Dr. Sanjay Oak, retd. Dean, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, in his report to Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the Aruna Shanbaug euthanasia case, said that the capability of the society to take care of the needy & disabled is the mirror of it’s maturity. Prophetic indeed! Our communities have always prided in being there for you in times of need, a bonding unheard of in the west. The individual societal interface was a symbiotic relationship. The communities provided the training ground for the new members to be groom them as per the norms & requirements. Undoubtedly, it was a win win situation.
With the changing times, nuclear families became the order of the day & the thought process became totally inward looking. The societal conscience went missing.’This had remained the binding factor. The community of the yesteryears dissipated into thin air & new social structures did not come into existence. Individuals & families lost the community connect. Communities did exist in some form or the other, but lost its worth can be termed as unworthy community.
Loss of community conscience meant that norms got diluted. Deviant behaviour started becoming the order of the day& social condemnation went missing. The elders first lost control &’with the passage of time became indifferent. Next stage they became deviant themselves. Even criminal behaviour got accepted as long they didn’t get caught. There are lots of instances when such behaviour was supported by communities. Corruption became a societal norm; manifestation all pervasive. Even in grave crimes money changed hands. It led to criminalisation of our psyche, acceptable as long it did not affect you directly.
The reality of indifference to victims emanate out of this mindset. Besides, the community, the criminal justice system also lost its heart. Service became invisible. Recent events have shown that community conscience still gets ignited in grave times. We have get back our old communities for whatever it takes, for our existential survival.
AN UNWORTHY COMMUNITY CANNOT HAVE WORTHY INDIVIDUALS.