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Venting Anger


Going by the rate at which Humanity is advancing, there will very likely be no such word as ‘crime’ in the near future. This is because every violent and anti-social act will be seen as a psychological aberration that can be treated as one does any other illness. It is already known that so much of the violence, seemingly sparked by tribal, nationalistic, religious, racial and other reasons, is actually a means for individuals to vent their frustrations and pent-up anger. The attempt is only to find justification for the acts in some way. At the time of war, psychologists point out, those with psychopathic tendencies rise to positions of leadership because they like the killing and mayhem. Once the psychologists and others understand better the processes of the mind and brain, it may well happen that mere administration of a pill could treat the specific source of unhappiness or anger that compels a person to act in an anti-social manner. Already, counseling is used extensively in some societies to deal with inherent anger, grief and other forms of stress. It may be noted that in many countries that are developed to the point where crime is at an all time low, the social welfare system is so developed that people do not need to hurt others for their own benefit, there is the occasional outbreak of extreme violence. While some of the perpetrators find justification in some cult or racist ideology, the truth is these are largely individuals acting on their own. The arson attack on the animation studio in Kyoto, Japan, that killed 33 people was carried out by an individual because he believed his work had been plagiarised. There have been many such incidents in which ‘collective’ punishment has been administered on those generally blamed for someone’s personal grievance. These come as a surprise to societies complacent in their belief that the economic and social reasons for strife have been dealt with through good governance. In India, this pent up anger is visible everywhere. There are fights, murders and riots sparked by the most trivial incidents, such as an argument over parking, a tiff in a restaurant, a misspoken word. Clearly, these cannot be justification for violence, but once the dam breaks, everything comes flowing out. Quite obviously, the problem lies with the inner self, which needs to be dealt with scientifically. This does not, of course, mean that humanity is to be opiated into a numbed state, but the symptoms of the inner struggle should be recognised and appropriate means adopted to deal with the problem. Self-control through meditation and yoga, etc., are time-tested techniques but science needs to go deeper into the psyche to fix it better.