Today again I am submitted my views based on an #IndiSpire prompt. The question is whether the role of masses is only of becoming good and obedient followers. In Indian culture and philosophy, let me refer to The Bhagvad Gita, where Lord Krishna tells in his message to Arjuna-
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्
The Lord says that whenever the evil powers would become strong and not allow nice people to live in peace, then I would come on earth to eradicate the evil forces.
This is an assurance in a sense, that God helps good people in some form or the other, but normally people start thinking that it is the duty of God almighty to remove their troubles and they don’t have to do anything except praying before God.
Today we are the largest democracy in the world, with equal voting rights for every adult citizen, irrespective of his or her education, caste, colour, financial status etc. It is a great virtue in a way but it is also there that many people follow some powerful person in their area. I remember what Mr. Morarji Desai the very effective Prime Minister of our country, said in a public meeting at Ramlila ground, Delhi long ago. Let me tell that it was Mr. Morarji Desai performed very well and also Mr, Narsimha Rao took big initiatives to remove licence Raj and improve our financial condition, with Mr. Manmohan Singh as his finance minister. It was really the courage of Mr. Narsimha Rao in approving these bold decisions. But they were never given due importance since they didn’t belong to a particular family.
So what Mr. Desai said in that public meeting was that he went to a village in Gujrat, for asking the people to vote for him. He first met the village Pradhan. The village Pradhan told him Mr. Desai now that you have met me, please rest assured that all the village people would vote for you. On this Mr. Desai said that all the people would take their own considered decision for their own vote. The Pradhan said if you wish you can meet people, but I am telling you that they all follow, what I tell them to do.
We have a popular saying in Hindi-
महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः।
Which have a deeper meaning but for common people it means that the way on which the rich and powerful people move, the way they behave, becomes the example to be followed by other people.
Recently during Lock down we saw that thousands of migrant laborers moved from their places of work, where they had been working since long, to their native places. There is a humanitarian angle in that to some extent, but many of the people just followed the trend. They also said that they don’t need anything but want to go back to their homes. Many of them made excessive payments to bus operators etc. for returning home. Many others moved long distances on foot.
It is a general trend in our country, when we hear that some commodity is in shortage, we all store it more and more so that we may not have to face much problem, let other face if they have to.
The bad elements take benefit of this attitude of common people. Another example from Lock down period only is of the big gatherings that happened at some Mumbai stations and some places in Gujrat and other states. Behind these happenings were the rumours spread be some notorious people that train tickets are being booked or some relief money is being distributed.
It is very clear that crowds don’t have brains, they can be taken in any direction by wiser and shrewd people. And this is not the development of today. In India I can say that it has always been happening. Mostly bad people take benefit of this.
This is my humble submission on the #IndiSpire prompt – Why is “herd mentality” phenomena so rampant in India? So many just blindly follow what others would be doing! Or they mindlessly do what others tell them to, without questioning it. Is it “Bandwagon Effect”? Has rationality died? #HerdMentality
Thanks for reading.