This happens often!
Journalists rarely carry articles against fellow journalists even though they constantly bitch about each other “off-the-record”. It is rare for a doctor to testify against his colleague in court, though in private he will massacre his reputation. Despite infighting, tribes or guilds tend to take care of their own, often insulated from the perception of the rest of the world and actual reality.
We have witnessed this last week in two separate incidents…it is amazing how “out-of-touch” those who live in protected environments can sometimes be!
Some members of the legislature thrashed a traffic policeman for having stopped one of their ilk for speeding. The policeman apparently was rude and has been suspended for his behavior, while two MLAs were arrested and then released on bail. From the public’s point of view, there isn’t even a debate. Even, if the policeman behaved badly, the fact is that the MLA was speeding and in the wrong…and there is no justification for violence in the legislature.
But the legislators have closed ranks as if they are the ones who have been wronged…they believe they have the right to take action against and punish those who have crossed their paths whenever and wherever they want and feel entitled enough to believe that the laws of the land do not necessarily apply to them.
The public perception of them and their actions is completely the opposite of what they believe…and despite condemnation from all quarters, our insular elected representatives just don’t get it!
The second incident was the sentencing of Mr. Sanjay Dutt. He committed a crime and though delayed, has finally been handed a punishment for his actions. And unbelievably, an entire section of society, predominantly the film industry, and those associated with it, have closed ranks, wanting clemency for Mr. Dutt.
This tribe too appears to be completely out of touch with public perception. Yes, we have all heard and read the arguments that have been made in Mr. Dutt’s favor…none of them makes any real sense! Moreover, there are few individuals shedding any tears at Mr. Dutt’s fate…unless those people are part of the celebrity machine or the legal profession.
Mr. Dutt in the meantime has decided not to appeal his conviction, a decision that also lays bare the shallowness of his own tribe’s thinking.
Self-important guilds and tribes invariably become delusional, the delusions further fuelled by people and fans outside the tribes. Hence when patients call doctors, “Gods”, many doctors actually start believing this rubbish and behave as if ordinary rules no longer apply to them! Or when fans place actors and actresses on high pedestals, these celebrities actually start believing that they have evolved into homo-superious and can get away with everything from hunting endangered animals to killing pavement sleepers. And while there are many privileges that do come with being at the top of the pyramid of a closed tribe or guild, the associated sense of entitlement cannot confer immunity from the law of the land and expected societal behavior norms.
The world is imperfect. Sometimes, people do get away breaking rules. It is possible that nothing further will happen to the MLAs who were responsible for the incident. But just because a few are able to wriggle out of bad situations, does not mean that everyone who has “pull” is allowed to walk away without paying his/her dues.
The punishment should fit the crime. But wanting the punishment to go away, whether it is the legislators’ or Mr. Dutt’s cases, is the typical delusion of “entitled” tribes!