The hazards of living in a self-centred society

The hazards of living in a self-centred society

Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-08-15 16:04 In recent times, we have read about stories of gory and heinous crimes in public places where people present at the scene of crime remained mute witnesses instead of acting. Tales are same; just the names of cities differ.   We have read how passers-by were merely recording the scene of a road accident, where the victim was lying in a pool of blood, rather than calling for an ambulance and alerting the police.   In Bengaluru, when young Harish’s body was split in half in an accident, citizens were busy recording it for posterity on their cellphones. When wildlife activist Sanjay Gubbi was fighting a leopard at a school in Bengaluru, none went to his rescue but were filming the entire incident. It took six months for Gubbi to recover from the injuries caused to him by the leopard. He is on record saying how anguished he was to see that no one even showed any concern towards him while he was fighting with the animal bare handed. Neither the security personnel nor the management staff of the school did precious anything. There are such countless incidents in modern India where public apathy, indifferent attitude to others’ miseries can be seen.   The murder of young engineer Swati in broad daylight on a railway platform in Chennai is another glaring example. The incident is a blot on so-called educated, well-informed and well-heeled citizens.   No one present at the site of crime did take any action to thwart the gory crime from happening right in front of their eyes. No one even made an attempt to scare the culprit when there was an argument. Someone or anyone could have at least thrown some object may be a shoe, chappal, or whatever was available at the man who was threatening Swati to scare him. But none did.   The question is: why no one intervened to avert such a tragedy or try to stop the killer from running away after the murder? Are we scared of the consequences of facing our unfriendly police or the innumerable trips to the police stations, or the unending appearances in courts?   It is high time we introspected on our attitudes towards our fellow citizens. The incidents highlighted above only go to show how insensitive we have grown over the years.   When I am in trouble I expect others around me to come to my aid. But when others are in danger, do I go out of my way to help them? No. Because my thought process is: it will not happen to me. This dangerous mindset must change.   Change is always within, so it is time to change our mindset instead of expecting others to change around me. The mantra should be: “I will change my mindset”. Instead of “I Me Myself My family”, let’s start thinking about our old Upanishad saying “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” - meaning that the entire world is my family.   Let’s be inclusive rather than be exclusive. Each one of us should develop concern for others in our daily life. Hopefully, such a change will encourage bonhomie and brotherhood around us. Author: Born on 3 Dec 1954 at Sringeri in Chikmagalur District, Karnataka Wg Cdr GB Athri (Retd) joined the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer in 1976. He served the IAF with distinction, for over 25 years at various stations, all over India including the border posts.