“… the criminal and the psychopath, far from being free agents who voluntarily and schemingly undertake a life of crime for personal gain, are often helpless victims of constitutional, psychological, and sociological factors over which they have little control” [James D. Page, Abnormal Psychology].
A year ago, a man called Govindachamy pushed a young girl out of a running train and then raped her after hitting her head with a stone to unconsciousness. I wrote a blog about it then: A Drop of Tear For You, Soumya. Now the Malayala Manorama newspaper has gone all the way to find out the history of this criminal called Govindachamy. The Manorama did a sting operation of a different kind.
According to the report published by the newspaper, Govindachamy is the second son of a soldier in the Indian army. The family lived in a place called Aivatukudi in Tamil Nadu. The father sold the entire family property a few years after retiring from the army because of his alcoholism. The soldier-father was a terror in the neighbourhood. His drinking soon made him a thief. They shifted from their ancestral place to another place called Samatvapuram, near Kuttakudi railway station. The male members of the family, father and two sons, mastered the art of stealing from the railway passengers.
Thus the soldier of the Indian army who is supposed to protect us, the citizens, from the enemy became a thief and converted his sons too into thieves.
The mother of the family, the soldier’s wife, became mad and eventually died in a motor accident while roaming the streets. The ‘soldier’ too died, killed in a motor accident.
The Manorama newspaper also published a letter written by Govindachamy to his elder brother from the jail in which he claims that he would certainly escape the gallows though the law had condemned him to death. “If you live, you should live bravely,” advises Govindachamy in the letter written in exquisite handwriting. The handwriting, whose photo is reproduced by the newspaper, reveals extreme self-confidence.
Psychology says that a person’s character is fully moulded in the first three or four years of his/her life. It is the parents who mould it. Little can be done after that as far as attitudes are concerned, though peer and community influences can influence the child to some extent. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide which community their child will live in and what kind of relationships he/she keeps with peers, and what kind of education he/she will receive. A soldier in the Indian Army could have certainly provided better social environment to his children if he wanted. The fact that his wife died on the road as a lunatic speaks volumes about the soldier (and, I hope, not about all ‘patriots’).
The most unfortunate thing in life is to be born of parents who have no clear vision about life. Govindachamy is just a symbol of such a lineage, a lineage which is too common all over the world today. A lineage which religious leaders are happy to exploit later to gain much advantage especially in financial terms. Look at the earnings of the gurus, the missionaries, and the godmen and godwomen (whose species is becoming extinct now).
The Manorama newspaper also says that Govindachamy succeeded in his theft attempts because of the support he received from the railway officers.
Yes, the environment boosts what one got from one’s parent(s). Govindachamy got theft and crime in his genes from his father. It was boosted by the Indian army’s quarters where, probably, his mother was prostituted with the help of his father.
The Manorama newspaper also says that Govindachamy has links with very high officers. The lawyer who came to plead for him is from Mumbai, a lawyer who charges high fees.
Where do we (the ordinary people) go from Govindachamy and P or Q or S and other such people? From religion that moulds our attitudes with which we contaminate our children? From the society that remains criminal apparently irredeemably?
Mould ourselves. That’s the only answer. Give up readymade answers. Find our own answers.