by Arshid Malik
Drugs, the very menace of it. Why do people ever need to use drugs? One answer is that they are formerly induced with drugs and then they catch on, which is to say that they become addicted and there is almost nothing they can do about it. But for me doing drugs is a categorical impulse avoid being subservient to social authority. People do drugs because they want a free life which society does not want to offer them at any cost.
I chose to write about the desire of every human being to overcome the authority imposed by society because I myself feel trapped in the plethora of institutions, belief systems, family structures broken down to the very nuclear level and the constant pressure to urbanize. People want to be free and that desire is innate in every human being. When we are kids we throw tantrums all the time and these if seen in the right perspective are not tantrums but the child’s innate desire to rebel against authority, the authority being the elder(s). Yet all the same kids somehow get away with it with a little spanking which we call pampering. Kids can be pampered and most kids nowadays are.
But what happens when the kid goes to school; he or she is expected to behave in a “proper” manner, assemblies being the most inductive “military” stratagems used to “straighten” the child. The child has to sit through classes which he doesn’t not even want to be a part of. This continues, as the manufacturing facility, the school continues to labour to manufacture automatons who react to situations in a particular way – the way which has been taught, rather fractured into their receptive minds. When these kids grown up and experience the burst of hormones, most of them rebel against society and more than often this rebellion comes across in the forms of drug abuse, illicit behaviour, rudeness towards elders and these are the “qualities” that lead us to the prognosis of a teenager as depicting socio-pathological traits.
For those who cannot rebel the caging of the society, they are woven into the intermeshing patterns of the society which always tries to bind the individual. These men and women work their ways through routines laid upon routines and never find the urge to explode. Of these, there are people who break and they break down mentally, in most of the cases and are thereof disposed into asylums meant for such “people”. If they ever make it back that means that they have again given in to the caging systems of the society.
Trapping, caging and confining people is intrinsic to modern society for it wants its people to behave in a certain characteristic manner which is essential for the extension of the pod of civilization. Thus civilization in itself is confining through a widespread system of ideologies, observed and shaped contours of cultures which are quite distinct from what human culture truly signifies and represents, and thus religiosities, technological revolutions and all. All these comprising a systematic caging process of the human being who is caught jinxed in between and yields into the larger culture of commercialism.
This is where people, especially young people start rebelling by way of using drugs, hallucinogens and resort to means of violence. Deep-seated is the desire to rebel against the authority of the society, the superstructure that incessantly seeks to tame the like rats.
This Sunday I had a very eventful journey to a remote village of Kashmir. There I could see that people, children, young and old had an innocence about them. They smiled when they meant to smile; they laughed when they meant to laugh and cried when they meant to cry. Lit by natural sunlight, their homes were truly habitable. They were free. But I could see that the tentacles of modern society were gouging their peace out, slowly and steadily.