(A few months back (!) IHM tagged me to write on Cruelty. Blame it to the stupid projects or the stupid ways I am doing them, I have not been able to blog these days. I hope to be regular from now on.)
Some questions come when I think about ‘Cruelty’.
Is cruelty about causing pain and distress, heartlessly, deliberately? How is that measured? Is it based on the inhumanity of assaulter or the suffering of the victim or the perception an observer will carry?
I have some observations:
- My elder cousin used to bully me for chocolates, front seat, toys and for almost everything we were asked to share during childhood days. My cousin never realized that and at very few times anyone observed that. It was a cruelty and I was the victim.
- Once I threw stones on the frogs in our kitchen garden during rainy season. I did not realize what I am doing, my mom saw it late. By that time I had killed one. It was again a cruelty and the frog was the victim.
- On the first day in college, I was asked to go and get the size of b** of the girls in my section. I was slapped by some of the girls. And then I was slapped by my seniors too for missing entries. It was cruelty that my principal did not see; I almost cried while my seniors (including senior girls) laughed.
- My first girl friend left me because she had found a richer guy to marry. She had to do that; no one observed that. It was cruelty that I could not bear and I cried.
I think all of us are Cruel by instinct though some of us can be a little less cruel than others. Perhaps we are animals; at least some kind of. But we have to live with that.
We have also seen the Cruelty of nature. Again we have to live with that.
The complications are when we look at Cruelty for a reason (acceptable or otherwise).
- Consider a victim of cruelty. Consider I act back against my cousin, my girl friend etc. I found one of my friends ragging the freshers because he was ragged in his first year. But all this is still a cruelty. At least to an observer who is unaware of the past. Actually an observer can never know the complete details. His viewpoint will remain skewed towards what and how he has been informed.
- I called the Pest Control guys and ensured all cockroaches, rats and mosquitoes get killed. The rat poison chokes the air supply to rat’s heart. It comes out in air to breath and dies in open due to breathing failure. Perhaps I will never do that again; perhaps I will do that again, when rats re-start cutting the electrical wires of my car and appliances. I don’t know.
- I have seen cruelty inflicted on a daughter-in-law when required dowry could not be given. I have also seen the cruelty inflicted on a mother-in-law who was forced out of his son’s house.
- Non-acceptable reasons for cruelty are something we must watch out and react against. To increase vote bank, some politicians in my country create distances between two religion, communities and people. The most powerful country in the world creates imbalance between countries to sell arms and to gain regional controls.
- I felt so angry when a shameful incident took place in my state in a pub. Such sick people need to be brought to the law. I have seen movies on war crimes, genocide etc. This tells me about cruelty due to mental disorders.
Action against Cruelty by Instinct or acceptable reasons can be patience and forgiveness. We all have these tendencies as well, again in varying proportions.
Action against Cruelty of Nature is to care of it a little more. It may be cruel but it’s lovely too. Most of us love nature though it shows the ugly face sometimes.
Cruelty for un-acceptable reasons must be retaliated individually and collectively. Laws of society, state and countries have been drawn for them. If need be, they need to be re-drawn. We must express this in all forms.