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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chp 119. SRS – Unraveling the Messiah Complex

Being a huge fan of super heroes since childhood with a large collection of DC and Marvel comics, I really used to look up to super heroes such as Batman, Spiderman, X-men, JLA, JLS, Avengers etc. Most of them are vigilantes. Vigilantism usually arises when there is deterioration in the Law & Order situation. In any society, there is a certain threshold of tolerance the hoi polloi can take. Be it the failure or incompetency of a system or the oppression continuously faced by the people, there will definitely come a point in time when such people will no longer be able to tolerate it and take the law into their own hands: The Slave revolt of 137 BC, the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, the MNF rebellion of 1970’s etc.

Hence history has shown us that there are chiefly two main methods of taking the law into one’s own hands in order to “correct” the system:
1) To denounce the group & attack the entire system as a whole.
2) To remain with the group & attack parts of the system (selective).

The first method is what we call as a rebellion, coup d'état, uprising, revolt etc. The second method is what we term as vigilantism. The SRS (Supply Reduction Service), not being a part of the official Law & Order department falls under such a category. Hence there will always be those who loathe the SRS: Drug lords, booze manufacturers, alcoholics and drug addicts, anti-social elements, people who prefer to be an island, and also those with a strong sentiment against human rights violation, guardians of freedom of speech (fourth estate) and expatriates.

I on the other hand, had always been in support of the YMA’s “declaration of war” on A&D (alcohol and drugs). Leaving religious doctrine aside for some of my readers who prefer secular posts, let me mention that A&D also wreck families and society (duh!). I’ve lost close friends and family members to A&D, people who fell a victim to its addictive charm. I’ve also lost another set of close friends and family members, people who stayed clean from such substances but nevertheless fell an innocent victim to the hands of a crazy weapon-wielding drug addict or drunkard. And when the police are incompetent to prevent such an incident from occurring and when we live in a Christian society that pardons such killers (which takes place in the name of Christianity but sometimes is actually more due to societal pressure), it is only natural for a person like me to endorse such aforementioned vigilantism.

Sometimes there may be stray incidents of human rights violations. Of course my heart bleeds whenever I hear about such incidents. I wouldn’t exactly term that as a necessary evil, but weighing the good and the bad together, at least the former outweighs the latter. In places like Nagaland, Manipur etc, “organizations” like NSCN, UNLF, HNLC etc shoot such people at point blank! Things aren’t like that in good ol Mizoram. The SRS functions purely on a voluntary basis, keeping vigil throughout the night at places known for its drug trade routes, destroying “factories” and beating up peddlers from Burma and neighboring states smuggling tons of proxyvon tablets into Mizoram. Hence I always used to hold the SRS in high regards. Until I met H.

“H” is probably the most cynical overblown conceited arrogant braggart I’ve ever known! I met him through a close friend of mine and what turned out to be a simple introduction soon evolved into a regular daily tea-break companionship. He told me that he’s a part of the SRS. At first I was impressed. I’ve never met an actual SRS “foot soldier” face to face before. But soon, I just kept wishing we had never met…

A pure misanthrope at heart, H never stops talking. His mouth always used to go yakity-yakyakyak long before we even sat down inside the tiny tea shop. What I hated the most about him were those phone calls he used to receive while we were all sitting together sipping tea. He would listen for sometime and then yells out an order “yes, beat them up” or “Don’t let them go. I’m on my way. Just don’t release them, the bastards”. I always used to feel slightly sick in my stomach whenever he uttered those words on the phone, and that too with such a pompous air of authority.

Living in an opinionated world, all of us have our own opinion about almost everything: We have our own peculiar likes and dislikes. H seems to dislike everything. He criticizes everything and anything that moves- Here are a few of his “golden” misanthropical opinions I can still remember:
  • Drug abusers – Scums of society. Should be beaten up.
  • Drug peddlers – Should be severely beaten up!
  • Illicit booze manufacturer – Burmese illegal immigrants, should be beaten up and sent back to Burma.
  • Politicians – All corrupted.
  • Civil servants and other officers – All corrupted.
  • Government employees – All lazy, do nothing at office except eat “paan” and talk about sex with their colleagues and laugh with red teeth and fat bellies.
  • Police (Excise) – All drunkards.
  • KTP – Do not drink alcohol but smokes a hell lot, and also drinks tea every five minutes at the expense of the community members.
  • Synod – Have forgotten their true purpose of serving the Lord, are now only concerned about their status (I didn’t get what he meant by this though).
  • MHIP – Jobless housewives creating an unnecessary ruckus for publicity sake.
  • Mizos working outside Mizoram – Traitors.
  • Mizo women outside Mizoram – All sleep with non-Mizos for money.
The list goes on and on… The only organization he never criticizes (or should I say dare not criticize) is the YMA. And all I do is just listen attentively with a nod now and then to keep him talking. Even though it is a torture, sometimes it is necessary to listen to other people’s opinion, however bizarre it may be, especially if they have an extremist view in their ideology or political orientation, because it makes oneself understand other people better without simply discarding them as narrow-minded/conservative/fundamentalist etc.

From the way “H” thinks and his cynical attitude about life, it is pretty obvious that he is completely delusional about everything around him. In his belief, the entire system is contaminated by immorality, and nobody can save Mizoram from the clutches of such evil other than the SRS.

There was one incident that made me really really really detest H. One day, during our usual SRS conversation over tea, my friend brought out the topic of human rights violation. Being a silent observer, I was expecting H to say something like, beating up drug peddlers and alcohol manufacturers with rods and canes is regrettable but sometimes necessary so as to prevent them from doing it again. Instead, H snorted and laughed out loud and then clenched his fist and proudly asked us who got the guts in the whole of Mizoram to ever file a case against the SRS!!! I felt vomit rise up to my throat right then. H went on to exclaim that no lawyer will ever come forward in support of the so called victims because lawyers (people) in Mizoram have two options: Avoid crossing paths with the SRS and remain in Mizoram, or side with the victims and be kicked out of Mizoram! That was the last time I ever sat down for tea with H again. Thinking about his ugly mouth uttering that last sentence still disgusts me even now.

I am sure not everybody in the SRS is like H. I pray to God they are not. H’s attitude is far more destructive than all the proxyvon tablets that has ever entered Mizoram. You can still reform a drug-addict, but to change a mentality such as H’s would be a Herculean task because the grassroots source has already been deeply infected with a perception about society that everything is corrupted and filthy. Power fills him with a feeling of omnipotence. And with limitless power in his hands and a strong inner urge (ethnocentric “Hnam” feeling) to cleanse the system, it is only natural for a person like him to have a “God complex”.

Even though I support the SRS vigilantism to a certain extent, I boldly state that people like H must leave the organization. They give SRS a bad name. Power has gone into their head because they know they are untouchable. Abusing such power becomes a regular habit and they get drunk from excessive power the moment they wake up every morning.

We need good psychiatrists in Mizoram. Seriously. We also need a more effective law & order system. With the implementation of these two proactive strategies, I see a future Mizoram where the SRS no longer exist, not because of public disapproval but rather because they no longer need to. God bless Mizoram.

18 comments:

Jimmy said...

Your second post that I read word-to-word and to the whole (seriously) :)
Going back to the post:-
Is it frustration? Yes, you see that in his cynical view about 'everyone/everything'.
Is it arrogance? Yes, look at the way he boasts about the 'power' (he thinks) he wields (sadly, he 'feels ' it).
And speaking of psychiatrists, I see H as having a very serious problem that could include his upbringing, his childhood, or he's probably someone who hasn't loved or has loved a thing. To add to that, he's that kid who loved torturing animals when he was kid (no generalizations here tho).

Take care

Tluanga said...

Kima, that was a very good post, very interesting but hard to believe, i wonder what would be needed to bring about a more broader outlook for people like them...people supporting voilence in the belief that they're doing good....kind of reminds me of the taliban but I'm sure Mizoram is better than that... hmmm interesting

mnowluck said...

... kinda long .. will hafta read another day.. then i'll comment.. :)) kinda tired. howdy bro?? Hope ur melting there in delhi.. have a nice time..

diary said...

A relevant post to today's times, Sandman.
Just wondered if 'H' is a fictional character, a sort of something to bring the message home. I know ppl worse than 'H' can and do exist, please humor a curious cat:)

Calliopia said...

Congratulations Kim, you're just starting to get a feel of the real world where there're all kinds of people and attitudes.

siam tonsing said...

Hey buddy, you son of a truth, i admire you for ur fascinating post. this is great, Okey, Lets get em and kick those garbages from our society.
It's a good challenge, i think. I'm ur new blog reader.

mnowluck said...

great post .... There's an old saying in Mizo "Lal ngailo Lal ana ani" .

This type of ppl(like H) hardly hold power and when they are in Power, they think that the world is in their hands.

Yeah agree with you to some extent on the need for a psychiatrist.

kima-the-other said...

I thought these relics of our pre-modern past were symptomatic of the uneasy transitions we are trying to make...and i dont think that imputing atomistic Freudian frames of reference (as some have suggested) -alone- will not do much. As much as our critiques are individuated, SRS, YMA and other like phenomena seem to be pretty much set in and sanctioned by the collective imagination. And yet, modernity aint all innocent and its promises can be delusional too. Our sleeping in churches is symbolic of the wider indifference that for some strange reason frozen us in time. Thanks for the entry.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting one, truly..
Beacause of this person H you've mentioned, like that all other individuals and even the organisation will have a bad name.
Even me had some friends in the SRS too, but i think they are far lot better(?)or may not in view of their purpose (or they are told), i don't know?.
These SRS people are not exactly volunteered in the case i've known so far. Beacause, every member of SRS represent their own Branch and are selected after it is inevitable for them.(This is the case i've known)

Anonymous said...

I strongly share your opinion on last two paragraph.

Yes, i too wait for the day when we do not need SRS.

Sundancer said...

Amen!

illusionaire said...

dear diary, H is indeed not a fictional character. Infact many of the regular onliners including those who already commented here know who he is :)

Jason said...

Amen to 'God Bless Mizoram'

claytonia vices said...

Hatred just cannot solve problems... it only adds to it. The moment hatred is justified and endorsed, sooner or later we will have created a monster that cannot be controlled.

Incidentally, I remember one simple reason why we never tried smoking in our school was because it was simply considered 'un-cool' by most of us apart from being aware of the ill-effects. And this idea we got from both friends and parents...

Instead of beating up everyone I think a better and lasting solution would be to help people take the decision not to go for substance abuse, however complicated it may be. When there is no market there is no bussiness.

Just my opinion...

Keep these amazing posts coming man!

yourgirlfriendisugly said...

...then you'll be pleased to hear what the SRS has now done again!..

illusionaire said...

@ ewww_not_nice: And what makes you think I would be pleased to hear such a news??????????

sameasabove said...

sarcasm.. d-oh!

illusionaire said...

sarcasm repartee... d-oh!