Why is it necessary to understand the villain? Or as I ended the last post “where do we find villains apart from the fiction and movies?” Before I answer this I would like to sum up in one line the essay so far. The villain is characterised by some indomitable and creative spirit which is at odds with the standard idea of “good”. To answer the above questions, we need to look for these traits in real life. Today the news papers are filled with news of crime, terrorism, corruption. Who are these people? Don’t they realize where the world is heading! Where are these people found? To find them let’s look inwards. Human beings are naturally infested with some villainous traits.
- Anger: Anger is the real villain. It can possess. It is creative and indomitable. It manifests itself in ways that are often destructive.
- Greed: Greed is really stealth. It is almost impossible for a person to detect and/or accept that he/she is driven by greed. And yet under the influence of greed a person turns creative and adventurous. Greed for power, money, love can make people behave in the most unexpectedly devious ways.
- Arrogance: “Humans are equal and deserve the same basic rights”. This is a good guiding principle which I have rarely seen implemented. This is because in form of arrogance a person has the antithesis to idea of equality. Arrogance is usually driven by lineage or achievements or by both. A person driven by arrogance is capable of tyranny.
- Religious Intolerance: My God is the real God. My religion is the best religion. When these rather innocuous ideas get translated into “God of other religion is a devil” and “every religion other than mine must be wiped off the world”, it can imperil the entire world.
In other words I am trying to say that villain inhabits all of us often in a dormant stage. So does it mean that we should not bother about all this.?
In movies we often see that the villain is often humongous. It engulfs and destroys entire cities or civilzations. In real world the villain manifests itself as a collective form. It is not visible as a particular individual like “the Joker” or “the Megatron”.
When a number of people get greedy we witness the monsters called “Corruption” and “Crime”.
When a number of people feel arrogant about their color or race, it is manifested as “Racism”.
When a number of people are driven by religious intolerance we suffer from communal disharmony and genocides, Sectarian violence.
In movies the villain is overpowered or killed by the author. But in the real life, the seemingly dormant villain inside us feeds and immortalizes the invisible but pervasive villains around us. All “good” people feel bad and criticize the state of affairs. But they feel helpless too. Because, to kill the bigger monsters we need to monitor and cleanse our inner selves.
And that’s no mean task for a civilization as busy with progress as we.