Introduction Double standards can be typically described as one where any individual talks something in public and preaches it to others but practices just the opposite. This can be done secretly or in public. However, even if it is done secretly, the news soon leaks out. He or she loses whatever respects he or she has. Over a period of time, he or she is never respected by even his or her closest relatives. There are other social consequences too. These can be discussed with specific reference to how a) Double Standards promote hatred b) Double Standards create "Me too" behaviors c) Double Standards set very wrong examples d) Double Standards demolish everything good about human nature and e) Double Standards meek surrender to fate.
Double Standards promote hatred Just imagine how much of hatred is there for the BJP in Tamil Nadu. Its local leaders make the tallest claims towards the welfare of all citizens of Tamil Nadu. Yet, the facts speak for themselves. There have been the most horrible projects like the Hydrocarbon projects and the methane extraction projects and the now-in-court eight-lane Highway project between Salem and Chennai, that have led to huge farmer backlash. Yet, these projects have been sought to be pushed down the throats of a huge population of totally unwilling people The brazen support to the disastrous Tuticorin firing that killed at least sixteen people was even supported by the local leaders.
Such outrageous double standards have promoted hatred. The people, in general, hate politicians who practice double standards. It is not that politicians are alone in practicing double standards. Senior executives who talk about cost-cutting put the AC on in full throttle in their rooms, while the others suffer the hot summer out in really tough environs. People start hating those who practice double standards. If they try to impose discipline in subordinates, they do not respond. Hatred for such people grows day after day.
Double Standards create "Me too" behaviors There are most others who watch helplessly, the brazen display of double standards by those who practice it. Over a period of time, this becomes so common that people start accepting it as a way of life. When someone points out the double standards of any such person, the immediate response is "tell me, who does not do it?". This actually means that many others start doing the same. At home, if someone is so strict that his girl, fifteen years old should not talk to men who are strangers, but if that person were to try to talk to any woman he meets with, the practice of double standards becomes so complete. The daughter would do the same and make friends with so many boys since that is quite natural to do so at that age. When questioned, she would immediately retort that her own father does it. So what is the harm in my doing it? In this fashion, the "Me too" behaviors start creeping in and the hapless mother is put to the maximum difficulty. More often than not, she would suffer so much and only ventilate all her suffering to some other relative. Most husbands do not encourage any such discussion. To cross the line is never considered wrong by men at all. In fact, the societal values in many places actually sanction such bad behavior. Men having an illicit relationship with another lady outside marriage is not talked about so badly. The girls in such families also fall astray and do not obey the parents.
Double Standards set very wrong examples This problem is more acute with the issue of corruption. Since everyone is corrupt, a boy who is just fourteen years old learns the tricks of the trade when he is so young. This leads to very wrong examples. In fact, the parents are very embarrassed when they see the children ask very uncomfortable questions. However, parents who stick to age-old values of honesty and integrity still have children who practice it. This author knows of one gentleman in Madurai city. He would not bribe the local politician who demanded money to get him a ration card. His ration card did not come. This gentleman then wrote an open letter, mentioning all this experience to the district collector, a lady who was very honest. She pulled up the district officials and the man got his ration card within minutes. Today, there is so much of a big influence of mass media. People are brave enough to prepare Youtube videos on such corruption. Hence some sanity is there and corruption has come down to a limited extent. However, in general, when people compromise and indulge in all sorts of double standards, they set the worst of wrong examples all the way.
Double Standards demolish everything good about human natureAll the violence that we get to see in the society is the result of double standards. When so many thousands of people do not practice what they preach, the youngsters are prone to violence. They indulge in very deviant behavior. The communist and Naxalite movements are born out of such a wide gap between what is preached and practiced. We do have so many inequalities between people at all levels, and this also leads to violence and preaching of a dangerous doctrine against corruption. And against the very rich, who had made money only through illegal means. Moreover, people tell lies, they cheat others, they stab people on the back and so on. When they find everyone practicing double standards, they lose their balance and go astray. This author has seen this happen in one Management Institute in Ranchi, where he was employed for a short while. The owner was so unethical. He would demand that the staff work so hard. But he would do all personal work, brazenly, during working hours. He had his own informers. He had misused money collected from students. The other staff who had not cooperated were punished. However, over a period of two months, they started exhibiting all negative behaviors.
Double Standards meek surrender to fate This is another problem. Those who are totally value-driven are rare. But when these few people watch all the dirty things, they simply resign themselves to fate. The absence of big social action against injustice is very rare. The entire Tamil population did it when it thought that the BJP Government was stopping Jallikattu, a famous sport in South Tamil Nadu, that is very famous during the Pongal festival. The mass uprising forced the Government of India to sanction it. However, such social action is very rare.
Conclusion Double standards are very dangerous. Some dimensions of how it could destroy the social fabric have been discussed above. We should do our best to stop double standards to the extent possible. A personal example of walking the talk is very vital.