Society – A ghost image ?
Meaning and understanding of the word “ Society” differ from place to place, people to people, country to country, religion to religion and above all it depends on economy and social position of the person and people involved.
In a broader way- Asia can be single out for this expression where family name and fame is considered very seriously. This is utmost important trait of society that Japanese used to do HARAKIRI [ Self cutting of throat or belly ] when it comes to honor. Rajput worriers and their ladies do this as self-immolation in Rajasthan in India. In Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Burma …all these countries have one thing in common- sensitivity towards ‘Society” .
Their life revolves around it- they are part of it and they adore, fear and live their whole life according to it. What is society ? A invisible aura, a circle of rules and watchdogs ?
Or it is some sort of support system to live within defined lines ? I think- it used to be both. Perhaps society becomes important in early days of settlements in these regions and volatile and violent past of us has taught us how to keep tight in your clan.
I see no other similarity except violence and gory past which created ground for invisible aura, this circle of rules and well defined lines. Even today, in a country like INDIA- falling in love with girl of same village is such a big offence that many young people were killed by their own parents. This was such a shocking news- that it makes me shiver. What type of that father would be – who butchered his son because he falls in love !
What type of societies are these- where one is punished for being in love. And this exists in India of today when technological advances are considered as world’s best. Honor killings- are so much popular in North Indian states that LOVE is almost forbidden. But what is scene in cities and metros ?
if we go deep into this- we will find that in big cities, having a boy friend is acceptable now. Thanks to TV soaps beaming in our drawing rooms and bed rooms- common exclamation in middle standard home is ,” Let us know ! if you happen to like any boy.” This line is commonly heard being referred to a young girl going to college. I see this failure of society as in this case- its more helplessness of parents rather than their guidance to the girl to choose someone with her own choice !
What happens in metro cities- there outing with friends from opposite sex is normal. You can even bring them / him home and they know you are dating. The word dating is most acceptable in metro cities as compared to other areas of life. But again- it differs from economy zones we have. Dating word is not for poor and lower middle class. Dating is for elite- educated and Upper Middle Class who is standing at juncture of modernism and values being carried on by old generation.
This word is not used and practiced in villages and small town- there it is adultery. There it is forbidden fruit and is seen as biggest sin and low moral.
Thus society – its color, behavior, importance and roles differs from place to place, region to region and above all it varies within different economic zones. Most important factor is – what is role of society ? What it does for its subjects ? We see, mostly it is a source of fear in small places, in small towns- people are afraid of this line ,” What would people say ?” Much of their lives are spent in fear and concern over this line. And yes- people do say. They gossip , they tease, they make fun for some days and then life moves on. Amount of fun, gossip and teasing depends on size of city/area, economic zone and above all positioning of the people involved in it. If a girl has been caught by police in some park- sitting with a boy..and girl belong to rickshaw wala- she is cheap and low moral girl and next day she will be mentioned in papers as call girl/ sex worker or low moral girl. But if same girl happens to be a daughter of a businessman – then she is not even asked- or she will not to be asked at all. Thus economic zone does matter a lot.
Society doesn’t stand by in tough times- it doesn’t stand by you when you broke, when you are in pain and if this exist and work like cloud, ready to taunt and make fun of…then what is it’s role in modern times. What I have experienced is that in metros of India – where no one knows who you are, where you work – definition and role of society has changed as compared to few miles away, in a dimly lit village. Where, falling in love with same clan , or higher clan may result in barbaric results for parties at receiving end. I also see this as failure of religion, dogmas and all gurus and house of religions, as they fail to steer mankind in a positive direction. With Vatican coming slowly slowly out from cocoon and allowing people of same sex to marry and be happy – I am sure we in Asia has long way to go. I don’t see light as petty politics also exploits situations and escalate such mentality and way of thinking because all they care is votes. Had this been not true KHAP PAMCHAYATS in Northen India wouldn’t be that strong and powerful that they order and execute killings of young couples.