Friday, April 08, 2011

Herd Mentality

World Cup fever is slowly dying down, and IPL is here! Cricket is an addiction! At least for me! I have been a fan since I remember understanding TV and programmes. If you live in an Indian family where two out of three members are crazy about the game, you are bound to watch is as you don't have any other choice. This is a common scenario in almost all the households. It gives extreme results - either you fall in love with the game or you hate it! I obviously belong to the former category.

WC was fun with many ups and downs and finally India emerging as World Champions. But it kind of lasted for two days as the whole country's focus shifted to Anna Hazare's indefinite hunger strike for passing a bill against corruption. I will not go into details as thanks to immense Media attention, everyone knows that it has something to do with corruption. Since quite a few of you are not well verse with the legal language, you may not know the exact content of the bill, but yes, since the herd is going in protest direction, you might as well join it. And no, please don't ask me what the bill is all about. I am a dumass lawyer!

But the thing that has surprised me is the number of people following someone blindly without knowing the facts! That person being right or wrong is a secondary thing, but is it right to follow someone like that? No comments as I have already received various reactions for my questions from many people!

Before even joining this movement, we should ask ourselves first - what are we doing to stop the corruption? When we get caught by the traffic cop for talking on mobile phone while driving or breaking a signal, do we pay the official fine of 2000 Rs. or we simply pay 100 Rs. bribe and get away? How many times have we gone to a Government office and got our work done without paying any money to the peon or clerk? Why do we pay 50 Rs. to the postman who delivers us our passport? Isn't that his job?

Yes Yes, I know these are all boring pointers at which you will make a face and move on. I mean come on, why will you pay 1900 extra if you can get away by paying 5%?

Now comes the hero of the nation - the modern Mahatma Gandhi - who postponed his fast by a week as the world cup was going on. Do I have to tell you why? Actors and actresses are going to Jantar Mantar where he is fasting. They get their pics clicked there and post them on social networking sites. WOW!

If you support the protest, you are nice; if you don't support it, it means you solicit corruption! Which world are we living in? Since birth, we see that everyone is getting one's work done by paying bribe. Starting from school donation, to a paid seat, to government job, to get death certificate quickly! Everywhere it happens. We turn blind towards it. And we join a moment that will punish those who commit crimes worth thousands crores rupees. Ain't we taking a big risk here? So what if the committee too becomes corrupt? I hope that doesn't happen now!

My point is pretty simple - stop taking and giving bribe! Start it from now, from today! Stop encouraging your child by telling him that if he does the homework, you will give him a chocolate. Stop paying Mamu 100 Rs. Either don't break the rules, or if you do, then don't break the laws! Cut the corruption from grass root level. Be conscious of your actions first. Today the bill is favourable to us to a certain extent. Tomorrow people may start blackmailing the Government by going on such strikes to get unfavourable things passed! Wake up and act! Don't follow the herd blindly! Only an ass does that!


  1. I missed your strong voice. Especially when championing a just cause. I like how you think, simple, straight and no-nonsense.
    As for corruption and bribes, as you correctly say, like every other, this movement too, starts at home.

  2. I know bribing is corruption in its very basic form, but don't you think we need tough laws to punish those who violate them and there by act as a deterrent to potentially corrupt people? I don't mean everybody should join Hazare blindly,but we do need a multi pronged approach to this menace. Stopping bribes is just one way. What Hazare is doing is one more. We need to find more ways.

  3. Super! Super! Super!

    You are absolutely right. I am in complete agreement with you. Except one line. You are a dumb a$$ lawyer? From past experience, I can tell you that if I am in trouble I want you by my side.

  4. I second your thoughts- if you want to make a change, first be the change.
    Hey by the way, I've a trivia for you in Punjab and Haryana High Courts- Bar association has banned the use of words "My Lord" and "My Lordship" while referring to judges instead say-"Your Honor" :) :)

  5. its not easy to stop all tat u see... it jus has become a part of our lives... ppl jus dont want to run into they look for an easier way.. i mean..tats wat i feel...

    as u said, i hav given the traffic police rs 100 cuz i dint wear a helmet.. if i can solve the problem by givin 100, y shud i pay 2000 n go behind a bigger problem? i kno its not fair.. even if i m writin a blog, i wil say pls stop doin all this.. but no one will ever stop...

    we cant live in this world without it... it has jus become a part of our lives... :)

    PS: with ref to ur PS, i dont think there is somethin in this blog which wil attract abuses.. :D

  6. As someone has said "Be the change you want to see"!!! I believe in preach after you pratice!! There was a time when I used to write many posts on what's wrong with teh country, why are politicians doing this et al but I hav slowed down on that because I have realised that poiting fingers is teh easiest thing but to bring a change you need to put in ur bit & we as citizens hardly do that!

  7. bang on target.... agreed points noted...

  8. The herds never go in an utopian way . . . They always go in the most comfort And convenient way . . . Whats happening right now is just tip of the iceberg and the possible positive result will be also a tip of iceberg . . .60 years ago the same herd which blindly followed another old man hardly knew what India was . . . Yet it was herd . . . Herd has got synonyms like common man citizen cattle class etc . . . But we do live with herds . . . . Its well known that herds constitute 80 % and are ruled by remaining 20 % intellect or genius class . . . Its sociology . . . We have herd mentality right from having blind patriotism to mad cricket . . . Herd mentality is an outcome of social engineering. . . . The common reason for both rampant corruption and support for anti corruption is simply herd mentality . .

  9. I want to repeat my fb statement . . .
    60 Years back one old man done i mistake of giving freedom to an undeserved nation and now one more old man is repeating the same mistake to free the same nation from corruption . . . Both of these old men definitely know what herd mentality is .

  10. Every Indian is ready to end corruption . . . . All you have to do is just bribe him :)

  11. Well honestly speaking even I don't know the real content of the Lokpal bill except for the points given in newspaper and I also agree that one need not follow the herd and should try consciously to be clean...but looking at the pathetic state of affairs, any kind of revolt to jolt the govt is good according to me. Maybe as some say this kind of revolt may not work, but atleast it would be good to give such frequent shocks to the govt so that they will stop taking things for granted.

  12. That was a good sermon.

    First,I dont like cricket,but I hate it because I think it is a corrupt establishment,like anything else in India,and not a game.
    You made it sound very simple.Dont give or take bribes,from today! But who are you talking to? You should talk to those who take the bulk of national treasury in to their pockets.If it was 14 paisa that would reach the common man during the times of Rajiv,now it is only 6 paisa!
    Nothing will be achieved without a combined effort.The youth of India is the future.But unfortunately,they are all sedated by cricket,and have no time to respond to the problems of the nation. I was happy to note that Baba's movement has gained momentum as more and more young people are joining.Your sarcasm at this lone selfless person is really despicable.At least,that is my feeling.

  13. @ Dr. Anthony,

    everything in and around our lives has some part of corruption involved - be it education, judicial system, health care units - every damn thing..we still use them right? why blame only cricket then?

    I made it sound simple because it IS simple! corruption is all about making is made because we pay it! let's stop PAYING first..then see the difference..everyone has to do that it is as simple as that! stopping is simple, implementing - well that's upto us..

    youth of India is the future - does it mean experienced people don't play any role? wh do we always shift the responsibility from one shoulder to another? youth is sedated by cricket? well well, that's a strong statement..

    I know what I have written and what I feel..if you don't want to do anything to stop the corruption except for supporting someone, posting status updates, joining groups etc., then I am fine not being a part of that! I do my bit and feel happy and satisfied about sarcasm will neither make him any inferior nor superior than what he already is..hate me for saying it, but a man who postpones his fast because of the world cup does not get any respect from me..all he needs is media limelight! you not accepting the fact does not change it!

    with this, I rest my case!!

  14. True. The current fight against corruption has indeed gathered mass both from people who understand it and those who follow those who understand it...

    mr.Anna has indeed started something which has united the whole of India against a common cause... Irrespective of the true intent behind the movement, the good thing is that the current movement has shown is that a person can make a Govt listen to his voice and he can be taken seriously by the Govt too...

    As for your disappointment with the lead striker, Mr.Anna delaying his strike after WC, i would see it as a wise strategical move rather than something with a hidden motive. The movement wouldnt have achieved the current momentum without the media attention and hence, it's common sense to wait till the hoopla gets over and then you get the media attention. Let's face it. Any damn thing can be made prioritized by the Media, (even things like the child artist in the Slumdog Millionaire home condition can become a national news). At-least the Media has given lime light to something which demands national attention. Still, you are privileged to your views, few privileges of living in a democratic country ;)

    i dont agree with the statement "If you support the protest, you are nice; if you don't support it, it means you solicit corruption! ". that would be hypocrisy indeed from any person who says that...

    Finally, i do agree with your viewpoint tat the real solution to corruption has to start from individuals, rather than attending meetings and making lofty statements... And definitely, one has to understand what's one supporting rather than being one among the herd !!!

  15. I agree with you. End corruption - start with YOU. Just forwarding sms, having status and all that not going to work.

    I just have a question. So many celebrities are participating by being with Anna Hazare in person. How was their commute? Did they struggle just like common man in the traffic?

    I doubt it!

  16. we need to stop giving corruption.
    but when cause is good we need to support that cause also.


    I wrote out a comment on Vivek's blog where Mr.Praveen Patkar had guest blogged, on the same subject !

    Please do find it here

  18. I agree with you about herd mentality but I also feel we should support a worthy cause. Without the efforts of Anna Hazare and Kejriwal we would not have had RTI passed either.
    I feel film stars lending support for a good cause is also fine, and if both the parties benefit from this - that's fine too.

    I was only concerned when RSS, Sangh Parivar etc started to claim to support Anna Hazare, who has clearly said he does not support communalism. Now it seems his words in praise of Modi's and Nitish's development work are also going to be quoted during elections.

  19. How could you equate giving chocolate to the little kid with a loot of Rs 1.76 lakh crores?
    How could one equate CWG Rs 60000 crores to a chocolate ?
    Incentive of a chocolate is different than a loot/ Robbery

  20. helloo...arre hai kute tumi yaar? bhool gaya kya hum log ko? tc..

  21. Hey Neha, very dhamaakedar post haan.

    Seriously, I did not participate in the protests coz I knew I'm doing nothing much about it myself.

    I know many people who had there FB walls complete with Anna Hazare links and not everyone really knew what lokpal is all about... I must confess I didn't know either until TOI published that entire article describing the terms. And even if it works out, will corruption stop entirely in the country... well I have my doubts... we all can just hope and do our bit but deep within we all know where it is going.

  22. I stumbled upon this blog randomly. And this post compels me to comment.
    I do not agree with few point raised in the post.
    One of them being - giving child chocolate. That is incentive. It is given as a reward for doing his work. That is like giving prize to any sports person for their achievement. Bribe on the other hand is completely different. There you pay to have done your work.

    Agreed with starting at home.

    Disagree with not supporting protest. You want a lawful action to be taken when the money you give to someone in trust is misused. That is what is happening. The money is not some politician's to fill their pocket but for the general welfare of the country. Taxpayer's money. It is same like giving to NGO and later getting to know that all money went to NGO Director's bank.
    No comments on Anna saheb's movement.
    Cheers :)

  23. I agree with you to eradicate the corruption people need to change because everything starts from small bribe is bribe be it 100 Rs or in Cr, you are right about herd mentality...supporting a social cause is a good effort but not without knowing the facts, reasons...even celebrities support these causes without being aware of have penned your views perfectly

  24. 'stop encouraging ur child by telling him that if he does the home work, he will be given a chocolate' - loved that!