ON PLAYING VICTIM
In great epic Mahabharta, on being born blind, Dhritrashtra, the father of Dharyodhana always played victim for attracting attention and sympathy. For his blindness, he blamed his destiny and Iswara. And after the demise of his brother Pandu he was crowed as a king due to his angry outbursts of being victim by circumstances and all others who come in contact with him.
Playing victim is a height of irresponsibility. The one who plays victim, does not want to do his/her duty as a true citizen. This sort of a person just knows where his/her bread would be buttered and adopts every method in the armoury to shirk responsibility.
It has rightly been said that humans have to interact in order to get his / her needs fulfilled. For this, some social obligations too are placed and for fulfillment of these, one essentially has to have emotional maturity. A person with low level of emotional maturity just goes on blaming others for his/her failings and at times seeks attention by feigning victimized. These people exhibit their emotional upsurges by staging hurtful and blaming others at every pretext so as to attract attention besides diverting others’ attention from the others. Blaming others is their main ploy/pastime. Such people get satisfaction by inflicting sufferings on others by his/her ill-intentioned intent.
In our day to day lives, many a times, we must have seen people who are expert in playing victim despite being law breakers of highest order. They prove so, by their deliberate acts of omissions and commissions besides being frivolous in nature. This could be synonym with ‘the pot calling the kettle black’. It is also rightly been said, if we repeat a lie ten times, then, being humans, we start thinking there may be some semblance of truth – taking cue from the adage ‘no fire without smoke’. When somebody throws mud at us, some of it surely sticks, despite our ducking.
There are people who are always ready to tarnish others’ image by projecting themselves as ‘holier than thou’ and play victimized by hurling frivolous charges which the other person may not have even inkling about. So much so strident is their offense that the actual victim finds it hard to defend or no explanation could placate the feigner. These sorts of people will hurl every sort of blames on others in order to gain easy publicity and sympathy.
We have instances where a community as a whole was forced to leave their homes and hearths under the cruel shadow of gun and the very people cried hoarse for their human rights being muzzled. The actual perpetrators playing or feigning victim under the glare of media had had a negative impact on the psyche of actual victims. The pain of losing the native place where one is born and experienced the ups and downs is known only to the actual victim and not the feigner.
At this, we are reminded of a story of a wolf and a poor lamb. As the lamb was drinking water downstream, the wolf told that it was muddying its water. Lamb, in its exasperation, fearing reprisal told that the water was actually flowing from wolf to the lamb and not otherwise. On this, the wolf anyhow wanted to eat the lamb and pounced upon the lamb and ate it up.
The righteous person will feel disillusioned if somebody labels uncalled-for insinuations against him/her for a questionable behavior; which, if gone through threadbare, will have no takers.
• At Home. There are some members in the family who for attracting attention may cook up stories or manipulate some events in their favour to get undue benefits. It is because family members, due to their proximity know the vulnerability of each person and hence are always on the lookout for taking advantage. At time, some members may feign illness to attract attention in order to escape from taking responsibility.
The main cause of playing victim are inherent prejudices besides jealousies which bedevil the relationships between different people in the family fabric. If these factors are taken care of then sure enough the malady will be removed and an air of trust is established.
• Work Place. We have ourselves experienced some people who are manipulators at the work place. They interfere in the affairs of others in order to prove their worth for winning the brownie points. Such fellows want to project themselves as real contributors for the organization. Such people know where their bread is buttered and buttered nicely. They exploit the propensity of the head of the institution to be swayed by the pep talk or flattery and such people take advantage of this weakness at times by poisoning their ears against others in the organization. When lie is nailed, they try their last weapon of emotional blackmail.
• In Informal Institutions. Playing victim is also rampant in informal institutions where their interests as an institution is concerned albeit at the cost of others. This could be done by adopting any manipulative stratagem as deemed fit; by attacking the vulnerability of others to gain brownie points. Its implications are too bad because general masses just are swayed by informal institutions.
• Playing Victim by the Political Parties. Knowing full well the mood of the people, due to their party’s non-performance coupled with their involvement in different scams while in power, political parties adopt different methodologies to delude the voters to get their support. This strategy does not succeed all the times because of voters’ maturity. They know that this playing victim is mere a show and thus voters pay back in the same coin by defeating the concerned party.
Remedy lies in the political parties to deliver their promises through good governance. Mere feigning victimized does not pay now. It is because masses have not matured and know their rights and duties.
• It is not only true of individuals but also communities and countries. Recent times, we have the examples of some countries which inflict untold death and destruction on the hapless civilians by firing heavy caliber fire but sadly feign ignorance of the same or play victimized by the other country. This is also to getting sympathy and also to divert attention from the real issues and also to wash their hands off their ill-conceived designs. They resort of blackmail when their ill-conceived deceit is detected.
The best solution is to realize the futility of playing victimized and work for a balanced growth in our lives. This could meaningfully be achieved if we adopt spiritual way of living where we do our Karma with the association of God.