Monday, August 27, 2012

Rumour Tremors !


Beautiful people-not just in looks but in their hearts and minds- that is my experience of northeast. Having lived in Shillong for 3 years all I can say is that northeast has this serene countryside ambience with relatively content people. Teaching the teenagers from all the 7 states gave me enough experiences to say that they are beautiful !

Conflicts don’t begin just with frustrations and deprivations. Conflicts happen because of petty politics and connivance of vested interests. It happens all over the country.

The diversity of India sounds good when we pass statements like unity in diversity. But the irony is that this diversity is a live volcano. Anyone can make the lava flow out with minimum triggers like, religious, ethnic, caste, language, region, social or racial differences. And in this case, even orchestrated rumours can cause the lava to flow.

The unfortunate exodus to northeast is another such example.

In his column ‘underage optimist’ in TOI of 26th Aug’12, Chetan Bhagat says that ‘we have let them down’.
 I would like to say something about his observations that ‘we comment them for their looks’ and discriminate them because they are from a different region.

Commenting on people for their looks is something that we Indians indulge in without any discrimination. Any part of the country, any complexion, any size or any religion, region or caste- we have something to say about it. It is not just about north easterners…we Indians can comment on anything and anyone. So let us not conclude that this Indian trait manifests only for north easterners.

I am surprised that he asked a question...”did our schools not teach open mindedness or did our parents reinforce them?” – Did your IIT teach you that Mr Chetan Bhagat ?

For the last 20 years, schools are opening minds only to pump in math and science so that their products get an entry into the mighty IITs! And we have another set of schools teaching exclusivity and elitism in the name of international education where open minded ness is more for all things western !

Parents (and the policy makers) are blissfully fine with it because they are not expecting our graduates from IITs or engineering colleges to resolve northeast issue or Telangana issue—all they are expected to do is bag a million dollar job.

 Neither are we expecting graduates of IIMs or ISB to resolve the conflicts and problems of our country- they are diligently trained to manage the HR, finances or marketing of some MNC ,                 not some mundane problems of the country !

All the professional capabilities, group discussion, problem solving skills, critical thinking and strategic management is for participating in the remote corporate citadels – the real issues and conflicts are the for the most ‘qualified’ politicians!

 Our raw spots  for our religion, caste or region can easily be flared by- a disgruntled politician, an unhappy  CM, a sensation hungry TV channel, Pakistan ( according to our Government), opposition parties, a religious fundamentalist group,or a SMS,       a rumor accentuated by breaking news that breaks every 15 minutes and lo and behold what ensues is macabre scenario. Burning the buses, bandhs, gheraos and what not !

A country with a spiritual past suffers from lack of emotional intelligence. We are so ready to believe rumours and breaking news of incompetent reporters.
Our lack of emotional intelligence drives us to believe the bad rumours like how believe the tales from epics. And we are so active in spreading the rumors like wildfire that even wildfire has something to learn from us.

The recent case of a talking baby that said that all those who sleep between 1am to 3pm will be dead…and we had an entire section of the city waking up one another !
How I wish that there were rumours like- if you take a bribe, a ‘bharatiyudu’ will come and kill you ! or if you do wrong a right man will hang you !
If I have to analyse some of the causes for this continuing blasphemy I would say that….

It is neither the excess baggage from the past nor the prevalent inequalities (of all kinds like social, economic, class, caste, religion, region) that plagues our society- more than open mindedness-Mr Chetan Bhagat..it is

 it is the IQ vs EQ ( emotional quotient) or BQ(behavioural quotient) equation that troubles our great Indian mindsets!  

In spite of all this,  we are still living in a multicultural setting of India with occasional upheavals like this that make me  ponder over these ‘trivial issues’ !
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 To those who are interested…

What is dominating the Indian temperament right now ?
  • Island minds 
  • Ostrich tendency
  • Class cholera
  • Superman syndrome  
(These can be found only in my dictionary so don’t trouble the oxford’s !)

Island minds- a family behaves like nothing exists outside-             I me and my family.

Ostrich tendency- why should I bother about what happens outside-I will keep my head in my safe cocoon of TV, movies, functions and parties....

Class cholera- I see many people who display these symptoms like- Branded clothes vs Chermas ( a local brand in Hyderabad), Address in Jubilee hills vs  Address in Miyapur ( both localities in hyd), Party in a Star Hotel vs Party in Local Joint, My child in Aircodnitioned school vs  Your child in neighbourhood school….I can go on and on….

Superman syndrome- I am the best and everybody else is dirt. The fever is also evident when one thinks that I can be best only when others are dirt.

 
what do you think ?????
 

 

 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chetan...Most of the time in your book I found U like a " Dancing Monkey "... to the end when I c the most optimist language, U found to me like " Dark Circles "...

Its easy to acknowledge but hard to deliver the goods...

It is very fortunate that we have good mentors like you who can guide the ship in proper direction to reach the set goal.

Thank you Mam for being most encouraging at all times.

I felt like U are the constant source of positive energy and encouragement for the fellow being and to the society.

I personally feel like U can be a very good Mentor for organisations like...
ISRO
NASA
Olympics
International Politics.

Reena said...

To give the answer to ur poll. I believe its the Ostrich sentiment which is prevalent in INDIA.

Mam, the way you expalined the Need for change is just the Right. We need to wake up to the call now .. lets also have a system to groom our children to take care of the Problems other than Engineering and Corporates.. Lets be more Involved in the Real Problem around the HUMANITY!

Chaiti Nagraj said...

Rumors are the wrong information spread without any base by the anonymous.
Generally when we investigate we find a very small fact as the root cause for the rumors.
The basis for rumors is most of the time hiding out the un acceptable facts.
Humans are superior to other animals because they have feelings and because of these feelings they overcome all hurdles and survive and succeed and evolve continuously.
But like Gods, they also need some food of caretaking, food of importance in their daily life. When this is not available the animal instincts take over the mind and rumors are spread.
Do you know last week I saw Maheshbabu very closely at Airport. He smiled also at me.
All attention is now focused on the informer and he gets the attention required.
The hunger for attention is satiated but the animal is now on the prowl.
Mummy you know Vishnu in our class last week met Maheshbabu at airpot and he gave him smile.
The story is believed and spreads further as my son’s friend knows Maheshbabu and had coffee with him.
How simple the mechanism of rumor spreading unveiled.
Try it. It is free.
But be cautious not to harm or hurt anybody.
True. Some bad rumors when spread like a jungle fire cause more harm than good.
Unfortunately we witnessed this with eyes close shut in the last few months when the brothers and sisters from the beautiful seven sisters of NEFA were hurrying back to their homeland because of the rumors that their life is in danger.
Few years back in Vadodara we witnessed the rumors of people attacking each other and kidnapping were on the rise.
It is very easy to stop them also. Become the change maker and start asking few questions and asking for the proof or logic. Give the better thought to replace the bad one.
I had been to the jail last week. (The immediate thought is for which crime?)
I went there to purchase the furniture made by the prisoners. (Ha! Then okay. We thought police took you there.)
A single jasmine flower makes the room fragrant although hidden from your eyes.
Similarly your positive thoughts always keep the rumors at the bay and the tides never rise high to sink any of the weak boats.
Be the Cassabianca on the ship. Be the Florence Nightingale with lamp. Be the simple Gandhian.
The transparency of your thoughts and behavior kills the giant rumors.
Be transparent in thinking and share it openly.
Let it be the open secret for all.
Chetan Bhagatji don’t worry!
We are awake at Silver oaks and our acorns are getting ready to tackle and face all the rumors with their positive thoughts.

Chaiti

bidisha ghosh said...

The word unity, open mindedness is only in books and verbally but in our lives it holds no value.We dont carry it in our life dictionary.In our dictionary we gave weightage to discrimination, sarcasm. Regarding north eastern people why do we deprive them of their due dignity, respect and right,call them with different names and laugh on their features is still I am clueless about.Why don't we accept them the way they are.We beleive unity in diversity.But we are cynical about food,clothes and people, belonging to different region or states.The best example can be read in the book "Scrolls of strife" by Homen Borgohain and Pradipta Borgohain about the life of Nagas- their hardships, their humiliation and a long wait of respect from us the(rest of the country).Being honest enough that though being aware of the virus that plagues our society I am a member of Island minds, Ostrich tendency. So burning of buses, gheraos, rallies it doesn't affect me much niether to the others because we are not daily wage labourers.Our livelihood doesnt get affected much.We are happy as long as we are able to lie down in the lap of material luxuries.So its time now we wake up from our snobbish sleep and do something for us-humanity rather for myself.

Katyayini A. said...

One commonality in any country side is the simplicity and a lifestyle close to nature which reflects in people’s attitudes as well. This makes them more beautiful. This makes them vulnerable too.
Conflicts also begin when one is unable to accept diversity of opinions and has a strong urge to prove one’s opinion ‘right’.
Rumours were there in the past , they are there now and will be there in future also. We are by and large peaceful people with the ability to adjust to any problem and be tolerant about it. This mentality probably stems from the fact that most of us constantly condition ourselves to shortage of resources , lack of competence , eventually accepting poor quality in anything and everything.
As far as exodus is concerned it could possibly be somebody’s ‘bad’ practical joke. It also shows how lack of awareness about technology , perception of self(low self worth due to external factor like people around) and lack of education (I don’t mean schooling!) can do to simple people.
Everybody wants job security and a particular chosen lifestyle. The misconception that only high scores in a few ‘subjects’ can guarantee this is yet to be challenged. Competition with others make people even more insecure.
Expecting only a particular section of society to solve conflicts is naïve and impractical.
In the past rumours spread by colonist toppled kingdoms , today they are toppling(attempting to) our values.
In today’s world where news is also driven by sensationalism and competition, can we call it ‘news ‘ in the first place? ‘Rumours ‘ may be a better word in the guise of news.
Excessive ‘tolerance’ to the extent of encouraging divisive forces is what needs to change.
katyayini

Katyayini A. said...

One commonality in any country side is the simplicity and a lifestyle close to nature which reflects in people’s attitudes as well. This makes them more beautiful. This makes them vulnerable too.
Conflicts also begin when one is unable to accept diversity of opinions and has a strong urge to prove one’s opinion ‘right’.
Rumours were there in the past , they are there now and will be there in future also. We are by and large peaceful people with the ability to adjust to any problem and be tolerant about it. This mentality probably stems from the fact that most of us constantly condition ourselves to shortage of resources , lack of competence , eventually accepting poor quality in anything and everything.
As far as exodus is concerned it could possibly be somebody’s ‘bad’ practical joke. It also shows how lack of awareness about technology , perception of self(low self worth due to external factor like people around) and lack of education (I don’t mean schooling!) can do to simple people.
Everybody wants job security and a particular chosen lifestyle. The misconception that only high scores in a few ‘subjects’ can guarantee this is yet to be challenged. Competition with others make people even more insecure.
Expecting only a particular section of society to solve conflicts is naïve and impractical.
In the past rumours spread by colonist toppled kingdoms , today they are toppling(attempting to) our values.
In today’s world where news is also driven by sensationalism and competition, can we call it ‘news ‘ in the first place? ‘Rumours ‘ may be a better word in the guise of news.
Excessive ‘tolerance’ to the extent of encouraging divisive forces is what needs to change.

Anuswarajyasree said...

In spite of many diversities in the Indian society (physical, social religious economical) still at the base ,we find it is closely knit with some commonalities (traditions & cultures)which binds and binded us together. Any rumor or a say we show our solidarity regardless to its authenticity. When Anna Hazare gave a call against corruption the youth responded positively, this shows that Indians are united to work for a cause . Barring from some incidents, still at heart we are very accommodative in accepting things & people. In the largest democratic country with a huge 120+ crore population, with so many diversities its quite common to expect various tendencies.
Anuswarajyasree

nikhila lingala said...

hi ma'am,
you are really right. i actually agree with your point of view but it is not the same with all the educates in our present society.
it is true that now-a-days the emotional intelligence is lagging back in the us,but still we can work up it.
thankyou nikhila...