The fearsome tag
Many must have remembered the Yellow Ribbon advert of an ex convict talking to a little girl and the fear it sent to the viewers that he was up to something no good. With his tattoo and appearance, the impression was bad, but it turned out that he was the girl’s daddy.
An artistic person performing a cultural dance would often be well appreciated by the audience especially if the dancer was a high profile professional from another field. Wow, the doctor is such a great dancer, or the minister or the CEO of a big corporation being carried on a well decorated sedan chair. There is nothing creepy about that. This is likely to be the reaction in normal circumstances.
The impression will be coloured, tainted, biased, if one wears a tag, especially a tag bordering on insanity. Once a tag is being pinned on a person, anything the targeted person does will be seen through that lens no matter if the case is proven. Any trait or behaviour that fits the looney category could be seen as confirmation that the tag is true.
M Ravi has just been accused of bi polar disorder or unusual behavior. Not proven yet. Now he went to Hong Lim to perform a dance in public. This is immediately seen as weird, that he is really what he was accused of. And the media is picking this point up. Wow, Ravi’s behavior is strange indeed.
Why is this so? Why is it that the commentators were not seeing the good side of Ravi, his other talents, that he could dance a classical Indian dance? And that was what he did.
Now this performance would likely be used by his opponents as evidence to prove their case, that Ravi is really a nut case. The tag is very powerful and destructive. It made the up the mind for many unthinking and innocent onlookers. All it needs is to plant the idea and all actions will be seen through that tinted glass, to confirm or to dismiss it. In this case, the dance performance is likely to be taken negatively against Ravi.
The door of IMH is open and waiting. How is Ravi going to get out of this snare? How many psychiatrists will be called upon to prove that Ravi is indeed of unsound mind? How many would be called to defend him, to prove that he is just another normal person with different talents and temperaments? And not dangerous, and be fit to work as a lawyer in his professional capacity.
Or would Ravi even get a chance to defend himself before the light goes out on him?