The hate speech by MIM leader Akhruddin Owasi prompted me to revisit the subject of non-violent communication. The basic Vedic teaching is that we should be non-violent in our thoughts, action and speech.
The violent speech is often described with 3 Cs i.e. condemnation, complaint and criticism. Anything which is based on facts, spoken as it under quote unquote, and is based on observations is non-violent in nature.
For example, if you are to talk about a leader, say XYZ, you should start with ‘in my opinion’ this leader is perfect in all respect. If you do not personalize your remarks, it will amount to making judgments which means that we want all our listeners to agree to our views which may create conflict and end up into violence.
One should always give benefit of doubt while communicating. For example, never say “he insulted me” but always say that “he spoke some words and I got hurt”.
Lord Buddha described three components of right speech – (1) is it the truth? (2) is it necessary? and (3) is it kind? The current speech of Owaisi may have been his personal opinion but the way it was communicated, it made his communication violent and he ended up in jail. His statements were neither based on facts, nor were necessary and kind.
Gossip which is talking about somebody in his or her absence without facts is another form of violent communication.
Recall a few recent statements of people which created controversy. A recent statement by an Indian politician that Biwiyan umar ke saath dhal jaate hain, may be his personal opinion but the way he had put it, it became a judgmental statement which was rejected by the collective consciousness of the people.
The recent statement of a soc called spiritual Guru that Taali ek haath se nahin bajti, again is a violent communication. The recent statement of RSS Chief that rapes happen only in India and not in Bharat, is also a violent communication as it was not based on facts.
In health advertisements, it is always taught to us that whenever we are communicating a message, it should be in the language of the public which they can understand, based on facts, is necessary and is field tested. The words ‘field tested’ involve that you randomly get the statement vetted by people across the population and see to it that it is acceptable. If the statement is rejected by the collective consciousness of the group you have surveyed, it is likely that it will be rejected by the collective consciousness of the entire population and should not be spoken.
It is clearly written in mythology that the words are like arrow in a bow, once released they never come back.
Dr K K Aggarwal is Padmashri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee, President Heart Care Foundation of India and National Vice President Elect IMA