Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

Schadenfreude

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Etymology study and origin of words has always intrigued me. Foreign words like schadenfreude (pleasure in misfortune befalling others). Words like stoicism, sadomasochism and envy were other inter-related emotions. There is no direct synonym for this word in English language. Gloating and epicaricacy were the closest vis- vis schadenfreude.

In this article I wanted to carve a deduction relative to the moral retrogression, hatred, and anger so pre-dominant in our societal strata. Schadenfreude is a passive and hidden emotion which is seen generally in people who are victims of neglect, depression and suffering. In our society this trend has propelled to new heights. A feeling of hatred and callousness to the point of stoicism (No feeling) has reached dangerous levels.

Intolerance and bigotry has given vent to lynching a mob rule. The public are devoid of emotion in witnessing a mob lynching innocent persons in the garb of religion. Public derive immense pleasure in recording such ghastly and dastardly acts for sake of money. This gives the impression that we are reverting back to age of barbarism where punishments like drawing, hanging and quartering were witnessed gleefully.

Such intolerance and violent methods of punishment be it on pretext of honor is driving the populace to verge of anarchy and pandemonium. The unkindest cut is that such a state of frenzy is an offshoot of a completely broken down law and order mechanism.

In lighter vein with bit of digression schadenfreude is also much applicable in sports like golf. In this case you always desire that your opponent’s ball lies in the worst possible position and the immense joy once misfortune strikes the foe. Internally you feel a malicious joy whereas apparently you remain sympathetic. This is a classic case of schadenfreude.

This is also directly related to envy, jealousy and gloating. It is a passive emotion in which satisfaction is derived at the falling from grace of ones adversaries. In Pakistan this emotional behavior is more pronounced. Widening gap between rich and poor with a badly trodden middle class has produced a volatile situation. Class hatred, growing frustration and envy prevalent in our society has increased manifold. Resultantly people feel malicious pleasure in misfortune of relatives, neighbors and co-workers.

Misfortune can be attributed in form of arrests, divorces/ failure of children, super session and demise of loved ones. To add to it financial losses, thefts, accidents and name it all. This feeling of glee and mirth gives the aggrieved a psychological heave.

This seemingly passive emotion is mostly felt by neglected and aggrieved personalities. Pakistani style politics is a glaring example where parties and personalities resort to all sorts of chicanery and devious methods to cast aspersions on opponents.

Opponents thus derive malicious pleasure to find kinks in an opponent’s armor. Parties resort to all sorts of nefarious insinuations to defame political rivals for moral ascendancy. Embroilment of NS in Panama case and Dawn Leaks is a case in point. In this context emotion of gloating comes into play by resorting to political platitudes.

Sacking of NS and his n entire brood in corruption,forgery and deceit is a matter of solace and mirth for all his opponents. Tit for tat responses by resorting to all facets of chicanery and jobbery to defame each other is the high watermark of Pakistani politics. How harmful and disgraceful.

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posted by Salman Aslam @ 10:54 PM,

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