Guilt And Shame- Humanity’s Shield

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Cinema, Friends, Literature, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

The phone call reminded us of what and all had happened, though the intention behind the call was just to enquire. But it did remind us of that incident which we did not script, happened because of us. We had laughed about it then, but now we couldn’t. After a moments silence Daadi Ma (Deepanshi Tandon) said “I am feling bad.” There was a genuine guilt in her. I, though felt bad, did not voice it as my ego stopped me.

That night wile i was lying on my bed waitiing for sleep to some sit beside me and sing lullaby for me, I felt ashamed of myself for having tried to combat guilt with all sort of reasoning. At the same time i was moved by the genuine guilt of Daadi Ma.

If betrayal is the greatest similarity between Judas and Brutus, the greatest difference would be the feeling of guilt, which pricks Judas and not Brutus. Though, the act cannot be undone by guilt it can for sure act as a watchdog in the future.

Guilt is like a watchdog which, if genuine, guides our action in the future. It appears to me that guilt is a sign of a healthy mind. Like guilt, sense of shame also acts as a watchdog to shape and scripts our action in a more humane and civilized manner. It also makes us humble and human. These two elements are very essential in human beings, it appears to me, if the world has to remain a civilized one.

The most touching part of Anand Bhai’s film War And Peace is the Lahore Public School scene where a debate regarding nuclear weapon is being held. A girl who speaks in favour of nuclear weapon in the debate later contradicts herself when Anand Bhai sits with the debators for an informal discussion. When asked about the contradiction the girl tells that while debating one leans towards the side which would fetch more points. At this point Anand Bhai tells her than even the politicians do the same- speak in favour of that which would fetch them more votes. This statement by Anand Bhai makes the girl feel guilty and ashamed at the same time and she says “Hum Maafi Chahtein Hai” (I am sorry) Probably the difference between thr girl and the politicians is that of guilt and shame.

A chapter in Gandhiji’s autobiography is titled Shyness My Shield. I would like to borrow the idea from Gandhi and alter his sentence to say GUILT AND SHAME- HUMANITY’S SHIELD.

14 April 2009

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