I was in school when I read this line “Man is a social animal“.
As I grew up I realised that it made so much sense as a human being cannot live in solitude. He needs constant support of the society around him for his survival.
And what’s Society? It’s You + Me = WE.
It’s all about inter-dependence, co-ordination and co-operation.
But over the ages with the evolution and development of civilizations across the globe the society has not just been an integral part of a man’s life as a support system but started poking nose into the private matters of his life and tuned more hostile, encroaching the space, the domain not meant for trespassing.
Petty examples explaining the gravity of the situation, of how the “society” is not just around us but very much in our living room or perhaps (worse) in our bedroom.
- Marriage which is a very personal affair/ decision has always been a matter of keen interest for the neighbours and relatives. “When are you getting married”, “why aren’t you getting married”, “your marriageable age is already passing, you must hurry up now before its too late”. These questions might seem to be funny on this page but when in shoes of those, facing them, it’s irritating beyond explanation to answer such recurring questions to those who are not even remotely connected to their lives.
- Marriages especially in countries like India have always been grand affairs. No stone is left unturned to make it memorable. But unfortunately the prime motto of having all this glitter and bling is to impress “chaar log” ( Indian meme for friends+relatives = society). Even if a suggestion is passed off to keep it minimalist pat comes a reply “log Kya kahenge” ( what would people say). And none of those “log” would come to pay off debts that one makes for this pompous celebration.
- A neighbour always eavesdrop to listen what’s going on in other’s house, is everything alright between a daughter in law and a mother in law or not? And by “everything alright” I mean they are fighting (that’s a rule of thumb perceived by many for that relation). If that condition is fulfilled then their quota for gossip is filled for that week.
- Honour killings are nothing but a grave offshoot of this habit of society appeasement. A family won’t mind turning criminal by breaking law as it is more honourable than allowing two individuals to culminate into one barring the lines of caste and religion. What a shame!
- Rules and regulations as to how one should dress, behave, eat etc. are prime examples as to how our society controls our lives.
Man is under constant pressure of behaving himself so as to not to infuriate the society and face its wrath. Fear of being judged, fear of being outcasted is rendering him helpless and hindering him from thinking, thinking free rather.
From Socrates to Newton; from Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Malala Yosouf, society around them have been telling them:
” Dare to dream, dare to fly
We are here to chop off your wings and never let you try”.
Biggest Truth or Irony: A society which is meant for the betterment of every individual comprising it never (of late) really means it. Had it been so why would one empty the trash in front of other’s house? And mind you that’s not an unmindful act, people do it deliberately; Why no one would raise a voice against an eve-teaser teasing a girl in full public glare? For that matter why any injustice is tolerated or goes unnoticed willingly with a coward thought of “let’s not get into it“, ” how does it concern it to me“. Truth is when it really matters the so-called “Society” deters from taking a charge and involving in our lives and set a life changing example for everyone to follow henceforth.
Hence my only request to the society: “If you can’t stand for and with me when it matters, don’t try to crawl and make inroads into my haven later. In this world I have a small world of my own : my family and my life, and that’s my space! Would you mind leaving that to me and minding your own Business, Please?”