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This post is based on the TOI article Mobocracy: Empathy for the victim or glee at a man falling? by Asha Prakash| Jul 15, 2017 (article)

Context: Leading actor of Malayalam film industry was arrested for alleged conspiracy behind gang-rape of a woman actor. And wherever he was taken to, by the police, for questioning and  collecting  evidence, “gleeful crowds” thronged booing and taking photographs of him. (photo from same article)


This phenomenon was explored by the author by asking the following question to many experts. The responses are synthesized below from the article (adapted for blog presentation).

Question: “Is it outrage at the star for allegedly plotting the assault of a woman, or is it plain joy at seeing the fall of someone rich and famous?”


1. Maala Parvathy, Psychologist and Actor –

“We never knew so many people were concerned about the safety of women!” she says, tongue firmly in cheek. “I notice a kind of joy on the faces of these people, but is it something to be celebrated, the fact that we have a criminal among us? It should be a matter of fear and concern.” Booing the star is part of mass hysteria,  mob psychology. Jealousy about the star-status and  sadistic pleasure in seeing the fall are other feelings involved .

2. Paul Zachariah, Writer –

..there is an inherent blood thirst inside everyone which only surfaces during such incidents. “Saritha Nair was also hounded and booed like this and Dileep is just the new candidate. The average lower middle class and middle class people are a credulous lot, and such incidents only awaken this blood thirst,”

3. Dr C.J John, Psychiatrist –

” What we see is a mental disease, the same kind you see in trolling celebrities who make a slip of the tongue. People are becoming a moral court, just like moral police.”

4. James Vadakkancherry, Criminologist –

..feels that Malayalis seem to have all the time in the world. “Curiosity is human, but in our country, our climatic conditions are favourable for people to hang around outdoors. There are no recreational activities or spots, and a lot of idlers are just waiting for something like this.”

5  Another independent article by  കെ.എ. ജോണി, Journalist titled ‘ആലുവയിലെ ആള്‍ക്കൂട്ടം പറയുന്നത്’ came in Mathrubhoomi newspaper on 13 Jul 2017 (PDF). See excerpt below –

ആലുവയില്‍ നിന്നുയരുന്ന ബഹളങ്ങള്‍, ആള്‍ക്കൂട്ടത്തിന്റെ ഉന്മത്ത നൃത്തങ്ങള്‍ – ഇവയാണ് ഇപ്പോള്‍ നമ്മുടെ അന്തരീക്ഷത്തില്‍ നിറയുന്നത്…ഈ ആള്‍ക്കൂട്ടത്തെ ആരെങ്കിലും സംഘടിപ്പിക്കുന്നതാണെന്നു തോന്നുന്നില്ല. ഒരു സ്വാഭാവിക പ്രക്രിയ പോലെ രൂപപ്പെടുകയാണ്. ഒരു നേതാവിനാല്‍ നയിക്കപ്പെടുന്നവരല്ല ഇവര്‍. അന്നേരത്ത്, ആ നിമിഷത്തില്‍ മുന്നില്‍നിന്ന് മുദ്രാവാക്യം വിളിക്കുന്നവര്‍, ആര്‍ത്തുവിളിക്കുന്നവര്‍ അവരാണ് ഈ കൂട്ടത്തെ നയിക്കുന്നത്

Multiperspective ends.


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