The definitions of good and evil in society seems to be getting redefined. There no more seems a clear demarcation between good and evil based on a person’s social, financial and educational status. Whats seems to be making us more brutal as a society?

Ever since the inception of mankind, we have been comforted with the images and definitions of the good’ and theevil’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, asur’ and devta sketched in our minds. None of us is untouched with the stories of ‘good winning over evil.’ Probably decades back this held water, but today, we live in a bubble that can burst any second, all thanks to the recurring incidents of ‘mankind’(not anymore though) brutality. Cruelty and animal instincts in each one of us have taken an ugly route and seem to have no end! Mythology portrays demons to be loud, violent, with an evident villainous look, whereas, the pure soul is always selfless, quite, calm, giving, just and polite. These characteristics differentiated bad from good and worked in ingraining these concepts in our brains even deeper!


These stereotypes have been carried-forward by our Cine world in the form of villains and heroes. Telly world had their version of vamps and the ever-sacrificing leading ladies. Now, what is common in them is the categorization and portrayal. The ‘bad man’ is rich, dressed in outrageous clothes, has escorts, talks in a sleazy way and sleeps, breathes and eats wickedness! On the other hand, the protagonist is a happy-go-lucky, decent, selfless being with a high-moral value, who exudes nothing but sheer optimism and genuineness. Moreover, utterly vehement, violent, bloodthirsty and berserk are defining characteristics that are supposedly found in people living in slums or shanty towns and belonging to the uneducated, ruthless class. Another saddening typecast is that, extreme callousness and unimaginable acts of human viciousness can only be performed by patients in mental asylums or psychopaths! Well, aren’t these notions mere blanket coverings for our shattering beliefs?

Perpetrators Of Violent Crimes Have Changed

Crime never had any religion, caste, creed or sex and now, crime has no face too! Passé are the times when illicit activities were undertaken by professional criminals particularly belonging to the slum-dwelling class. Today indulging in crimes has become voguish and fashionable and is used by many as a way of boosting their unashamed egos! We live in a society where literally anyone can be a criminal or someone with criminal instincts. It can be your neighbour, your tuition teacher, social worker living next to your building, the doctor or engineer family you know, or may be YOU YOURSELF! Financial status, social class or education has got absolutely nothing to do with your thought process. No doubt there is a furious self in every one of us, which gets out in one way or the other every now and then, but how we tackle it and deal with it is important. Of late, multifarious gut-wrenching incidents of cold-blooded crime against domestic maids have shaken the nation and have hit hard at the bubble we live in!

The latest example is of BSP MP’s wife Jagriti, a doctor by profession, who tortured her domestic help Rakhi to death! In fact, other maids of the household have stated that she used to torture them ferociously. Likewise, a Delhi-based Air India Air hostess persecuted her 12-year old help. The girl revealed that the accused used to bash her up repeatedly and also banged her head in the wall in case she rested or fell asleep! In July 2013, an MBBS and his wife harassed and maltreated their maid. They allegedly burnt her with cigarette butts, beat her frequently, assaulted her and chopped her hair forcibly! The incidents are infinite, every case more horrifying than the other! Before the onset of such activities, crime was associated with the quintessential ruthless and illiterate criminal; however, these cases introduce us to the ground reality! It is easy to categorize or cast these educated, affluent beings as sociopaths or obsessive psychopaths and move on, but what is to be considered is the potential criminal in all of us. What is it that is turning knowledgeable, working class into brutal monsters and man-eaters (remember Nithari case)? The puerile fury in humans is present since birth and even comes out on various occasions. For instance, beating or bad-mouthing your children or siblings in a fit of rage, shouting on your maid, fighting with someone on road, impatience during long traffic jams, husband screaming at his wife and what not! Though all this seems to be normal and part of daily routine, don’t you think this is a reflection of our monstrous self? The very need to control has been leading people into taking adverse steps to maintain that feeling, even if it calls for inhumane behaviour or a viciously obsessive attitude! Men want control over women, women want to break free from the limitations, kids want to live their lives on their own terms and so; the unending circle results in rage, anger and aggressiveness.

My Tryst With The Evils Of Society

I have been no alien to these barbaric activities. Out of the two incidents I have experienced, I wish to narrate one which was extremely heartbreaking. There was this bickering neighbour of mine who was expecting a child and appointed a maid for doing household chores. For a few weeks things seemed fine, but I smelled trouble once I heard some painful voices from her house. Things continued like that for quite a few days until I intervened. But she brushed off things saying these are normal arguments and nothing else. Nevertheless, I became fishy and tried talking to the help. To my utter dismay, she had grown painfully weak and had marks all over her legs and arms. After comforting her, she narrated the agonizing plight of her and the excruciating pain she was bearing. That shameless woman used to beat her with hot pans, iron rods and her husband used to physically assault her! Moreover, they inserted pins in her body including her private parts! I was shattered and shocked listening to this! It pinched me that I was living in a society where well-off people get to the extremes of brutality! And the fact that I failed to read between the lines due to my ignorant attitude!

Matured Approach Is The Need

Well, looking this way, these wicked outbursts are due to emptiness, a need to control,  an arrogant upbringing and a violent instinct. The distinctive line between these two extremes needs to be addressed with maturity. It is essential that every kid is brought up with care and sensitivity and that we as a society are collectively working towards creating a healthy balance between the two poles of human behaviour!

Also See:
Honour Killing, An Obnoxious Face of Indian Society
Matriarchy: A Shallow Hypocrisy

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