The theory of mediocrity would suggest that the meritorious who are always small in number as a nature’s gift will be dominated by a vast number of mediocre as the latter cannot withstand the inferiority they suffer from. By subjugating the merit, they derive a pleasure of having established their superiority. Such processes are functional in all spheres in life though the field of art is the worst sufferer. An artist mind is most sensitive and those who are meritorious in this lot possess exceptionally different traits. This makes them more vulnerable and, on the other hand, it paves the path of the mediocre to cast their shadows all around. Unjust and strong criticisms are sufficient to detract many.
In developing countries the modes of subjugation are many. Individuals do not hesitate to take recourse to criminal means as the subconscious prevalent with vengeance, accesses easily the outlets for execution. The lack of civility and the power of money form a unique combination to destabilise a personality of talent. Further, mediocrity in self-defence creates such institutions which make them survive eternally without being exposed or punished.
The recent suicide of an extremely talented and young actor (Sushant Singh Rajput) in the Bollywood is a live example of such torture and destabilization mechanisms. Certain groups without talent but with resources have been successful in establishing their dominance all over. The financiers of projects are dependent on them, the production houses carry out their orders and their decisions in all spheres will have to followed because disobedience can result in complete dismissal of an organisation or a character – be it director, producer or artist or whosoever may be there in that chain. Their access to underworld can result in smooth physical elimination. Oral backstabbing can produce exclusion and exit from the industry. Even certain degree of success in acquiring consignment can be turned as flop with their fingertips. If the talented artist happens to be lacking in strong networks because s(he) did not have a legacy in the field, a couple of nominal strategies are sufficient to demolish their carrier. Thus, talent is resisted and mediocrity keeps the temple ready for its own worship even in the future years to come. The new recruits will be their decisions so that there is no possibility of comparison and eventually mediocrity would rule to prove that it is the best among all.
This theory helps us explain the paradox of why in a developing country like India unbelievably large magnitude of resource-based projects are pursued in the cinema industry with a disproportionately large tilt towards average outcomes, the impressive ones being within the confinements of finger counts. The answers to how such a sub-optimal situation persists and why it is not self-corrective are embedded in the basic principles on which these organisations function without collapsing. Such multifunctional monopolies must be crushed with strong state intervention if quality output is to be generated with efficient utilisation of resources in the film industry.
This suicide is not a mistake. It is his rebel of the heart, his protest against injustice, his unacceptability of mediocrity. For a new personality without any jetty in this vast ocean mere adverse remarks, rejections in a few occasions and backbiting are adequate to humiliate the talent the person possesses. A couple of threats of dire consequences to his/her contacts resulting in social ostracization may be preserved for future pursuals. And it is this failure or the fear of failure created on ingenuine grounds provoked a young talent to bid goodbye to the human civilization on earth. If it is a genuine failure it is easy to accept; but anything that is created with an evil design and connivance can only lead to elimination. For an unpretentious talent the self-initiated physical elimination is much easy to accept than to spend life in indignity and shame that is an outcome of falsehood and baselessness.
It requires a great deal of courage and sacrifice to end life in this manner, revolting against injustice, the dominance of ingenuine quarters in the society and conditions which do not seem to reversible in the horizon. No amount of legal endeavour would have helped him due to the lack of concrete proof and witness. Depression as what is narrated, is the phase during which he was contemplating upon this extreme step, for, he was increasingly getting convinced that no other alternate was possible to change the system. When we want the world to avoid wrongful paths and we cannot do so it is natural to feel the withdrawal symptom.
Only such an end can possibly force others to intervene and bring a structural change for new institutions to emerge and save the future talent from being demolished on selfish desires of a few. The artist through his action has tried to convey much more than what we are able to read through popular media. After all, he was not of an ordinary mind! His action reminds us of the short story, Jibita O Mrita, by Tagore, in which the childless widow commits suicide to prove that she had not died earlier. The author commented that she endorsed death to prove that she was alive. In the epic Mahabharata, Arjun had vowed that he would die of self-immolation if he would not be able to kill Jayadratha before the sunset.
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