Society and selfie culture

Shiv Kumar Padha

There is a very thin line which separates Human beings from the animal world. The animals spend their whole life in the pursuit of food, fulfilling their biological needs and producing their young ones. The human beings are bestowed with advanced mental faculties which help make him a social animal. They live in society, work for the society, protect it from the internal and external threats. Human beings are governed by the values and the norms of the society and consider them responsible and accountable for their actions.
In the civilized societies there are very little chances for scuffles and fall outs over trivial matters except in the unavoidable circumstances which can be averted and handled with patience, unbiased and judicious efforts before it ends with loss of lives. Committing suicide and  lynching  others  publically is a sin and unlawful but watching it like a live show without raising  voice against the crime is an unforgivable crime for which our conscious keeps on scolding throughout life. The invention of the motion cameras facilitated the mankind to catch the important historical and social events, geographical phenomena, losses due to the natural disasters, educative information for its onward transmission to the future generations.
Due to the high costs purchasing costly  gadgets  like motion cameras was considered as the prerogative of the rich but with the arrival of the mobiles fitted with inbuilt cameras, have brought it within the reach of the common man. It is rightly said, ‘nothing in the world is good or bad but its use makes it so’. The facility of the inbuilt video camera in the mobiles has enabled a common man enjoy the facilities of motion camera at nominal prices suiting to his pocket. But the shameful way these video cameras are being put to use by many people these days have brought the morality of the human beings to its lowest ebb. Some antisocial elements are using the video cameras either for the purpose of blackmailing or for uploading the stunning and sensational videos in the social media these days.
There was time when the male ilk used to either change their course or turn their faces in order to avoid the site where some female ilk was found urinating in the open due to the non availability of the public toilet facility or changing their dress after or before taking dip in the spring or in a stream. The elderly people always preferred to avert the chances of quarrel either by mediation, by pacifying or by conciliating the warring factions. Rescuing a person from drowning,  restraining one from committing suicide,  managing safe passage for the innocent victim from the unruly mob and asking for the police intervention as the last resort, were considered as the characteristics of the civilized and responsible citizens of the society. Many matters of serious nature could be solved or dealt with easily by joining the wise heads of the members of society. The logical positivism, perseverance, patience, tolerance and non belligerence was the philosophy for which Indian society was known in the world.
But the long nurtured values of the society have become topsy-turvy in the present times. It is observed that in many unavoidable situations the heads of the humanity hang in shame when many among the crowed start making video  where a man is being lynched by the crowd or a women is being beaten or burnt  to death or stripped in the public or the girls are molested and raped on the roads. Not to talk of the persons engaged in recording the incident the whole crowd watching and enjoying the incident do not feel it proper to raise their voice against the brutality or report the matter to the police for the assistance through the mobiles which everybody keeps in his pocket these days. Our TV channels often educate the masses by showing the clips where the persons standing on the shore prefer making video of the person drowning and being washed away with the flood water instead of arranging for his survival.  Making the video films of the men and women with the help of concealed cameras  in the bathrooms, bed rooms and the swimming pools of the hotels have become a flourishing business of some hoteliers now a days. Selling nude photographs or videos prepared, secretly, from the sacred rivers, lakes or ponds where both men and women take holy dip on certain occasions, has become a profitable business these days.
No doubt making video of any helpless person, a place or a thing without seeking permission is a gruesome crime but the use of videos have enabled the  politicians to use it as a weapon for gaining political mileage or showing the opponents down in the cut throat race. Making videos of the  vehicles, houses and the public property set on fire by the agitators, making video of the farmer ending his life by hanging amidst the public meeting of a political party at  Janter Manter Delhi or making video of an ex serviceman ending his life in protest, by consuming poison, on the persuasion of some political party with a promise of granting an ex gratia relief to the tune of one crore to his next a kin and granting martyrs status to the dead. The use of the in built front cameras in the mobiles has added one more feature by which one can take photograph of his own and that of the friends in one click which is called selfie. We often come across with the news daily where many people, especially the youth, is reported to have ended their lives while taking selfies from the speeding trains, vehicles, rowing in the boats and slipping from the heights. It is disgusting that there are still such persons who, instead of restraining the person from taking the dangerous selfie, try to catch the whole process till the person taking selfie ends his life.
It can be easily inferred that we are gradually divorcing the spirit of love, affection, kindness, pity, sacrifice and sympathy for the mankind and have become heartless creatures who are never moved even if someone from among us is publicly beaten to death. No law what so ever can check this menace of making videos and selfies  unless emphasis is laid upon the introduction of emotional education right from the primary education because the emotions can overcome the problem of pity, love, cruelty and haterd getting its roots deep in the society.