One thing that I’ve observed that most of us Indians lack is the ability to dissociate and disown. We are not readily willing to let go of people or things that we have once identified with ourselves, and we frequently get into trouble due to that.

Exhibit 1: So you have these random sundry hooligans who go around in the name of Hindutva creating nuisance and causing communal tension. On similar lines there is the so-called “Hindu terror”. But the official Sangh Parivar does little to dissociate from that, and ends up getting its name getting caught in various random acts which only ends up distancing it from the moderate right-of-centre.

Exhibit 2: When A Raja was under fire in the 2G scam, some Dalit organizations came out in support of him saying he was being unfairly targeted just because he’s Dalit. It was a similar case with former Karnataka Chief Justice PD Dinakaran. I don’t understand why Dalits want to identify themselves with such crooks and tarnish their community’s reputation, rather than distancing themselves and accusing them of sullying the name of the community.

Exhibit 3: All Lingayat mutts have come out in support of BS Yediyurappa, despite several calls for his resignation. Nothing more needs to be said.

Exhibit 4: A (distant) relative was recently arrested for pulling off a Ponzi scheme. Far from ridiculing him and distancing themselves from him, I found that most of the extended family chose to downplay the incident and avoid talk about the arrest (he’s been released on bail).

I remember reading about Obama’s presidential campaign, about how he strategically distanced himself from people he was once close to (his grandmom, some reverend, etc.) as soon as he realized that they were getting inconvenient for him.

I don’t understand why most Indians are incapable of such pragmatism, and choose to believe too much in “relationships”. And blindly back people we’ve been associated with rather than taking a pragmatic and selfish stand.

4 thoughts on “Dissociation”

  1. Because most of Dalits’ claims are like that? If you are a Dalit then you expect to be treated better than your peers.

  2. To survive in today’s world, one way is to be talented enough to make it on your own. If you are such a person, then you are usually fearless and would be guided by ethics. However, the others, generally, feel safer and comforted in a herd, which sort of breeds this group loyalty. As a matter of principle then, one goes by the rule – “Be loyal and supportive no matter what one does”. I have seen this a lot in India, across all walks of life. But if you are one who goes by ethics, you don’t hesitate to disown someone even if he/she has been very close to you (which sadly is scant these days). Personally, I think people choose the herd as it is more convenient and easy to live out in today’s world.

  3. It’s because Indians stand up for ‘family’ – a lot like many communities in the world (the Irish, and the Italians come to mind)

    Also, most people (Indians included) are massively irrational, and extremely emotional.

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