

Incidentally the abuser in question happened to be one Mr Dayashankar Singh, a National Vice-President of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

It is another matter that he was immediately stripped of all party posts and later expelled in the great tradition of damage control exercises that political parties of all hues manage to so excel in when faced with mounting criticism and flak during all such absolutely regrettable occasions.

All this in hindsight but not before the said gentlemen (and I don’t think that epithet would befit him anymore) offered by way of tokenism the infamous three words_ I am sorry.

I watched him when he uttered these “magical words”.

The man, guilty to the core and surrounded by his acolytes, was grinning and leering and it looked as if some coarsely ribald joke had just passed their ears.

Seconds later, just as the cameras rolled, the offender turned his face, all insouciant and sniggering,  towards the camera, and with a tone that smacked of downright arrogance and reeked of gutter level male chauvisnism, muttered the dreaded three words’ I am sorry’, and mind you, with a glee.

Yes, my dears, he was smiling from ear to ear when he said these three words.

Friends, do you know what is the most bandied, used and thereby abused three words in the English language? No guesses there: it is “ I am sorry”.

The ‘magical’ powers of these three words are such that even non-practitioners of the English language unfailingly make use of these words to cover their umpteen acts of omission and commission.

Prey, in popularity stakes it transcends international borders and one can see it being use to by all citizens of all nationalities including the very venerable Americans, Chinese, Germans, Europeans and what have you.

What accounts for the pole vaulting popularity of these words when strung together, arguably the most abused phrase in the lexicon of practically all of humanity?

Do these words really have such a healing power as to be the first port of call for all when in distress?

Well truth be, spoken per se, they mean nothing; are just superficial; and may even end up as a bigger offense and insult than the one it intended to cover up in the first place.

Simply put: they then carry no depth.  All sound, no substance.

So what is the DNA of an apology.

An apology to be such it must have the following three properties.

  It should clearly and non-ambiguously convey that the person who is seeking an apology, is for one – sorry_; two, admit that he or she is – at fault; and three, ask  –what can I do to make it right.    

Until and unless an apology has the above three ingredients it is meaningless, pointless, insultful and as such superficial and uttered merely for the sake of uttering it.   

Remember, the fallout then could be even more unfortunate as the recent Mayawati imbroglio has so conclusively proven: An abuse for an abuse will turn off everyone’s fuse.


In  response to Daily Post: Depth


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