With Anonymity, Comes Great Responsibility

With Anonymity, Comes Great Responsibility“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

These were the last words from Uncle Ben to Peter Parker (Spiderman) which actually propelled him to be a super hero and use his power to help people.

As per the definition, power is “the ability to do something or act in a particular way.” Spiderman had enormous physical ability, and he used it to fight evil and help people. In the same way, different people have different kinds of powers like power of money, power of influence, power of threat, power of respect etc.

In most cases, we find that people tend to misuse their power. For example, a minister misuses his power to make money, misuses his influence to defy laws to benefit his own motives. A fearless man, being “fearlessly powerful”, starts looting people in the form of extortion money, kills people who do not mend their ways as per his wishes or try to stop him.

However, power does not lie only in physical or influential factors. There are some other forms of power also. One of them is being anonymous. Yes, being anonymous is being very powerful. Imagine a guy who do not even have the courage to talk to a girl, when gets an untraceable anonymous mobile phone, feels powerful and can tease any girl by calling her and saying whatever he wants to say, of course, without telling his name. The boy is the same old coward in his real life, but feels powerful at times when he feels anonymous.

But why he uses this anonymity for only teasing girl? It seems a human tendency to easily fall prey to evil. May be that is why all the religious books preach us to save ourselves from evil because we are so much susceptible to it. Many of us are disciplined and are good by character, but most others exhibit the real self when they get the chance.

According to John Wooden, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Or we can say it like this, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when he is anonymous and can easily go away with whatever he does- good or bad.”

A terrible example is the incident of new year eve, a few years back, when a mob of nearly 70-80 people molested a girl in public view. They tore the girl’s clothes, who came to celebrate New Year Eve at Mumbai’s famous Gateway of India, with her friend. They groped the girl for about 10 minutes after which she somehow managed to escape the crowd. Similar incident happened a year later in Juhu, where the mob molested two girls for about 15 minutes. One more I remember, happened when Indian Cricket Team won the first T-20 world cup and huge crowd gathered in Mumbai to welcome Team India. And these are not the only ones, they keep happening across the world whenever the anonymous faces feel powerful, “anonymously powerful.”

These people cannot be traced. Crowd has no face. No one can be punished. This makes them feel powerful. And they use their power in these terrible ways. The victim, feeling extremely powerless in safeguarding herself, finds it better to keep it to herself.

But, do they ever think about what happens to the girl after this? Will she ever be able to forget it? This will change her life forever. She will be afraid of crowd and public gatherings. She will not feel safe even in public places. Just a moment of power for one, turns the life of other to feel powerless. Powerless enough to feel insecure, unsafe everywhere, everytime.

Why people cannot use this anonymity to enter a corrupt official’s house and punish him for his bad deeds? Better they dont do it, because even in this case, a few evil anonymously powerful people, will tend to take advantage. After all, it is human nature, to be tempted to use power negatively.

If somehow, I could change anything in the world around me, I would definitely change this human nature to use anonymity negatively. No police, no regulations can stop such people. The only possible way is the presence of good character in the heart of every human.

Good character cannot be forced. It can be gradually induced. The only way is to spread awareness. Its hard to mend the thinking of grown up people. But a kid should be brought up with values, and awareness of implications of his actions on others. This can atleast ensure a better, value-driven world for our coming generations.

In the last, for those, who may take this article as anti-men or pro-women, can consider this point as well, that, raising a child with values is the most important responsibility of a father (man) as well as a mother (woman), and if a child is unable to get a good character, it is a real failure of those parents in contributing to making this world a better place, especially for women.

I am thankful to Stayfree India and Indiblogger, whose contest inspired me to express my views on this topic. If you also want to make a change, you can head over to http://www.facebook.com/sftimetochange.

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