QuoraED! This is when we pick up a trending or interesting thread from Quora and spin a story around it.
“India: What should Indians stop doing immediately?”
A simple question posed by a Quora user, yet something very thought-provoking. Due to the ever-lasting experiences as an Indian, there is a lot that we think about on the spot, but fail to recollect at the given moment. Either that, or there are too many that you don’t know where to start from.
I would list a few myself, right from unnecessary curfew and helicopter parenting (parenting that requires to scrutinize every aspect of your child’s life) to victim-blaming and normalizing patriarchy. But in this thread, I was made aware of something that we do think about sometimes, but never come to talk about it.
The Bystander Effect:
Though a problem in all countries, the bystander effect poses to be more precarious in a place like India where women are more exposed to sexual assault and rape.
The Bystander Effect usually occurs when no one takes action to help a person in trouble (in public) when there are also other witnesses surrounding them. Usually, more witnesses = less likely to help. This is mainly done with the notion of diffusion of responsibility to the other witnesses, who also internally go through the same psychological process.
On To Quora:
A few of the answers to this very question in Quora give us information that would make us genuinely boil in rage on how people can be so unbothered and unempathetic sometimes.
The most upvoted answer was taken from a published news article that may have gone unnoticed.
In short, the above article talks about 5 teenagers in Ludhiana that died in a major car accident. They could have been saved if the ambulance was called and were taken to hospital on time, but people just kept staring and taking pictures.
The Quora user, Akshitha Jain, further adds:
“…Guys! Please help someone needy, instead of capturing them in their worst situations.
You might momentarily get fame by making such videos viral all over the internet, but your little efforts may add some more years to someone’s life.”
People went on to add their own experiences too. Though not fatal enough to make headlines, you could imagine what the victim might have gone through at the time of this event.
“Yeah we should stop this shitness, my Mami also died just because after an accident people instead of taking her to the hospital were busy filming her. …it’s really sad….just 15–20 minutes hurry can save somebody life…”
“I have faced this situation when I met with a Car accident, the car had skidded 30-40 meters. on the right side, as it had toppled to right, we cried for help from every other person, banging the car, but for 5 minutes no one came, everyone just passed by. Thankfully a public bus stopped by and they straightened the car and tied handkerchief on my wounds, and then went away, we drove the same car back, which was damaged from right, thankfully office staff came and midway picked me up and took me to the hospital….”
Imagine if WE are stuck in a toppled car, desperately calling for help because we are unable to move. No one comes to our aid. Doesn’t this claustrophobic situation send chills down our spine? Bystander Effect is a terrible thing, and the fact that this behavior was given its own term is because this is a real group psychological behavior.
But how far will it justify standing and staring for long periods, without lending help? To add salt to the wound, taking pictures and videos is just done for your own amusement, and there is nothing else to justify this.
The Bystander effect is a real thing with sexual assault and rape cases too.
A minor girl gets molested in broad daylight in Bihar (2018). The 18-year-old victim of the infamous Banglore New Year’s Eve incident claims that many people saw her struggle, but no one came to help. Bystander effect basically encourages rapists and sexual offenders to continue with their activities since they become more aware of the very little consequences for their actions.
Therefore, there is only one summarizing and concluding statement to all this. Victims of potentially fatal accidents and sexual assault will feel much safer if people around would readily jump to their rescue. Yes, the Bystander effect is a real thing, but this shouldn’t justify our behavior for a long time.
Now that you are aware of this, you do your part to be a little more socially conscious. We are humans that have come from running behind mammoths for food to sitting in a 9-5 desk job for the very same reason. How difficult will it be for us to change?
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