Mob Behavior – Agitated Mob 

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Mob Behavior – Agitated Mob 


The word crowd has been used in various forms by common people and social scientists. People gathered in the market, on the road or in the field are designated by the name of mob.

By making the word crowd more general, Brown (6) has tried to systematize its use. According to him, the crowd includes Active Crowd or Kinetic Crowd, Mob and Passive Crowd, a crowd called Shrotvad.


In general we can say that all crowds, whether they are excited crowds or audiences, are a mass of such persons who gather at a particular place. These crowds work together, they are anonymous, random, temporary and disorganized. Kimble Young has defined a crowd as, “A crowd is a group of many human beings who gather around an idea or center of common attraction.” This definition includes both an excited crowd and an audience. Are included . A passive crowd like the audience also takes the form of agitated crowd under certain circumstances. For example, we can take a meeting that is taking place in a hall that is too small to accommodate everyone; So there on many occasions we can see the symptoms of agitated crowd behavior.

Similarly, sometimes it happens in different forms of the crowd at that time. ( Escape ) ( Acquisitive ) ( Expressive ) Fear in a disorganized crowd Fear in an organized crowd ( Panics in unorgariized ( Panics in organized Crowds ) Crowds ) Violently excited mob Terrorization ( Lynching ) ( Terrorization ) ( Brown 6 . 841 ) Riots ) When college students have gathered in the hall to watch a cultural program, but they do not like the music or dancer’s program, then they may behave like an excited crowd at that time because they do not like the program.

Conversely, a very active and highly emotional crowd can also turn into an audience when a person appears before them who will explain the aims and goals for which that crowd has gathered, guide them anew. Support those aims or goals. Shakespeare has shown how the behavior of the agitated crowd turns into the behavior of the audience when people gather to see the body of Julius Caesar and listen to the speeches of Brutus and Antoine. In this context, it may also be mentioned the well-known fact that when people gather in large numbers to listen to a speech or to watch a procession, the police officers will be very alert and they will take several police officers as a precaution. soldiers will be deployed.



Symptoms of Mob


Leban ( 7) Martin ( 8 ) McDougall ( 9 ) and Freud ( 10 ) have given many different symptoms of active or agitated crowds.


1. Mental Homogenity


The members of the agitated crowd, irrespective of their education, occupation or intellect, at that time a homogeneity is reflected in their feelings, thoughts and actions. At that time the attention of all the members is towards some common goal and they are all striving to achieve that goal. It was because of this similarity found in the behavior of people of different degrees and levels in terms of intelligence and education that Leban had conceived the idea of ​​’group mind’. Leban was of the view that a person loses his ‘personality’ in the crowd and he starts acting like an ‘automator’. It is not necessary for us to show here that he made a mistake in rendering the group mind; But it is true that the description of the various persons who make up the group is correct. In the agitated crowd, whether workers or college students; But there is a similarity in the behavior of all the members of that group.


2 . Emotionality


Another characteristic of an active crowd is its strong emotionality. Leban wrote that “at that time man also has the willfulness, violence, anger and enthusiasm and valor of a primitive creature.” (7. 36). Excessive impulsivity is a main characteristic of an agitated crowd. Violent anger, fear, happiness and other similar emotions are reflected in the behavior of the agitated crowd.

It is because of this strong emotionality that the agitated crowd becomes ready to commit violent acts.


3. Irrationality

The members of the agitated crowd are of unstable mind, intuitive, intolerant and thoughtless. They get influenced by any kind of logic which suits their strong emotions. The people of the agitated crowd will not bother to think and think about the consequences of their actions and study the situation properly. In fact, there is a close relationship between high emotionality and low thoughtfulness. This is not a characteristic that is peculiar only to the behavior of an agitated crowd. A person who is overly overwhelmed by anger or fear or shame or joy, while alone, behaves in a irrational manner. Most of the murders are committed by persons when they are under such strong emotions that they increase their emotionality and the emotions reduce their reasoning power. Whether the violence is of an individual or a group of individuals, in both these situations there is a common characteristic of high emotionality and low degree of rationality. Suffering from excessive emotion, even the most disciplined persons like military officers commit murder or suicide. Therefore, we should not take prudence as something that is peculiar to the excited crowd. In that case, it only adds intensity because then a large number of people at that time behave in a discreet manner.


4. Diminished Sense of Responsibility


Another characteristic of agitated mob behavior is the loss of a sense of responsibility. At that time people behave in a very irresponsible manner. In Calcutta, for example, such incidents often happen several times, when angry mobs torch the trams. This angry mob, whether of idle people or factory workers or college students, all of them behave irresponsibly by burning the valuable property of the state. We see that simple social controls that prevent violence do not work when individuals are very emotional.


5. experience the power


The members of the agitated crowd have a feeling of unresponsiveness as well as a sense of all-powerfulness. They feel that they have the power to do everything and that no power on earth can stop them. The aggressively agitated mob will attack the armed police and even the armed police vehicles. The members of the mob get frightened and run away only when the police after getting the orders of the magistrate start firing. For example, an excited crowd of students feels at that time that they can do anything to achieve their goal.


6. feeling of being anonymous _ _ _


Many of these characteristics of the behavior of individuals in an agitated crowd are due to not knowing the name. Everyone feels that the entire group is responsible for violent acts; Therefore, no person feels himself responsible for his violent actions. Everyone considers himself safe. He understands that he will not be able to be traced nor will he be punished, because many people have a hand in doing that work. That’s why they are completely confident and behave in the same way as other members of the crowd.




Types of Mob


Blumer has given such a classification of crowds that includes both excited crowd behavior and grotesque behavior. He refers to a “casual crowd” which is short-lived, its organization is also loose and that crowd is a loosely organized group and it is motivated by some fascinating event of the time. When an accident happens or a person behaves in a strange way, then people can gather at that place as a group. Some other crowds may be traditional, their functions are specified by traditional rules or hopes, gatherings of people at a religious festival or gathering of spectators during a football or cricket match are examples of this type of crowd. The third crowd is the active crowd, it is aggressive and it is working towards its definite goal. An excited crowd is an example of an “active crowd”. Finally comes the “expressive crowd”. There is no clear and definite goal of this crowd. It is a group of people who gather together at one place due to some event.


1. aggressively agitated crowd


We have already seen how the active mob which is aggressive behaves. According to Dollard (15) aggressive behavior is behavior that aims to hurt a person. Aggressive mob attacks people and destroys property. Hindu-Muslim riots or disturbances between the followers of two sides in the village are examples of aggressively agitated mobs. In a disturbance, two agitated mobs act aggressively against each other. There is violence on both sides. The second type of disturbance is one in which the behavior of the agitated mob towards the police, whose duty is to maintain law and order, is violent. A huge agitated mob can surround and terrorize a small police force. In India, in the last few years since independence, unfortunately

Such a situation has come up many times. When such a situation arose, the police attacked the unarmed crowd with sticks and even opened fire. Whose fault is it, it is difficult to say at that time. An agitated mob may intimidate the policemen or a terrorized police may retaliate by firing at unarmed people. Whatever it is, it is clear that both the public and the police need to change their behaviour. Those who are troubled due to any social injustice, they should behave in a moderate and non-violent manner and do not commit acts like stone pelting, attack on police and destruction of property. On the contrary, the policemen and magistrates should also realize that the angry and agitated crowd consists of ordinary citizens and generally good-natured persons who cause some inconvenience. They should not provoke or intimidate them by threatening to beat them or shoot them. In fact, it would be wiser for policemen to deal with crowds without firearms, so that neither side feels intimidated. Due to this, excessive fear or extreme anger arises in them. Both these situations arise due to firing on the disarmed crowd. Another example of an agitated aggressive mob is a violently agitated mob. A violently agitated mob attacks an individual or a small group of individuals illegally and is not satisfied unless it traumatizes them or ends their lives. When Gandhiji reached Durban in 1896, he was attacked by a violently agitated mob. At that time an angry mob of white people in South Africa wanted to traumatize and kill him. Similarly , in the southern states of the United States , white people sometimes take the law into their own hands and are drawn to the killing of a Negro they suspect of committing a crime .


2 . Escape Mob – Terrified


Where the tendencies of the aggressively excited crowd and the possessive excited crowd (these will be described later) are generally centripetal, the tendencies of the fleeing excited crowd are centripetal, centripetal. Fear is the behavior of escape or avoidance. People run in different directions from the place of danger. Fear is very emotional and also very discreet. People gather at one place for entertainment or for any other purpose. Thus, initially a group of human beings get together. If the crowd immediately feels a sudden danger or any anticipated danger, then in such a situation fearful behavior starts. For example, if people sitting in a cinema hall suddenly feel that the cinema hall is on fire, then at this mere imagination everyone will be in a state of shock and their activities will stop. Secondly, in that situation fear and panic will arise. In that situation, there will be a sense of despair in the people, due to which their fear will increase further. In ancient times, there were very few out-doors in cinema halls. But when it has had dire consequences, great destruction, as a result of it, today the law itself prescribes that there should be a certain number of exits in theaters or theaters so that this feeling of fear and that maladaptive behavior,



3. Agitated crowd


The action of the possessively agitated crowd is centripetal. They are focused on the goal. The riots of the hungry people, the sudden movement against hoarding of food items, the running towards the bank (running to withdraw their money from the bank) are all examples of agitated crowds. During the war and also in the post-war period, there was a severe shortage of food items and clothes. So people started going to the shops to buy as many grains and clothes as possible. As a result of this behavior of the people, there was actually a shortage of these things, because those who had money and who were afraid, bought more things than they needed and kept them in stock. For this reason, the government had to make ration system and control system. In 1959, the state trade policy for food grains was also adopted because of the fear of such scarcity. Similarly, during 1930-40, when people suspected that the Quilon Bank was failing, everyone rushed to withdraw their deposits from it. Although the bank also assured him that he had enough money, still people did not believe him. He was so much afraid that people panicked to get their money out of the bank. If all the depositors want to withdraw their deposits at the same time, then in such a situation no bank can be successful. As it turned out later, Quilon Bank was in perfect condition and was able to return more than fourteen annas out of Rs. Now the government has asked the Reserve Bank to make such an arrangement that the organization of the bank-business system should be done in such a way that people never lose their trust in it. It is possible that there may be a political stampede as it happens during election time. There are many people in every party especially in the Congress party who apply for their nomination, so stampede keeps happening at that time. If only three hundred candidates are to be decided, then three thousand persons will submit applications for that, and then each of them considers himself the best candidate. After the nomination of the party, the highly frustrated behavior starts showing in them. The number of people whose applications get rejected is also very large. They all start making various types of allegations against the party authorities. All these types of behavior are based on the desire to get food, money or position etc.


4. expressively excited crowd


In general it can be said that such agitated mob behavior which cannot be placed in the above three categories i.e. aggressive, evasive and possessive can be placed in this last classification. In general it can be said that the behavior of an emotionally excited crowd is consummatory. Holiday crowds and celebrations etc. These are all examples of expressively excited crowds. It is a behavior that provides some freedom from the daily routine of normal life. In Mysore, on the occasion of Dussehra, a crowd of thousands, lakhs of people rush to see the gleaming glory of the prasad. Similarly other religious festivals also attract thousands, millions of people. The state government departments have to make special arrangements to take care that the people involved in such crowds get facilities.

The national celebration of Republic Day also attracts a large number of people. Similarly, especially in India, we see that thousands of people gather to see the great leaders of India and other countries as they walk from the airport to their residence. We also have holiday crowds. In big cities like Madras and Bombay, thousands of people are often seen walking towards the sea coast on Saturdays and Sundays and other days of holidays. This is a new thing in Indian society. In ancient times, we did not have a holiday crowd. It is only in the present times, especially with the industrialization taking place, that we see that the rush of holidays is increasing. When people rest after a week’s work, they either go to the theater for entertainment or to the park or to the beach, and other similar places where they can get rest and happiness. Nevertheless , another type of vision of the expressively agitated crowd can occur in the playground . At present, big stadiums are being built. Thousands of people go there to watch football matches or cricket matches. Of course, this is nothing new. All kinds of sports are held in our villages; They attract thousands of people. In all these places we see that a large number of people gather at one place and they freely talk and protest. These groups are active in contrast to the audience gathered in the theatre.



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