Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Suresh Kumar and his Suspension!


I am surprised that people are making this much noise about Suresh Kumar’s being suspended from service. I presume that it is all only because of the politics involved. I am sure that Suresh Kumar himself welcomes the relieving period of enforced leisure. Anybody that has a care for himself would only welcome suspension from service as long as they pay you living money or Subsistence Pay, for not working. This on the assumption that you belong to a service where you do not have the system of daily 'collection' and sharing of it!

You do not have to get up in the morning; rush to the office and face the bullies there. You can sit idle, sleep whenever you feel like it, watch TV, browse, chat, read, listen to music, watch all the movies….! No phone calls, no visitors. It is heaven on earth.

I myself keep myself at the Computer or TV till 8 in the morning; then sleep till midday. Wife has gone to school, son to the college. Food is ready on the dining table. I eat and go back to the Net or do whatever I feel like doing. I am totally the master of my life.

People – they keep away from you once you are suspended - ask me if I do not feel humiliated, ashamed and prestige-lost. I tell them no. Why should I? It is not as if I have been suspended because I raped or stole. They did not like an Email that I sent; they felt insecure, belittled, inferior and threatened. They suspended me. Now they have to manufacture charges and go the full way with the proceedings. And in the end, they would end up paying me damages. That money would be my gift to my family.

You can imagine the relief and floating feeling of lack of care that one feels in my circumstances. I shall have to refer to the Thesaurus to describe it. If someone were to ask Suresh Kumar, I am sure that he would express similar thoughts.

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing."

The ‘blasphemous’ Email that caused my Suspension:
Bullying Lessons:3
To all offices:
Why junior staff members are afraid to speak out against senior colleagues
Why they try to remain bystanders, onlookers, witnesses, eyewitnesses, spectators, and turncoats
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it”: Martin Luther King
In most bullying situations, the target of bullying finds himself/herself isolated and alone. Work colleagues, who may formerly have been friendly and supportive, melt away and the target is left feeling like a pariah and an outcast.
There are many reasons why colleagues at work fail to come to the aid of a fellow worker that is being bullied. These include:
• the bully has gone round the department and warned everybody off, often using implied threats of reorganisation (redundancy), restructuring (redundancy) or even disciplinary action against anyone who helps the target
• the bully creates a climate of fear where everybody is afraid to speak out or take action
• fear of reprisal
• very few people, when put to the test, have the integrity and moral courage to stand up against bullying, harassment, corruption etc; the target is selected often because he does have this moral courage; most people will pass by on the other side, only targets have the integrity to be good Samaritans
• in the presence of an aggressor, particularly a devious, manipulative, charming one, many people prefer to act more like sheep than humans
• many bystanders are only mediocre at their jobs and their sense of vulnerability through fear of being targeted is thus greater
• understanding about/of bullying is low and many people still hold outdated views such as "why don't you stand up for yourself?" [answer - because the moment you assert your right not to be bullied, the bully moves into phase two of the bullying process which is elimination] and "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"
• work colleagues often have no understanding or experience of bullying, manipulation, psychological violence, etc
• some bystanders are able to employ the "I didn't know what to do" excuse to abdicate and deny their responsibility; bystanders who use this excuse make no effort to find out
• you'll be surprised to realise how many work colleagues have brown noses which you hadn't noticed before or which you'd put down to sunburn
• some of your workmates will turn out to be turncoats
• denial is everywhere
• in environments where the bullying is entrenched, it's regarded as "normal" behaviour
• work mates think that if they keep their heads down, their mouths shut and pretend nothing is happening then it won't happen to them [wrong - their turn will come eventually]
• work colleagues have their own share of problems and they're not going to risk losing their job for someone else
• your workmates are not people you have chosen to be with and they may not be friends - they just happen to be there
• work is an institution, not a family or community; your co-workers have no legal obligation towards you
• bullying goes on over a long period of time, the target eventually becomes obsessive about the bullying, work colleagues start to experience compassion-fatigue and turn off; if the bullying continues, colleagues may become aggressive and actively join in with the mobbing, victimising and scape-goating as the pack mentality takes over
• unlike assault and harassment, bullying is subtle and comprises hundreds, perhaps thousands, of incidents which out of context and in isolation are trivial - thus bystanders can't see the full picture
• bullies exert power and control by a combination of selectively withholding information and spreading disinformation, therefore everyone has a distorted picture - of only what the bully wants them to see
• bullying often goes on behind closed doors so no-one sees it or recognises it
• bullying may be carried out in front of people who are unable to recognise the tactics of bullying, especially the use of guilt and sarcasm
• the bully goes to great lengths to undermine their target and portray them as a poor performer - work colleagues are encouraged to regard the target as a threat to the organisation
• the bully is a smooth, slimy, sycophantic individual who excels at deception using a combination of compulsive lying, Jekyll and Hyde nature, manipulation, mimicry of normal behaviour, self-assuredness and charm
• bullies, especially female bullies, are masters of manipulation, and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions (eg: guilt); bullies see any form of vulnerability (eg: the need to pay the mortgage) as an opportunity for manipulation and exploitation
• your colleagues at work have vulnerabilities too
• bullies are adept at manipulating peoples' perceptions with intent to engender a negative view of the target in the minds of work colleagues, management and personnel - this is achieved through undermining, including the creation of doubts and suspicions and the sharing of false concerns
• bullies poison the atmosphere and actively poison people's minds against the target
• when close to being outwitted and exposed, the bully feigns victim-hood and turns the focus on themselves - another example of manipulating people through their emotion of guilt, eg: sympathy, feeling sorry
• most bystanders are hoodwinked by the bully's ruses for abdicating responsibility and evading accountability, eg: "that's all in the past, let's focus on the future", "what's in the past is no longer relevant", "you need to make a fresh start", and "forgive and forget, you've got to move on", etc.
• the bully encourages and manipulates bystanders to lie, act dishonourably and dishonestly, withhold information and spread misinformation
• the bully manipulates bystanders to punish the target for alleged infractions, ie the bystanders become instruments of harassment
• the bully is often able to bewitch one especially emotionally needy bystander into being their easily controlled spokesperson / advocate / supporter / denier
• the bully often forms an alliance with a colleague who has the same behaviour profile, thus increasing the levels of threat, fear and dysfunction
• the bully is able to charm and manipulate a number of bystanders to act as supporters, assistants, re-inforcers, appeasers, deniers, apologists and minimisers
• in an environment where aggression is dominant, good people become disempowered and disenfranchised
• many people do not have the emotional intelligence or behavioural maturity to understand bullying, let alone deal with it
• when there's conflict in the air, most people want to be on the winning side, or the side they think will survive
• some people gain gratification (a perverse feeling of satisfaction) from seeing others in distress and thus become complicit in the bullying
• a few sad people think that bullying is funny
• some observers regard behavioural responses that are reasonable and civilised as a sign of weakness rather than maturity
• many people lack critical thinking skills and analytical abilities and thus cannot see through the facade or the bully's mask of deceit
• apathy is rampant
• many employers are interested only in creating a workforce of corporate clones and drones so this is what employees are programmed to be
• the bully grooms bystanders, and the target, to believe the target deserves the treatment he is receiving
• when the target of bullying is off sick, the bully labels them as having a "mental health problem" and forbids staff to contact the person
• the bystanders see only the Dr Jekyll side of the bully, but only the target sees the Mr/Ms Hyde side; Dr Jekyll is sweet and charming, Mr/Ms Hyde is evil; Mr/Ms Hyde is the real person, Dr Jekyll is an act
• many workplaces undergo reorganisation every six months (or more) therefore there's never sufficient time for employees to gain an accurate picture of the bully
It's easy to see the parallels between the actions and inactions of workplace colleagues and how Hitler was able to co-opt so many of the German people into supporting him - those with the moral integrity to refuse were arrested, tortured and shot. Hitler was not the first dictator to eliminate anyone who objected. Rome created a great empire, not by having meetings, but by killing all those who opposed them. In the workplace, those who decline to support the bully are isolated, victimised, scapegoat-ed, have undue constraints and excessive workloads imposed, and are then subjected to disciplinary proceedings on trumped-up charges as a prelude to losing their job (as well as their career, livelihood and health). In very rare cases you may receive information from a bystander who wants to help but is afraid to do so publicly for fear of retribution - and fear of becoming the next target.
Bystanders can make a significant difference in the workplace (and in bullying situations in school); because bullies are cowards and if they sense that someone other than their target is going to expose them, they may slink away with their tail between their legs. However, bullies are extremely vindictive and will do everything in their power to destroy anyone who can see through their mask of deceit.

Friday, 19 December 2008

The new POTA

As happened in the USA after the 9/11, which many believe was a State conspiracy, the 26/11 which was the result of lapses by the Coast Guard and the Navy, has reduced the middle classes of the country to panic. The situation is cleverly being used by the ruling classes to institutionalize an Orwellian 1984. The Opposition and the Treasury benches have joined to pass laws that would make the State immune to any human rights violation. The new law will increase the period of detention of suspects by the police and the judiciary from 90 to 180 days and seeks to choke the financial pipelines of groups suspected of abetting terrorism. But the law also makes the signed confession of suspects in police custody inadmissible in court, a crucial deterrent against coercive methods often used during interrogation. It also gives the courts the power to decide on bail in some cases. All this in a country where custodial deaths and fake encounters; and thousands languishing in jails without trial is the rule even under existing laws and regulations, which are reportedly ineffectual that we need a new POTA!

The two most important democracies on the globe thus become dictatorships of the ruling classes. I weep for the thousands of teens and young men of this country that would now suffer renewed State brutality. The middle classes that applaud the new laws might feel otherwise when they would find their own hauled off by our corrupt State apparatus on whimsical grounds or no grounds at all.

Monday, 15 December 2008


Whenever the CPM comes to power in Kerala, the NGO Union rules the State. The ministers leave it totally to the Union to administer the State and formulate policies, frame rules and implement them. Every Left rule in the State has thus been responsible for excessive bureaucratisation of the society.

At best only mindless agitators, LDF ministers and legislators have always lacked that something which makes good administrators. The consequence is that they have always been like Alice in Wonderland with in the Secretariat. They lean heavily on the civil servants’ unions affiliated to their parties and look unto them to suggest each minor step that the administration would take. Ideally, it is the bureaucracy that should look up to the elected representatives for initiatives.
The wily bureaucrats in their turn ensure that systems and procedures are so formulated and amended that the Clerk reigns supreme in all matters, with officials’ tentacles gripping each nut and screw in people’s lives. It has been seen that towards the end of each LDf rule, bureaucratic enthusiasm to suck the last drop of blood from the citizen opens up full throttle.

The Unions ensure that the intereference of the State is embedded more and more in each area of civil life. This is done to ensure perpetual bureaucratic supremacy even when the other Front comes to power. The majority of the bureaucracy is always the NGO Union men. Absolute mindlessness, with only motives of bribe deciding things, is seen in all projects and laws for the future during any CPM rule.

Feebleness of the mind by the NGO Union only caused the unnecessary and stupid controversy about the State government's ignoring the late Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan's bereaved family. The State ended up looking ridiculous and un-mannered. That the English media played up an innocent and usual Malayalam colloquialism used by the CM showed motivated media idiocy as well.

Had Maj. Sandeep's family been living in Kannur, his father would not have dared to give vent to his dissatisfaction in the way he did. CPM cadres of Kodiyeri would have set fire to the house after beating up the bereaved.