Don’t we have an identity of our own?
The first lesson of social science taught almost everywhere, reads ‘man is a social animal’. It implies that humankind lives in a societal structure within a complex organization of very close and distant relations. The distinct social fabric of mankind distinguishes and puts it above all animal beings. That is presumably what we human beings narcissistically think of ourselves. Maybe other living beings possibly will have a different opinion about us! Well, possibilities apart, relations are vital in our social system and help in creating dedicated bonds within our society and we should respect it to maintain our ‘social animal’ status, but strictly avoiding any exploitation of this sacred bond fused through our biological indulgence.
Some time back many of us agitated and represented with the authorities regarding out of turn elevation and placement of an ineligible aspirant against a post. The kind establishment reluctantly acknowledged our objections but was unable to rectify the fault. They had a very interesting explanation— claiming that the aspirant is a cousin of one of the Ministers. I and most of my colleagues again protested against such out of place and vague justification. But the strength of our protest got dismantled against the huge tide of sycophancy and nepotism. This ‘Minister’s cousin’ incident was vivaciously buzzing inside my mind till I experienced another episode of same nature and magnitude. A gentleman looking fellow along with his small entourage rushed into a public establishment and asked for favors meant exclusively for the underprivileged. He pressed hard for his demand even creating a scene. While his demand was turned down with a humble request to opt for routine quota against a reasonable payment plan, his reluctance to heed to saner voices embraced everyone around. In the meantime, a fellow within his entourage haughtily made a declaration about gentleman’s privileged relationship. Interestingly, he too claimed to be the cousin of some Minister compelling poor authorities to accommodate him beyond set rules without ascertaining the authenticity of his claim and bothering least for any consequences of violation of norms. In both, the sequences simple mention of a Minister and a relation changed the whole course of administering service and justice. So terrified is our system that we are unable to resist such situation of abuse at all levels.
Now the other side of compulsive relationships. Very often materialistic urge emboldens people to boast about privileged relation—genuine or make-believe, that hardly matters. A few days back I inquired about someone from one of my acquaintances. Instead of giving the personal introduction the poor fellow got introduced as a cousin of some so and so minister. A pathetic distortion of personal identity! So in a bid to have a much glamorous identity and a greater social standing people stoop not only low but even bury their own individuality, it is ludicrous! Unfortunately, people at occasions do that even at the cost of their own graceful identity. Many people indulge in such fantastical relation to impress or bully others. A few days back I patiently heard a young man unfolding his grave and the painful personal problem of marital discord. Whatever the facts? But his agonizing story of pressure pained me a lot, and more painful was how his tormentors (opponents to be precise) had put on a shameful hide of an advantaged relation just to scare him more severely. This time again the perpetrator of pain claimed to be the worthy cousin of not only one but two Ministers simultaneously.
Personally speaking, this relation drama more than worrying amuses me a lot. In day to day life, common people very often face such incidents of harassment and undesirable influence. How long these unscrupulous people will abuse their proximity to mighty and powerful and will influence and coerce common people into exploitation? Apparently these insignificant incidents won’t create ripples in day to day arduous life of common man, but definitely, these episodes create a question mark on working of our social system and dent the credibility of public functionaries. People in public life enjoying enormous power in order to retain and manage their unblemished image should take note of devious people hanging around them with vested interests and also check the deeds of unprincipled distant relatives who most often not only malign their image but demeans the sacred connection of kinship.