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Criminality Society and Identity - Author: Rakesh Neelakandan

BY: Guest | Category: Self Improvement | Post Date: 2009-01-23

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An individual is an inextricable and indivisible part of a society. Here, society means the humanity which the individual is a part of. In this sense, a home is a society which we call ‘family'. A school or college is a society which we call ‘institution'. There are also other societies of which an individual is a part of, including the mainstream society. However, the first two societies, especially the former one, have incalculable significance as far as the general behaviour and future of polity is concerned.

Law, in simple terms, is a general code of conduct formulated by the collective will of the society. Like there are many wicks in a candle which burn at the same time, every individual in the society has a sense of conduct which he derives from the common wisdom and sense of morality of the society which ultimately when compounded give us what we call ‘law'. It is the society which makes the laws and not the laws that make the society.

The Birth of a Criminal: No one takes an oath in the mother's womb to become a criminal. A criminal is one who violates a law. He can be born any where, any time, in the pavements or in palaces. He can be a teenager or an octogenarian; could be of any size, shape or nationality.

Why should some one violate a law and become a criminal? Is it a conscious effort? Not at all. Because, when you violate a law you are looked down upon by the rest of the members of the society. Even if your contextual society approves of it, just as with the case of criminal gangs, the larger society would still estrange you. And the smaller society is totally dependent on the larger society for survival. In short, a conscious attempt to become a criminal is like a fool's play with fire works. A criminal ‘happens' due to various other reasons.

The underlying reason for criminality is moral ignorance and penury. Both can easily be solved by the people who are blessed by the opposites of the two gnawing issues. But such people are hard to come by. The society in general lacks initiative and efficient leadership. It is due to the passive nature of general public. And this comes from a lack of proper schooling, upbringing system which is inspiring and comprehensive. All these point to the fault of the contextual society in nurturing individuals who abide by moral sense and virtues. But the fault of the contextual society is the fault or failure of the larger society it is a part of and so on and so forth. Conclusively, it is the fault of the mainstream society when a law is violated. It is not the fault of the individual.

Having said all these, we know that criminals are not born overnight. Criminality is a risky attitude and one has to get used to it so that it would become a part of his character. Let's go a bit deeper into the subject. Insights into Criminality When an individual is estranged from the contextual society due to one reason or the other, he develops an anti- societal attitude. He loses what we, the fortunate, call and experience as the sense of purpose and sense of identity. Naturally he is consumed either by revenge and extreme radicalism or by utter depression. He knows that he is alive. But no one acknowledges it. This will make him kick up a furore in the society through anti-societal activities. His only motive is recognition. (In this article, we don't deal with the case of depression) If this happens in the mainstream society, the person will be brought to book and jailed or humiliated. He is disowned.

When this happens, his criminal sense is only sharpened further. A jail is full of them. They are referred to by numbers only. They are made to believe that they are criminals although they don't indulge in crime 24x7. It is as if taken for granted that once a criminal, one is always a criminal; that, given a chance, one always becomes a nuisance for the society. In the long run, it is this prejudice that works against the total well being of the society. The chances are higher that if the mainstream society had forgiven their first crime based on its degree, after rigorous sessions of intelligent and effective counselling, the inherent and refined sense of guilt in them would have imbibed it resulting in a permanent positive change.

The inhabitants of the prison mostly waste their precious time doing something which they might not be interested in. Here again, they are frustrated by the lack of a sense of purpose. The outcome is a social grouping of these sensitive people because most of them carry the same mindset of unassuaged sentiments and the negative feeling that he is a criminal. They become a society. The last droplets of sense of guilt vanish from their mind. They begin to love their new- found identity, for they have to survive, express themselves. Their focus is shifted to a society whose norms are in opposite poles with that of the living society. Finally criminals are born not when they were outside of the jail, but inside.

Jails & Criminals:
Jails are not a part of the so called mainstream society. They have a different identity-that of a negro of the apartheid. Even if a criminal comes out of the jail, the mainstream society looks down on him with contempt. He is excluded from the activities of the mainstream society that gives it an expression of free will of its identity. To stop being an insane (who has no identity) he has two options. Either he should go away to a distant place where his history is Latin to others and start his life from the scrap or he should go back to jail where his identity is most welcome and even appreciated. Even if an ex-criminal goes to a far off place he probably will indulge in crimes. Because, when in jail, his criminal identity would not have been replaced by a lawful identity, if not supplemented- the very reason why criminals again return to the place where they are at peace with themselves and others. In short, jails stand as a testimony to society's incompetence in dealing properly with an erroneously functioning human mind.

New Age Jails- Eliminating Criminality
All jails should be turned into ‘rejuvenation homes' where morality is not taught, but inculcated. Firstly a group of trained virtuous volunteers should be let in. They should take part in the sessions and activities of the jail, directed by a team of experienced psychologists, educationists, job trainers, skill set developers etc along with the jailed. This provides some ground for effective communication between a selection from general public who has a different persona-a non-criminal identity, and criminals. Also, this breath of fresh air would help them realise what they actually ought to be in life. Their identity begins to change.

In the second stage, the kith and kin of the changing criminals should be brought in. They should be allowed to live together separately in privacy, but under guard. This time around the volume of work of the volunteers will come down and would be levelled by the kith and kins. The duty of the course directors will remain same, the only difference being that this time around, the kith and kin are also given proper customised training. As and when the course advances, the changing criminals will have a renewed sense of their original identity evolved from a novel purpose. They get to know where they belong. Their sense of space changes. They shall want to go out and live in full freedom. Their identity will undergo a metamorphosis. The criminality in them will die a slow death. They are no more criminals. They are people. They can be let out.

In the mean time a rigorous, parallel and unending campaign should be going on in the mainstream society at all levels. The society should be motivated to move forward and open doors to these men. Doors of knowledge, doors of opportunities and above all doors to heart !

Will all these measures make our country a Utopia? No is the answer. Of course, the crime rates will come down. There would be peace and prosperity. But it would be wrong to assume that our country will become a nation full of Mahatma Gandhis.. But each measure that we adopt to bring about a pronounced change in the society is embarked on like this.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: By: Rakesh Neelakandan
I'm nothing but the grace of God.

Yours is a great endeavour. Giving voice is after all giving life. And for a writer his voice is his works.

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