Is it just the stressful city life that is leading to an increase in murders committed on sudden provocation or reasons for such behaviour lie deeper?
Have we as a society grown accustomed to this behaviour of a person hurling abuses when someone overtakes his car while driving or rebuking, thrashing or even killing someone for parking a car at the wrong spot or shooting dead two people for not turning the air cooler towards them?
So much so that these incidents that have now become quotidian, do not evoke any reaction or emotion. Is it really that ordinary? At what stage does anger lead to murder? How it breeds?
Experts say that a person’s upbringing, the environment in which he is raised and education plays a very important role in nurturing ones behaviour.
“Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences but aggression is behavioural. While raising a kid, parents make a mistake of associating anger with masculinity. If a child is aggressive around his friends, many parents take pride in it and ignore the consequences. They term it as being brave and it reinforces that behaviour in them. If a child is timid, they encourage him to be assertive telling him that he should not behave like a girl, giving them a licence for unruly behaviour. They feel sorry for the child if he is not audacious. Since the child is not outgoing, he does not express anger at that time but it simmers within him which may take any shape later in life,” said Rajesh Sagar, professor of psychiatry, AIIMS. He added, “Instead of encouraging such behaviour as brave and valiant, it is the societal responsibility of the teachers and parents to make sure that kids head in the right direction.”
Criminal psychologist, Rajat Mitra said that as a society we are not taught how to “hold back” which often leads to these crimes. “The sense of holding back and controlling anger in a situation is not developed in our society. This is what needs to be taught by parents, schools, among peers. We are not a society that confines but a one that escalates. When an argument happens it escalates to issues, the threshold is broken and a murder is committed.”
Low impulse control and no fear of law too worsen the situation. Most of these people involved in these crimes do not fear consequences and that happens because they feel they will get away. “There are so many violations we see in everyday life around which make these people believe that there is no one looking over and that they can get away by committing murder,” Mitra said.
In many cases, most parents, who are not sensitive towards their child’s behavior, ignore early symptoms of anger that later turn into aggression. “It is important to identify these early signs. Ignoring these warning signs can cause problems if not addressed in time. If anger is persistent or is interfering with a person’s daily life and if there is a specific pattern, then it should not be dismissed as a kid being obedient or undisciplined. Anger management as a subject is sadly ignored as no one considers aggression or anger some sort of disorder. Families too ignore the signs and keep dealing with the person who often becomes a burden. They do not realise that it can be treated,” Sagar said. “The families should realise that these are not personality traits but symptoms of a disorder which if goes undiagnosed leads to complicated situations later,” he added.
When a child is not taught how to control impulse it leads to behavioural issues. “These days values have become relative that absolute. The present generation feels that what “seems” right is right that also includes murder. In some cases we saw young children justifying violence by making it relative. They said it seemed right at that time. There is no injunction against it,” Mitra said.