Are Indians too desentisized to change anything ?

Austere wrote (to the story of a person being tortured and killed because he refused to give a ‘gift’ for Mayawati’s birthday party) :
“The lack of my own reaction frightens me Too often repeated a story. Happens. Is desensitization a survival skill? I don’t know. But I don’t like it ”
Is Austere right ? I think she has a point. And if he is right, how do we overcome this inertia ? Or is India consigned to the same cess pool of politics for ever ?

23 thoughts on “Are Indians too desentisized to change anything ?

  1. Lets keep our faith in the Chakra.
    Mayawati will pay for this in the Lok Sabha elections.
    What and where would getting emotional get us?
    Ultimately wrongs have to be put right but haste and oversensitivity can sometimes tilt the ‘apple cart’ toomuch.

  2. Well said Prem, this is knowledge and action at their highest.
    The person who is aware of his desensitization is in fact privy to this knolwedge but only at a bit below conscious level.
    This desensitization should not be confused with the desensitization of the one who is not aware of it. And the chakra will make him sensitive to such happenings sooner or later.

  3. I think horrible news stories like these elicit but an almost silent gasp from the majority of urban Indians as it seems too far removed form our world..some back of beyond place in the interior of UP and the frquency with which news stories like these appear has insensitivised us to the sheer horror of the act.
    The only people who will sieze a story like this and play football in the confines of New Delhi & Mumbai TV studios will be politicians of all hues wanting to make political capital out of it. The the accused will say the same trite and cliched lines..’this is a political conspiracy to malign me and my party”
    At the end of it..nothing will be done.Have we not heard this script before.Banana Republic..did someone say.
    Lets look out for the next horror story.Will we never learn.??

  4. Whats happening in Kashmir? How sensitive are we to it? But as soon as Bombay heard gun shots for 3 days we all went numb. And we continue to bleed. Kashmir bleeds everyday but how badly does it impact us?

  5. I think we are being too simplistic in blaming Mayawati only..The fact that there were 2 more PWD engineers along with MLA…is enough indication to suspect that there could have been some problem in sharing bribe among the engineers and other 2 engineers paid MLA to take a revenge with this one…WE all must sympathize with the engineer but emotions can lead us to the facts….PWD department is one of the known most corrupt departments in India…and this crime might have deeper roots in the rotten system….

  6. Incontinuation of #2, I am reminded of what Baba Farid said in probably a similar situaiton:
    “Farida jo karan ge so bharan ge tum kion bhae udaas (Farid says those who will commit wrong will eventually pay for it why are you so despondent)?”
    Certainly Baba Farid was not insensitive. But knew of some higher law of what English philosopher Emerson probabaly called Law of Compensation.

  7. Hi Mr. Kapur
    I think part of this is correct that Indians have developed this desensitized state of mind, which some people may also try to explain ( under spiritual pretense) as a sense of detachment. Some blame it on Karma ( as an excuse) . And I am not just talking about Mayawati latest scoop but generally everything that we witness or have forced ourselves to get used to witnessing without uttering a word.
    We all behave like an ostrich. You ignore the problem and it isn’t there. Having said that I also believe that for most of the Indians and I talk about regular middle-class Indians here, it is not a question of desensitization but a sense of helplessness about not having enough clout, enough say, enough power or sometimes even enough obscenity to really take a stand against all that they witness. We just want to lead undisturbed, decent lives, don’t we?
    And then if you find yourself motivated and fearless enough to make a contribution towards some effective change, its the question ” where do I start” who do I associate myself with that stares you in the face. In several advanced societies such first steps towards public service are taken through social organizations and they can be quite effective in creating change. But in India do we have any with credibility? For eg: In the wake of Chinese earthquakes people donated money, time and efforts ceaselessly, knowing fully well that they would be chanelled correctly and for the cause those were meant for.
    However for Bihar floods, yes an actor or a well-known filmmaker could adopt villages and perhaps be able to do something ( or even if they didn’t, who is going to know about it after a year or so) since they have the requisite clout but would a regular person with noble intentions, no political connections/ affiliations be able to contribute. There are just no proper channels. I personally do not want to contribute to any politician’s personal coffers.
    I strongly feel that the elites of our country are guilty of being insensitive or looking the other way for personal gains. But regular middle-class educated people who may seem like they have grown immune to such incidents are actually not. They are seething within due to their feeling of sheer helplessness despite the facade. I have travelled and spoken to lot of people in past few months and this is what I could sense. ( I am talking here of people with a certain level of education and awareness of state affairs but not elitist)
    There are people of all ages who want to get into politics, who want to just make this country a better place but they do not know how, without getting themselves killed, or embroiled in the mess that this system is in.
    Till we find the answer to HOW, people will continue to wear the facade of being desensitized.
    Best Regards

  8. Corruption …
    Corruption at every level in a society …
    Corruption, can we all stand against it?
    Corruption, is 1st name for Nation! Why ?
    Corruption, is the root cause of all
    Corruption, has to go
    Corruption, is against Society
    Corruption, is a curse for a nation
    Corruption, we are all part of it
    Corruption, we all need to stop, evaluate yourself to stand against it.
    Even the poorest in India pay bribes to get their work done…
    Corruption is big in India, no 2 ways about that. Globally, India ranks at lowly 132, behind most of the developed and developing countries.
    The TII-CMS India Corruption Study “” shows that below poverty line households paid more than 883,00,00,000 (883 crore rupees) to avail basic services like Public Distribution systems, hospitals, school education, electricity and water supply.
    Where will corruption take India?
    Today, if one would say that any particular Indian is honest to the core, it could only be a case of exception rather than a rule.
    Corruption is not only prevalent amongst rich who are greedy in spite of possessing enough but also prevalent amongst poor.
    Now, what can be the future of the Indian society in such conditions? It can be only frustration, chaos, unrest and even bloodshed in the not too distant future. This kind of corruption in the national polity and public and private life cannot go on for ever, without disturbing the overall peace in the society. It is sad that those who are in charge of the nation today do not appear to realise this and still are merrily going ahead with their dealings unconcerned about the harm that it would inevitably do to the larger national cause.

  9. To be different, we would have to wipe away about 5000 years of Indian history. Truly has it been differnt in any other age in India? In different flavors, in different degrees in every era, we have been immutable in our determination to shrug off personal responsibility. We have the perfect crutch and the perfect excuse too. Our dependance and our eager belief in Karmic destiny. So much easier to pretend we could do nothing about it.
    That is the human condition… to take the easier route. And allowed by our governing moral beliefs too!

  10. It is not a matter of being desensitized as much as it is of an extremely dilapidated infrastructure. If this incident had happened in the US, the applicable FIRs would be processed in minutes, the family members and any witnesses would have been given complete protection, and the criminals involved would be packed off quickly.
    The entire governmental framework beginning with the Judicial and Law Enforcement has to be thoroughly reinvented. A good portion of the tax money needs to be channelled into these domains to drastically increase personnel and benefits. Everything has to be revamped. The civilians are helpless without an efficient system..what other option to do they have?
    All the communal labels and crap aside, the only politician in independent India who has had any success in doing something like this is Narendra just cannot deny the odds he has faced to do what he has in Gujarat. Imagine what he could do with a majority support.

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  12. I think there is a certain wisdom in remaining calm.
    When a person is victimized, he and his family go through hell. But we who are at present safe need to work out solutions for problems without becoming emotional wrecks.
    I do hope Indians draw upon their spiritual strength and not go the American way as a reaction to terrorism.

  13. I’m afraid we might have to get down and dirty and defeat the people in their own game. Media SHOULD blow this out of proportions… they should give this as much publicity as the Bombay blasts.
    I came to know about the recent Mumbai mishaps on cnnbrk tweets.. make it highly visible to the global community.. indifference is only overpowered by guilt. We need to be emotionally blackmailed to do anything.

  14. Sir,
    I sincerely believe we are in a state of denial.
    Every one is sensitive to change their bit at all times. And each one does do it whenever the opportunity will strike.
    Concern is the government machinery is not moving, has become insensitive.
    Every opportunity of change is an opportunity for asking favours (corruption is a desensitized word). If you can oblige you can even change Governments if you don’t you land in Gujarat from West Bengal.
    Even the judiciary !!
    I believe we all need lessons in the art of surviving in India.
    The spirit of Independent India is all washed away with the 1947- 2008 60 year old period.
    There’s no common agenda for the people to fight against injustice at any cost.(whistle Blowers).
    Pre-independence had a clear agenda and was achieved at the cost of partition.We paid then and we pay now terms have changed.
    How do a 120 crore population survive with limited resources?
    I understand we all have to go through this turmoil of frustration and stagnation for some time to come.
    Many of the pressures are because of our neighbour countries internal issues all around us.
    Political aspirations have made people hungry for power since few people believe politics is a solution to their problems.
    Vinod Agarwal – Living within means !!

  15. Hi. Let’s not kid ourselves. This country has gone to the dogs. We can be in a state of denial for however long we wish, but that’s the bitter truth. How can we overcome this inertia? We’ll have to step out of our homes and join forces with like-minded people, for starters. For no one person can change this rotten system alone.

  16. Dear SK,
    It is not desensitized but we as Indians are helpless.
    When we are children we often played ‘police and chore(thief)’ but the need was to play ‘ police chore and chore police’. Isn’t it true that for an Am Adami it is the last resort to take help from the police or lawyers. It is all chore and chore all the way.

  17. I think before we ask ourselves whether we can change the existing system we need to ask whether people really want change. Unless they do, it will not happen. Personally I get the feeling that most really enjoy talking about corruption, it gives us a feeling of moral superiority and sounding virtuous, but the truth is we are happy with corruption. Why and how did Delhi become a city where illegal and unauthorised construction is the rule not the exception. Do you think these people would have been happier living in an honest environment? I think they are happier exactly as they are. Public outcry is good grandstanding.
    Regards and a better and more cheerful 2009 to all

  18. some one said about chakra something..
    Our country is like this bcoz we believ in chakra and faith etc.
    what chakra/faith will do??
    will Mayavathi pay for this?
    If she pays or apologize
    will the person back again??
    n Navin This country has gone to the dogs, becoz we gave it to dogs.

  19. finding and working on a solution would be a better idea than brooding over something thats happened,dont you think?Chakra is not exclusive of Karma but encompasses it.
    While we all loved him, would Heath be back?

  20. Respected Sir,
    Jai Hind .
    We are fighting against injustice and corruption , we are proud of you objects and activities . We provide legal aid to poor and needy .

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