Friday, February 13, 2009

On criticism...

I've spoken about the nastiness of criticism or being critical. Forget the unpleasantness, the idea of making someone feel bad about themselves or their work/art etc. is bad. We have no right to make one of God's children feel bad about themselves. So reason yes, but never criticise.

That is one of the reasons why I don't want to criticise SRK (or anyone else) anymore. That is the reason why I would rather review a film/book/album that critique it.

Here are 1 & 2 links to what I've said about criticism earlier.

And here is what "Sacred Space", TOI's pride has to say about Criticism. (Substitute Churchill's use of "criticism" with feedback. He was a politician, not a corporate citizen)

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticise me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.
~William A Ward

I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man's self-respect is a sin.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
~Winston Churchill

Any fool can criticise, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
~Dale Carnegie

Three-quarters of the miseries and misunderstandings in the world would finish if people were to put on the shoes of their adversaries and understood their points of view.
~M K Gandhi

I hope to emulate what one of my idols preached.


  1. I agree.

    And maybe these should be read by those who are criticizing the Pink Chaddi Campaign.
    Muthalik & his cronies for now are under preventive custody.

  2. Wait, whatever happened to "nindak niyare rakhiye"?

    Nindak niyare rakhiye aangan kuti chhawaye;
    Bin sabun pani bina nirmal karat subhaye.

    (Keep a critic near you in your backyard for they will help you cleanse yourself without soap and water)

    [ref: this page resulting from google]

  3. criticism only brings a different point of view on the table which can be constructively dissected out of which positives can be adopted, negatives can be ignored. without criticism, the drive to be better dies an untimely death rendering progress futile.

  4. Animesh:

    Two alternative interpretations:

    1. That was Kabir's way of poking fun at critics. Vyang maybe?

    2. Kabir being a saint was enlightened & pure enough to see good in adversity.

  5. @1conoclast: Well, you are free to have your interpretations, but I think Kabir was talking about accepting that criticism exists, and that there are positive things about it. Kinda like the Churchill quote you have in your article.

  6. What you mean Animesh is:
    "WE are free to have OUR interpretations. :-)

    Sure Kabir's talking about criticism was an acknowledgement of it's existence, and it's perceived benefit; but my point is that he chose exaggeration instead of simply stating it or any other figure of speech. The need for exaggerated expression is either to drive home a point (of which Kabir had no need or inclination I think), or to use it as a substitute for sarcasm (which too he'd have liked to avoid). Therefore I believe that he was using exaggeration to poke gentle fun at critics in general.

    Besides, don't critics have anything better to do? Don't they feel that they have an obligation not to hurt the person they're criticising?

    To me, there is a distinction between criticism & feedback. Their objectives are different & they achieve different things.

  7. Well, you are free to think that Kabir had no need or inclination to drive home that point.

    we agree to disagree :).


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