Being Convenient or Being Right ?

Two days back when i came to office in the morning, one of my colleagues pointed out at the headline in The Times of India and made a remark about Bangalore being one of the safest cities in India for women with very less(90-100) rape cases being “registered” in the last year. we discussed some stats around the number and like the “Intellectuals” gave our own reasons of varying crime rate across the country. I didn’t even read the headline once. later in the day i went ahead my work discussed the same thing during lunch and went home in the evening. yesterday i went to meet some of my friends and we were at one of the cafes where TV was running in the background and same rape case was being featured about how many people were nagged by the police and how many are still on the run. we again discussed and gave our very intelligent sounding views on the matter about whats wrong with the so called “System” and what can be done to correct it.

Being an “Intellectual”  I am sure there are a lot of discussions floating around about the so called “provocative dresses worn by damsels of the society” or may be about “raising our sons in such a way that we will not have to worry about the safety of our daughters” and i assure you that we have succeeded to a great extent in doing the latter as these cases are a minority in a country of over a billion people.

but one question which has been troubling me since then is what has caused us to be so inactive and insensitive, and even if any of us would have been on that bus, would we do anything to prevent it. our logic system would have said  they are six, I am alone, i will probably get beaten by them the same way, let me not interfere  if we happen to be at a place where if some unethical incident were about to happen would we really help to prevent it or would we just witness it.

Logic will say “shut the fuck up, and don’t think too much you don’t want to be involved in this, you have a good family and parents waiting at home, why are you getting in trouble and probably give a you a thousand reasons for you to avoid the inconvenience“. but will you be able to sleep at night without thinking that you could have prevented it.

there are 15 OLQ’s (Officer Like Qualities) for which candidates are tested during selection for the Officer Cadre in Defense services. 12th Quality is Courage – which involves physical courage as well as courage of conviction(courage to do the right thing) and since this quality(among other OLQ’s) is so rare amongst us, it shows in the numbers (Indian army has a shortage of approx 12000 officers). 150 to 200 people arrive for selection in one batch at the Selection Centers and only around 3-5 get selected.

I am not here to bash those people who have committed the sinful act, they are being bashed by the entire country and will probably be killed if let out in the open by the same set of people whose souls were dormant till today reading such news on TV.

I am not sure how many of us teach our children to follow their heart and fight for what is “right” rather than what is “convenient“. many a times i have seen people jumping queues at reservation counters and shouted at them and alerting them not to do so. most of the times people came from nowhere supporting me and a group was formed thus forcing the person who jumped the queue to withdraw. sometimes i have heard elderly people saying things like “Naya khoon hai, jayaada josh main hai” and “beta usse panga mat lo, khud ko dekho (I am just 5’6″, and weigh around 50 kgs)” but amazingly the number of people supporting me always outnumber the critiques.

Most of the times it becomes easy for us to accommodate the injustice and get on with it rather than stand against it and fight it. Reason: it is convenient and everybody is doing so. and thus we proudly imitate the society which comprises of other “intellectuals” like us.

I am aware of the bystander effect and often wonder how intelligent it sounds to talk about it.Yes! You have read a psychological term, which most of the people are not aware of and they will listen to you the moment you start talking about it helping your ego to reach stratospheric levels proving you’ve a genius level IQ.

candlelight marches are cool: they help us being associated with the cause and improve our social quotient, but can’t we teach our sons to fight and let the cause not be there in the first place. i am sure most of would appreciate anna hazare and arvind kejriwal for the awakening in the country but will slap our son if he decides to drop out from college and join politics or leaves his job to follow his passion, why after all he is doing what he believes in, right?

can we raise ourselves(and our sons) to listen to our heart and do what we feel is right rather than look at the next person and do what he(society) thinks is right and burst the bubble of convenience.