Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Few Good Men

As the Tarun Tejpal controversy creates such outrage and spirals out of control in social media, I begin to wonder. It's shameful and though it terrifies us, depresses us, makes us question our beliefs and morals, aren't we in some way responsible for allowing such acts to happen in alarming frequency? Right from the time a child is born, the conditioning and discrimination begins. This divisiveness is not just restricted to the nationality, religion, caste, skin color, or the language one speaks but extends to gender, class, wealth and power too.

Folks are quick to blame the not so fortunate literates or those from the so called lower classes (yes, these class distinctions still exist in this land of an ever increasing gap between have and have-nots), but what do they have to say when the educated of our land with degrees from IITs, IIMs, and even Oxford, Stanford and Harvard engage in horrific misdemeanors and criminal activities such as corruption, exhortation, and exploitation of others. Can we really blame and pinpoint one social class when crime extends across all boundaries? The perpetrator can be from any background.

Now onto powerful men like Tejpal! History has been filled with powerful men who have choices! Some of them choose to use the power bestowed to them responsibly, whereas some misuse and twist it to meet their own desires. Aren't there thousands of Tarun Tejpals out there? In recent weeks, news of the judges and lawyers exploiting interns have rocked the nation. Now what makes them commit such acts? Does the heady sense of power intoxicate them and make them feel like they can manipulate and control anyone. And when they get away with their misdemeanors, does it make them more brazen that they continue their acts without fear and a care in the world as if they are kings of the world.

I think the need of the hour is to set up proper and adequate committees for every sector and organization to address any kind of issue, even those concerning folks at the top. After all, absolute power does make some folks immune to the system and that can be dangerous.

And do we really need a comparison with the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky episode as I've seen in some tweets? While I am not here to preach on the morality and personal integrity of a person's character, and why they choose to cheat on their partners, wasn't that a case of mutual consent? It cannot be compared to this Tejpal incident where the young journalist repeatedly said no, but yet he persisted. For more on the case, check this link:

Hasn't it always been like this? Just as in the animal kingdom where the beasts stalk their prey, in the human kingdom, the rich and powerful prey on the weak or vulnerable sections. Some fight back, some don't.

As reports state, Tarun Tejpal's introductory speech during the THINKFEST 2011 had the lines, "You're in Goa, so eat, drink, make merry & sleep with whoever you want." What about consent, Mr. Tejpal?Irony is one of the taglines at the THINKFEST 2013 stated, "The beast lies within us."

While these beasts exist, it's also important to differentiate between the beasts and the few good men that exist on this planet. With similar incidents of molestation and abuse being reported in the media everyday, a friend of mine was lamenting that he's ashamed and scared of being an Indian man. I get that. It's important not to cast everyone in the same mold. We need to remember that for every beast out there, there also exist a few good men and men can be victims too.

1 comment:

Chandrima Roy said...

Your post is indeed an eye opener. Really, there are so many instances we hear involve very well educated and well established people. I'm sure we all know at least 1 bad guy! The problem is that there is no clear definition of good and bad, so people use their discretion to suit themselves.