Thursday, February 24, 2011


I feel the recent events in North African countries are only the result of and a reflection of what  dysfunction and morbid human psyche that remained so for four odd decades,could do to society.It is so ,be it in India, in Egypt,in Libya, in the West, in a little village or even in our homes. The absence of the will to stand up and face insolence .Even the intelligentsia was putrefying in intelligence while countries were being thieved, plundered and people asphyxiated. In the late 1920’s when Adolf Hitler came into power in Germany, he was given a rousing reception. Later when the evil in him manifested the German populace infamous for its abiding the law to the letter stayed dumb and silent. The result was there to see very soon !

There is a very strange anecdote on German blind penchant for adherence to the rule. In a remote intersection in the German Black Forest an automated traffic signal was placed. The motorists who went through the intersection were photographed by a remote camera. Ten out of ten motorists who passed by at various time stayed put when the light was red, even for as long as fifteen minutes, though it was apparent to them that vehicular movement in that part of the forest area was scanty. Opinions may vary. But the literal adherence to the rule has been in the German psyche.

Signs of ghoulish human mind have ample examples. The society we live in is in itself a perfect example. Even our homes, and people related or friends, and includes us as well. The fact is, besides the blind adherence, there is also a great element of disinclination or numbness and apathy.

But then I love armchair exploration, armchair philanthropy and armchair discourses. That serves me well! And I see my reflections in  all that around. Or am I the alter ego of the society? Certainly I have company!


Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Of course, you have company. We hardly do anything unless and until it becomes a matter of life and death for ourselves, right? While reading this piece, I got reminded of pastor Niemoller’s famous words; “First they came for the communists, I didn’t speak out because I was not a communist, then they came for the jews…, then they came for me and there was no one left to speak our for me”.

Though you cited the anecdote to show their ridiculous adherence, I just can’t help comparing it to what happens on our roads. I’ve seen people jumping traffic signals risking theirs as well as others lives at even the busiest of intersections, but then this is India where ‘sab kuch chalta hai’.

manju said...

What is armchair philanthropy?

Balachandran V said...

Philanthropy: Voluntary promotion of human welfare.
Armchair philanthropy: Involuntary breaking of wind!

anilkurup said...

@ Arun,

Niemoller's words are absolutely apt. Thanks you for reminding me that the quote was his.

anilkurup said...

@ manju,

Like "arm chair exploration"!!

anilkurup said...

@ Balan,

Can you explain the involuntary breaking.....

dr.antony said...

Unlike radiation signs, land mine signs, end of the road signs, which are good warnings to heed, many rules are generally used to intimidate us into following some preconceived ideas.Are we such sheeple that even if they are dangerous we will still follow them? Let the rest of the world learn from us,how not to obey the rules.This is a land where those who make the laws,break it themselves!The laws are only for the ordinary!
If it’s bad, don’t follow, but if it’s good, then take it, but never do anything because someone said,
" Do this"

manju said...

I guess there could be armchair experts on philanthropy.

By the way, do you directly challenge real experts with your knowledge? If not, self-debasing 'armchair + something' is unwarranted.

anilkurup said...

@ manju,

There is no element of self debasing. And that quality is something I carefully keep out of my lexicon.
Challenge experts with my knowledge? I have a long,long way to go to even distantly think of such audacity.
As for the observation of "arm chair", it is a metaphor. As I have selfishly like many others confined myself to statements from the comfort of my room.