I was a very badly behaved youngster when I was in my teens and in my 20s. I had psychological problems which were not addressed at the time and so the malady grew worse. Society – instead of sending me to a psychiatrist – decided that I needed to be taught a lesson.
Part of the reason I behaved as badly as I did was because I was suffering from internal demons that were making life a misery internally. I was blocking my memories and also blocking my feelings and that made me behave in all sorts of eccentric ways.
I needed psychiatric help and sought that help by behaving badly. I should have politely and humbly asked for help from my elders. But I had read self help books that said that my (internal) troubles were because of bad upbringing and that made me even more childish and arrogant.
Now I have every intention to let sleeping dogs lie. But I just want to comment on the way I was treated by society and the policy adopted as regards me. I will try to be as non-judgmental and detached as possible in making my comments. I do not wish to offend anyone.
The policy adopted towards me was that people imitated my eccentric behaviour in their interactions with me. I told lies and society in its turn did the same. I behaved in disgusting and outrageous ways and society made a policy decision to do the same in its treatment of me.
I think that there was a social contract that accepted and even encouraged this sort of tit for tat behaviour. I would put the blame for this deplorable tit for tat policy in dealing with your own people with the politicians. Possibly the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi started such a policy because the founding fathers (like Mahatma Gandhi) would definitely not have allowed it.
My criticisms of this sort of policy are as under:
- The first point is that according to the basic principles of political science there should be more checks and balances on people in power as compared to people who do not have as much power. It is better that Don Corleone misuses his power and not Adolf Hitler.
- The second point is that my ill treatment was justified by the argument that I had behaved in the same way. However there is a legal concept called Mens Rea. This concept gives importance to the intention of the wrongdoer. For example I was job hunting and told lies in my desperation to get a job. Society justified its telling lies to me because I was doing the same to them. However the intention is important. Society’s intention was to harass me and teach me a lesson. My intention was to get a job and not to victimize anyone. Hence I think that this policy was unfair.
- A third point is that there were politics involved. I belong to a Konkani speaking community that does not have a state of its own. Hence – to some extent – this community is at the mercy of the majority.
- The fourth point is that I think that society was utterly foolish in giving me importance and victimising me because they were wasting their lives with trivial pursuits. If I had done anything wrong they should have taken action by going to the authorities. They chose instead to make it their business to be judge, jury and executioner when they were not running either the country or the Universe. An elected government was running the country and God Almighty was running the Universe.
According to the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures we have been blessed with a human birth after (for all practical purposes) an eternity and the purpose of that existence is to seek God or the Divine. If instead of doing that we choose to spend our lives avenging small insults and jibes then it is nobody’s fault than our own.
I’ll end here. Please explore this blog for more articles on Self Help, Spirituality and Politics. Looking forward to your readership and your comments.