Burning sensation?

October 18, 2006

When a city has millions of vehicles and impatient drivers, accidents do happen. It is unfortunate that some people get killed and some injured. But what has become common and regrettable are the unruly mobs in our city. An accident happens, vehicles are burnt. A popular personality dies, vehicles are burnt. Bundh in the city, burn buses. While normal people light a lamp before starting anything auspicious, these irate mobs torch a vehicle (usually a bus) before beginning their activity.

Why do these people fail to think before acting in a fit of rage? Is there any benefit out of torching vehicles? This behaviour is really maddening. Are they angry with someone for the death of a star? Are they angry with the government for something? Or are they angry with God? Or is it that they don’t realize that death is the only thing in life that is certain?

If Tuesday’s turn of events and the eventual violence on Airport road are any indication, it seems that Bangalore, known as a placid pensioner’s paradise, is gradually becoming home to mindless monsters who operate in mobs. One is loathe to believe that the mild, peace-loving Bangalorean is turning into an intolerant being who has no qualms about vandalising public property for which he pays hefty taxes. Traffic rules are the same for every citizen of this country. The BMTC driver is no exemption. It is an open secret that some of the BMTC drivers are laws unto themselves. With them, rash driving is the rule, rather than an exception. It is high time that the BMTC took steps to inculcate a sense of discipline in its staff – after all they are in the business of public service. On hindsight, it is worth giving some thought to the fact that the situation could have been defused by some tactful handling.

As things went, some disgruntled elements found a way of venting their frustrations by regrouping themselves as a mob. And rather than support the law and the act of law enforcement, they went about destroying public property. There was mindless violence where the boundaries of rationality began to blur. This sort of behaviour deserves to be strongly condemned. While all this was happening, the driver sped away escaping the mob fury.

In the tense, stressful world we live in, mob fury is one of the major problems society has to contend with. Harmless individuals, when part of a mob, become dangerous elements. It is high time that law enforcers had the wherewithal to avert such situations rather than themselves becoming easy targets of mob fury.

7 Responses to “Burning sensation?”

  1. Sanjay M Says:

    This reaction of people really made me sadly wonder… do they not have any feelings for their dead and injured at all? Do they not care about getting them hospitalised at the earliest? Why does burning the bus (and blocking/disrupting medical services) and teaching somebody (whom???) a lesson become more important than the victims who’re terribly suffering in their unfortunate circumstances?

    Mob fury has sparked in Bangalore even for the most incredibly simple reasons earlier.

  2. shark Says:

    People get a sense of security in a mob. Like they are confident you can never “catch” who did anything first!

    I seriously don’t know how to handle such a situation. Education is not the solution. Because I don;t think HAL employees are uneducated!

    But tell me something, at what fault is the bus driver for a break failure/loosing control? Accidents happen. Though it’s unfortunate that 2 people were killed… but will burning a bus bring them back?

  3. rk Says:

    sanju,
    mob psychology is a theoretical approach attempting to explain collective behavior solely on the basis of the psychological states of people who participate. mob psychology is similar to terms such as: crowd psychology and group mentality. It is portrayed in many works of literature, including William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

    mob psychology shows that individuals tend to behave in a different manner as part of a group in contrast to acting independently. members of a group are prone to acting in ways that they would deem immoral or unjust if in control of their behavior. this is not due to change in one’s belief or principle, but rather the fact that individuals tend to ignore or avoid one’s conscience or rational judgement. it can be said that individuals in a group defer their goals and take upon the identity of the group. therefore, members of a group are likely to commit acts they would never commit alone. being in a group allows individuals to defer blame, responsibility, accountability, and/or judgement upon the group.

    thanks for the link. remember reading it last year. loved the last sentence:And in my case, certainly as Robert Frost would’ve said I have miles to go before I sleep, but dosen’t matter – I’m enjoying the walk

    shark,
    you have told exactly is what is taught to psychology students in a ‘mob behaviour’ class. i have read in a few psychology books that groups encourage a sense of anonymity among its members, and it is this anonymity that results in “mob psychology” and other anti-social behaviors.

    when people think they are anonymous, they will behave in anti-social ways because they do not believe they can be singled out among the crowd and be evaluated. increased anonymity, diffusion of responsibility, and the increased energy that results from the existence of a group lead to a weakened self-consciousness, and encourage individuals to behave in ways that would not belong in normal social environments.

    so, one must never underestimate the power of the situation. one might be surprised what one would do under certain circumstances.

    i read in today’s papers that there was no brake failure in the bus. it seems the driver was overspeeding and was in the wrong lane (right most corner) and trying to avoid the auto and the 2-wheeler, he crashed into the 2 vehicles, a tree and then went on to plough into the people standing at the bus shelter.


  4. Deepavali habbada hardika shubashayagalu.

  5. ramapriyan Says:

    hi RK.
    you’re an excellent writer.
    just discovered your blog.
    It Rocks!

  6. rk Says:

    kishor,
    wish you the same.

    ramapriyan,
    welcome to my blog. thanks for your appreciative words. keep visiting often.
    happy deepavali.

  7. HelloWorld Says:

    Peace people

    We love you


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