I recently watched, one of the most painful video on youtube, shared on my news feed. The first time I watched it, I had to stop it after the goon slapped and kicked the girl like a street dog. Then after a few days it reappeared on my feed and I decided not to hide behind my selective blindness which makes me see only the feel-good things about my country. I made myself watch the full video-a sample of the ugliness lurking in my great India. After the end of the video my eyes welled up, my blood boiled and I felt helpless.
There are thousands of us who feel the same about this issue and majority of Indians do not condone the actions of the saffron brigade’s moral policing. The question here is not whether you approve the couple’s behaviour or not, which is a stupid question in itself(I believe unequivocally that people should be allowed to love and marry whom ever they want to, without worrying about caste, religion and even gender divides). But let’s schedule that debate to another time.
The issue here is about compassion. How can a human being treat another person with such utter disregard to their personal rights and attack the couple so viciously.
Recently I watched a tollywood movie called ‘Temper‘ in which the villains kidnap and sexually torture a girl for 40 days in a dungeon before killing her off by torching her beyond recognition. Their sadistic acts include sticking pins in to her body and pouring acid on her skin, just to get high from the girls’s screaming. This is not some hyperbolic imagination of the director and is not far from reality. Such monstrous atrocities by humans on fellow humans takes place every where.
After watching the movie, my friend who was visibly shaken from the compassionate feelings he felt for the girl’s character had just one question for me-How can people be such monsters, do they not feel any empathy for others? I tried to explain the villain’s behaviour with my limited knowledge. But I came to the conclusion that, above all the reasons, lack of compassion for fellow human beings is the main cause for such behaviour.
What are the reasons for the lack of compassion in some people?
Some are born psychopaths: They lack the capacity to be empathetic to others. There is a blood curling dialogue in the film Pokiri(Wanted in Hindi) which describes the mental state of a psychopath-“you slit the throat of a hen and I slit the throat of a human being, killing a hen and and killing a human being is the same to me”. Read- how to identify a psychopath. Experts estimate that 3% of men and 1% of women have anti-social personality disorder, while only 1% of the population is truly psychopathic
Lack of correct role models: Some people are unfortunate to grow up without parents or in households with bad parents. People who grow up without parents have only survival as their aim. Even if that survival means harming others. And as their actions to survive gets rewarded their unsympathetic behaviour gets reinforced and they tend to justify their every action to the motto of ‘survival of fittest’ even if it means disregarding morality and empathy. Some times parents themselves show psychopathic tendencies whose behaviour their children come to imitate and get rewarded for it. Children who experience traumatic and violent incidents in their homes may also end up lacking any empathetic feelings towards others and become emotionally distant from others.
Excessive pampering: Parents who cater to every wish and whim of their children do not recognize that they are creating psychopaths in their homes. Their actions inflate the children’s ego enormously and they see themselves as above every one else. They will become averse to the values of equality and compassion towards the less fortunate. Once they get used to the feeling of power over others, they will not miss an opportunity to show it and get a high out of it. This is precisely the case with the villains in movie. The over protective big brother allows and supports every thing that his younger brothers does. The torture of the girl suggests that it was not just their sexual perversity which drove their behaviour, but to feel a sense of total power and domination over the body of another human being, they put her through hell enjoying her screaming and begging them to let her go.
Wrong ideals: Some people have some misplaced ideals which supersede any common sense and the innate human capacity to feel empathy for other beings. Their every action is guided by a warped set of rigid ideals which make them blind towards their own brutality and makes them justify those actions. It could be religion for ISIS, it could be Marxist for Naxalites or it could be a blind belief in an ‘ideal traditional society’ for the moral policemen.
For me, the behaviour of the ‘moral policing’ goons in the video, the barbaric ISIS terrorists imposing their brutal views on others and the villains who raped and tortured the girl in the film stems from the same disease-lack of compassion towards a fellow human being.
I am thankful for the #1000SPEAK FOR COMPASSION for bringing bloggers from all over the world to speak in one voice to awaken the spirit of compassion in people which is becoming rarer in the world day by day.