DailyPost 2355

There were a variety of things we were taught would bring shame to you, your family, society, your organization, your nation and so on and so forth. We had seen it happening all around us. It can be termed as social deterrence and has any of its subtle variations operating in our lives, societal and public life as well. People went to any extend not to commit such acts, if under some circumstances they committed such acts, they would try their level best to keep it as secretive as they could. In one of those God forsaken scenarios of getting caught, at least at the private level they would accept it, and swear not to repeat again.

The same principle applied to the powers that be, they would have never liked to be known for misusing power, playing favoritism or running an agenda contrary to that of the organization. Not being able to give sufficient time to the mandated job description and delaying things with a purpose, were some of the acts of commission and omission which would bring shame to the incumbent. Nobody wanted to either on the wrong side of the law visibly or seen challenging it. Public behavior at the very least was measured and calibrated.

Anything negative appearing in the media was a matter of shame and best efforts were made to wriggle out of it, as smoothly as one could. Not those wrong things did not happen but it was tried to kept under cover. The difference now is that it is being flaunted. Leaving the laws aside, the societal, political and economic life seems to have seen a sea change in the last decade or more. You can remember dozens of such incidents / interaction in the recent past, which did bring an iota of shame. Our society is slowly yet consistently is moving in the direction of anti-shame. Shame as a tool of societal coherence seems to have broken down. We can start with the language of public discourse in the country both as an example and its manifestation.

If the tone and tenor of the TV debates doesn’t bring shame to the participants the less said the better. Crazily, the anchors have also become a part of the same game. They also represent the organizations they come from and hence a wide section of society at reasonably higher and influential levels. Shame for being corrupt and even caught seems to have become a thing of the past. Bail in such cases are a cause for celebration of success. Political parties battle on corruption cases as if its semiconductor or artificial intelligence strategy of the nation being discussed. Numbness seen is very serious cases like rape is chilling. It is the epitome of anti-shame. If the shield of shame is done away with, rest of the law the accused can tackle, either with success or failure. This would make a monumental difference to society; it would lose its wellness. Intellectuals and professionals aligning to hidden agendas are no more a matter of shame.

Sanjay Sahay

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