Forgetting ourselves in Violence

‘Anger is temporary insanity’, is an age-old English saying.

If anger, as a reaction to circumstances in our lives can lead to a momentary spurt of madness, then it is nothing but dreadful to imagine where violence, an action, at its hilt can take us…
In the aftermath of the recent twin bomb blasts in the city of
Hyderabad, it is but natural to pose this question to a society, which harbors both; victims and terrorists, the angry and the angered, where is violence going to take us?

Who or what is ‘man’? Philosophically, he is nothing but a fusion of ideas and thoughts, mostly pre-determined by society. Take a fresh innocent young mind, an analogy to a clean slate, and play God. Throw in some random instances of fate, create his family environment and put him through a journey of ups and downs. Let him experience sadness, joy, anger, hatred, jealousy, understand relationships and values and the various experiences of being ‘Human’ for a minimum 18 years of Earthy time. ..And there you have it-a full grown Man, an adult Homo-Sapien! Possessing an intellect that has taken shape after the intense series of events in his life- his mind is an amalgam of his opinions, virtues, thoughts, emotions, his sense of balance, of judgment and innumerable worldly matters that characterize survival.

But throw into him a feeling of anger. And most expectedly, he will oppose it, making it grow into an incontrollable, obsessive centre of his existence.Gone are his years of his social conditioning, of morals, ethics, traditions, values and even, humanity. Replaced by such an abnormal amount of rage, that can only be termed as beastly; he will step out of his borders of sanity, only to satisfy that emotion…

In such a state, is it any wonder that a man can set his own mother on flames, or pound his daughter’s skulls against walls? Is it any wonder that he can lead innocent, unsuspecting people, praying in a masjid, watching a movie, enjoying a Laser show in a park, or even, hanging out a chat bhandaar, to death?A single act of such violence is enough to terrorize society. Schools shut down, workplaces close, theatres and other public joints appear deserted, political parties declare region-wise ‘bandhs’ and fear seizes each mind. And this fear, is again, met by anger and violence. It is a vicious cycle, which eventually leads nowhere…No, not even to death. Death leads to grief, to the ones related to the dead. Grief, once more, turns sore into anger…anger against those who brought about the death of a loved one and anger, towards the misery of one’s fate itself.

Where is all of this taking us? Is there an end? When will humans realize that opposing rage itself is an act of violence and in doing so, one is being an integral part of that vicious cycle?In this scenario of the status of our society, William Shakespeare’s words seem nothing short of utopic:

Oppose not rage, while rage

Is in it force, but

Give it way a while,

And let it waste

Neha Bhat