Editorial: Blame Games

When everyone plays victim, who will take the initiative?

Anyone who has been following political developments and public statements of public figures in Sikkim, or for that matter at the national level, would have noticed that everyone is quick to take the position of a victim. This propensity is not limited to those in the Opposition or in the minority and is as frequently adopted position even by those in power or in the majority as well. And this is not even a new ploy; in fact, it is a dated move. But it continues to remain in vogue because playing the victim presents the easiest recourse and offers a convenient way to dodge accountability – after all, if you sign up among the victims as someone [or some people] somehow wronged, you escape being lined up as perpetrators. This dodge has worked consistently well and is hence so infectious; and need one add, dangerously counterproductive because it obsesses over denials and slights, real and imagined, but ignores individual and societal shortcomings which also contribute to the situation. Politicians in power blame those in opposition of distractions and digressions which delay development, those in opposition blame the ones in power of corruption which siphons away progress, people blame each other for personal failures, locals blame non-locals of stealing away opportunities, non-locals accuse locals of sloth, doctors blame patients for having come to them too late and patients blame doctors of being too inept... Students blame teachers, teachers reciprocate, and the blame-game plays on and everyone sulks as a victim. Soon the role-play becomes so convincing that the young start buying in and now a generation is in grooming which is quick to blame everything on someone else, becoming intransigent and perfectly mirroring the very system and situation that they have issues with. Finger-pointing is a preferred pastime that the young see around them every day – leaders who fail to convince voters to trust them, blame money power or even the EVMs, parties which cannot attract an audience, blame intimidation of supporters; departments which scandalize with their inefficiency, blame blackmailing agents of spreading canards; panchayats who bungle, blame MLAs who blame Ministers who blame babus who blame political pressure... and the buck keep rolling. The young always inspire hope and keep optimism alive and they do so by rebelling, by announcing that they will be different. Ominously for Sikkim, those claiming to speak for the young are screaming deeper colours of victimhood. When they should be open and pursuing excellence, they obsess over perceived slights, celebrate mediocrity, abandon reason and chase conspiracies. The young receive “attitude” from one side and condescending advise from the other, and very soon their issues get sidelined as the discussions move to places which serve politicking very well, but offer no resolutions. And when solutions can’t be worked out, everyone collapses backing to playing victims of subterfuge.