Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The world owes me one. Really?

In the heat and dust raised by the Delhi gang rape and similar ongoing criminal atrocities, the mention of a key trigger of such events is conspicuous by its absence. I wonder how all the expert analysts forgot to dwell on it. This key spark, come to think of it, is the sense of entitlement every criminal, be he a rapist, a murderer, a petty purse or chain snatcher or whoever, has in abundance. (The sense of entitlement, mind you, is not even a distant cousin of self-worth, i.e., “the belief that one is worthy of accomplishments earned through hard work” according to the Why Is It Always About You? author, Sandy Hotchkiss.) This narcissistic trait overrides all scruples and moral restraints in a person about to commit a criminal offence. Such a perp’s self-justification may be couched along the following lines:

I feel like I never had what I needed, so I didn't feel bad about taking what I wanted, be it taking credit for other people's work, sleeping with other people's girlfriends, or just taking whatever object I wanted at the time. Taking didn't (always) mean theft, but it did mean I sometimes shorted others, or made them wait, or whatever. If I wanted it, I would get it, because I deserved it. Rules, laws, and social contracts are for people who need guidelines. I don't, so I make my own rules and don't care if you don't like them. You just don't know any better. If you did, you wouldn't question me. http://bit.ly/WJ7FUc>

No solution to India’s systemic meltdown is on the horizon. Certainly not in the short run. What’s essential is a total overhaul. How do you inhibit the endemic occurrence of the sense of entitlement? Concessions and reservations have only worsened the situation. Excessive economic inequalities are not making matters any better. The naked use of power, political and/or economic, to make anything – including the worst wrongs – right is not going to be tolerated indefinitely by the mango people. The day of reckoning is not too far away, it looks like. The sooner everyone – VVIPs, VIPs and celebs – join the mainstream and learn to accept it (no security at public expense, no sanitized living in gated quarters), the better it would be for all Indians. Maybe, urban guerrilla action based on the 70s-style Western template won’t be such a bad thing.