When a person is praised because of his prowess, skills and abilities, that’s the real tribute to the person. Some are praised merely due to their ‘utility’ factor, and that’s nothing but flattery. Some need to be praised ritually in a conference, assembly, seminar or meeting since they are sitting in chairs of veneration. Similarly, persons holding high or dignified positions either in private or public sector must be praised because of the position and power they are in control of and that’s nothing but sycophancy.
I know a person who was health minister once. Lot many sycophants would throng around him. Audience with him was barely possible. The moment his tenure was over, he started wandering on the roadside and nobody ever took notice of him.
Today, the trend of society has become such that everyone wants to talk about himself and wants to hear about himself. In the case of writers, this trend is gaining momentum. In this era of electronic media and social networking, writers desire for praise by sharing their compositions and posts on WhatsApp and Facebook. The tendency of ‘I call you Shakespeare, you call me Galib ‘is increasing day by day.
Needless to say, that this trend of self-acclamation and self-praise by writers is extremely perilous for literature. Craving for the energizer and tonic of praise is becoming very important for the health of such writers. If such writers do not hear a word of praise on their posts from someone, they will not sleep well and neither the food they eat will digest well. Additionally, they might even see bad dreams during the night as well. Early in the morning, when they wake up their first chore is to open ‘face-book’ and start counting the ‘likes’ and comments on their posts. The more likes and encouraging comments they see the more raised up they feel and the more boisterous they look!