Published:  12:40 AM, 12 October 2017

Of self-praise and self-esteem


Humility appears to be a forgotten fact of life these days in our country. That can be seen through the enormity of the self-adulation that people indulge in or have their acolytes resort to on their behalf. Of course, it may well be true that often those who are being idolized are not to be held responsible for the acts of their followers. But that is a poor argument. Why are these sycophants not stopped in their tracks by the men and women they revere?

If one goes through newspaper reports on a regular basis, one cannot fail to note the ease with which well-known figures in Bangladesh's cultural world are described as legendary figures. The term 'legend' carries a whole load of rich meaning, but the cavalier manner in which it is applied to anybody and everybody embarrasses those who watch all such things unfold before their eyes.

A well-known but not great singer or actor is described as an icon or as a legend. Why must culture be thus cheapened? Again, it has become something of a sordid practice for public personalities to have their birthdays publicized and celebrated in a manner that is disturbing, if not exactly revolting.

Photographs of the individuals being thus celebrated are splashed across newspapers, making us wonder if our understanding of individual greatness has become confined to the narrow space we have chosen to give it.  And now that we have social media with us, the propensity on the part of people to indulge in self-praise has gone up a good number of notches. Where is the self-esteem in all this?

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