The Delusion and Entitlement of Self-Important Tribes

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!


  • Atul Shah wrote:

    Homo-superious….. love it… great article as usual

  • Very enlightening article.
    It is the false sense of identity that makes us think that we are superior than others. Because the human mind has only three diseases.
    It wants to Enjoy,
    It wants to control and possess others and the things of the world.
    It wants to show that it is better than others.

  • Amit Upadhyay wrote:

    Tribes can start believing they are entitled, and if anything averse to their interests happens they would also be the first to cry that they are targeted and are the oppressed ones…

  • V.Subramanian wrote:

    In my opinion,this is one of the best pieces that you have written.That it is on the current juicy topic,hotly debated in the media,adds spice and flavour to the article.
    Unfortunately the rule of law seems to be applicable only to ordinary mortals.After looting over 60000 crores in the irrigation scam,and diverting water to their Sugar factories in contravention of the rules,the politicians have the temerity to preach Mumbaikars to celebrate a dry Holi.It is akin to Raja Bhaiya lecturing on “Compassion and Kindness” or Lallu strongly advocating Celibacy. This is where Governance at the top becomes very important.

  • Sriganesh wrote:

    The CA tribe seems to be different. Example: PWC partners and Satyam CFO (all CA’s) were investigated by the CA Institute as well as by former President of CA Institute.

    Dutt – Lot of money is at stake

    MLA’s – Lot of money in real estate is at stake.

    So, Money is thicker than blood or entertainment.

  • RChandrashekar wrote:

    Dear Mr. Bhavin

    A realistic article, a very good one. Keep it rolling. And hoping that all appeals for pardon are negated.

    Thanks once again.

  • Dr Shreerang Joshi wrote:

    When people say Doctors are “God”,it is our responsibility to see that we do Godly acts and do not actually pose as Gods !

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    Thank you.

  • jamna varadhachary wrote:

    The Dutt case. He has announced grandly that he will not appeal as he respects the judiciary. But has people like Katju and Majeed memon doing so on his behalf. This will leave him lily white and but get him what he wants. A few more shows on TV with heavy weight politicians and filmwalas will help his case along. Someone had written that it will be done quietly once he has surrendered spent a small time behind bars!!
    And as for the politicos who are entitled to everything including thrashing policemen. It is we people who bring them in. Do we deserve anyone better?

  • jamna varadhachary wrote:

    The Dutt case. He has announced grandly that he will not appeal as he respects the judiciary. But has people like Katju and Majeed memon doing so on his behalf. This will leave him lily white and but get him what he wants. A few more shows on TV with heavy weight politicians and filmwalas will help his case along. Someone had written that it will be done quietly once he has surrendered spent a small time behind bars!!
    And as for the politicos who are entitled to everything including thrashing policemen. It is we people who bring them in. Do we deserve anyone better?

  • What about the so called majority in Tamil Nadu supporting the accused in a blast case awaiting execution and clamouring for Clemency!! How sentiments are whipped up just because the convicts speak the same lingo!!

  • Very well put. I would love to see these politicos thrashed in public. Only then will they be pulled down a few pegs.
    Punishment for film fraternity, boycott them. However, our media laps them up, invites them as star guests, hosts in their reality shows. I don’t know why the culprits are not ostracised.

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    It was the duty of the Chairman/Dy. Chairman of the Assembly who summoned the Traffic Cop to appear before the house, to protect him. No one seems to be blaming these two gentlemen for their lapse. Also the MLAs who were involved in the physical assault should not only be permanently suspended but also debarred from standing for all future elections to any public office.
    As far as Justice Katju taking up cudgels for Sunjay Dutt is concerned, doesn’t it look like he is questioning the wisdom of a fellow supreme court judge and borders on contempt?

  • Pardon Dutt but ensure that others not marked by the “terrorist ” tag are also pardoned.
    There are quite a few who just stored the gun or who transported the gun without even being aware of the terrorist plot—-they also deserve to be pardoned—they have also suffered for 20 years !
    The law should be equal for all—celebra-ity or non-celebrity !

  • Jayesh Desai wrote:

    They are being actively helped to escape punishment by HM who declared yesterday that cctv footage is unclear, since when he has become forensic expert? His and the job of speaker is to hand over footage to investigeting officer since criminal complaint has been registered in the case. They will then give it to forensic expert who will certify if it is possible to identify accused. As if this was done in middle of night! And if video is unclear then as HM he should be held accountable for providing poor quality cctv to the vidhanbhuvan?
    Congratulation for voicing concerns of lots of citizens in measured& dignified manner.

  • Just watched the movie Singham for the third time on TV. Normally would not waste my time watching crap (only for entertainment), but this movie shows how the cops finally get together and ends this gundhi nali ka kida’s rule. Probably fantasizing that this could/should take place in our Country and bring about some semblance to civility. These two MLA’s and many more require such treatment.
    I remember in the 50s there were two cops who were completely responsible for the cleaning up of the Sankli street and Nagpada areas of the then goondas who never allowed any cop in their area(especially sankli street). They had killed two sub inspectors and thrown their bodies in the gutters. These two daring inspectors, one 6.4 ft tall, the other average height would alight from their moving jeeps and beat up these characters. We knew them personally, (However never used them) as the first one stayed in our building and the second one’s son was our class mate. Have witnessed on a couple of occasions how they treated these rascals. The 6 footer plus would stand at the Byculla bridge every evening at the BATA store with his arm rested on one of the walls and survey the place. No one dare go close to him (i mean the rogues)or pass him by.
    In the 60s the Mahim and Bandra areas had two gangs a piece. They had branded their arms with the name of their respective gangs. These were also cleansed up by the most efficient cops of those days. Not aware of their names.
    Agree those days the politicians were so so and not as corrupt as the present lot that we have to live with.
    Lets hope and pray for a repeat. We should support sub inspector Sachin and other officers like him who are doing their duty.

  • As far as Sunjay Dutt is concerned. He should pay the price for his folly. Let him complete his term in jail. If he is let out earlier on good conduct. Then it is his luck. No one should influence the authorities to spare him. Personally have no grudge against him,as he has done some good movies, but that does not mean….
    We had so much respect for the late Sunil Dutt, but after him crawling and bending to certain people to save his son. How could any one have any regard for him. He was completely aware of what his son had done. He should have rebuked him. If he had kept the boy under control (drugs and all).This would never have happened. NO EXCUSE. Yes he could help out with lawyers and due course of law. But to stoop down to such a low level….and then we wonder and cry about the others getting away with crime.
    In Hollywood, the late Marlon Brando’s son is still serving time for killing his sister’s boyfriend, who used to beat her up. Micheal Douglas’s son is in jail for doing drugs. You think these two stalwarts could not have used pressure to save their respective sons? Lindsay Lohan is in trouble with the law. There are many other big names. But all are treated alike, even for tax related issues. No one is spared. Why should we be different? are we not a civilized Nation, a democracy? or….
    If we want a clean society. We need to get rid of the bad elements, especially the influential ones. The ones who yap ..Do you know who I am? or who I know?

  • Ganesh Parameswaran wrote:

    The film Spiderman has a famous quote – with great power comes great responsibility. Our netas, babus, and celebrities do not understand that any more. Some cleansing the system is the need today.

  • The Rule of Law’s status in India is at its lowest. When the Supreme Court, after long years and passage of lot of time and wastage of public money in trial of cases, has finally given verdict, what is the sense in allowing Governor or President the right to commute the punishment? This should be removed from Constitution of India. Governors and President are nominated and elected by ruling party, so they cannot be supposed to be impartial. As a matter of fact the post of Governor is useless and waste of public money. It should be abolished in public interest.

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