“The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use.” [Arthur Koestler]
Soumya was forced to bid farewell to this world at the age of 24. She jumped out of a running train in order to escape an assault. She was the lone traveller in the ladies’ compartment of the Ernakulam-Shoranur Passenger train as it neared the last station in the late hours of the day. The assaulter jumped out of the train after Soumya. She resisted his attacks. He hit her head with a stone. He assaulted her sexually before stealing her little belongings. The post-mortem report suggests that Soumya might have been assaulted sexually two times, the second being after she had fallen unconscious due to the severe injury on her head.
Soumya died in a medical college two days after the incident. She was supposed to begin a new life. She was travelling home from her workplace for a ceremony called ‘bride-seeing,’ a date arranged by parents as part of an arranged marriage.
She was laid to rest yesterday.
Today’s Times of India carries about half a dozen reports of rapes in and around Delhi. From a little girl aged 3 to one aged 17 are the victims of man’s brutality in the incidents reported. How does anyone get the bestiality to perpetrate an assault on a child three years old?
The beast in man terrifies me. No, it is not even a beast? How many beasts in the jungle will ever do such an act? None, I’m sure.
Is the human being worse than a beast?
Jonathan Swift was one author who thought man was worse than a beast. In Gulliver’s Travels Swift presented a community of horses which are far nobler than the race of human beings whom Swift called Yahoo.
The latest Autobiography of Mark Twain [published posthumously in compliance with the author’s request to publish it only 100 years after his death] has the author saying: “Man is the only (creature) that kills for fun; he is the only one that kills in malice, the only one that kills for revenge… He is the only creature that has a nasty mind.”
This article started with a quote from Arthur Koestler which implies that man does not make use of his rational mind, his brain. He remains prehistoric in his savagery. Koestler argued in one of his books that human evolution has been one-sided. Consequently we have been able to achieve roaring success in science and technology. But we have remained savages at the emotional level. The brain evolved, the heart stagnated. We carry the heart of the brute which lost its tail and started walking on two legs. [I am aware of the paradox here, in saying that the brain evolved but at the same time that man does not make use of his brain. The meaning lies beyond the paradox and should be obvious.]
The brutishness of man reveals itself in protean shapes every day.
Soumya is just a symbol of that.
A very disturbing symbol.