Written By Sangeeth Gowrishankar (Grade 11)
The dictionary definition of Insecurity is, “uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.”
On top of this, Psychology is the discipline that has given more understanding and form to this tone. This is a common phenomenon that we can notice. Psychologists have tried giving meaning to many subtle emotions that humans feel. Similarly, they have given us a different definition of insecurities. Psychology states that “Insecurity involves an overall sense of uncertainty or anxiety about your worth, abilities, skills, and value as a person, conveying the message that you’re at risk or in danger of something or someone. The negative impacts of insecurity could be physical, mental, or emotional. Without security, you can’t accomplish full trust or function to your fullest potential.”
Sticking with the theoretical side of insecurity, we can find 3 traits that are the primary reasons or causes for insecurity. Those 3 traits that have hereby been identified are Failure/Rejection, Social anxiety and Conflict.
Whenever one feels insecure about anything, at least one of these 3 traits is involved. It might be an 8-year-old school-going child, a working professional or even a retired ageing person. In some cases, people might feel a form of the 3 aforementioned traits but the central emotion attached stays constant.
After looking at the causes of insecurity, we will try to develop an understanding of how one deals with insecurity or overcomes the feeling of insecurity.
Like the 3 traits that are the root cause of insecurity, we can point out 5 techniques that are essential to follow when trying to overcome insecurities.
- Understand the effects of insecurities
- Use strengths to deal with insecurity
- Remind yourself of past achievements
- Trust and belief
Until now, this article might seem like something written for someone suffering from insecurities and how they can help themselves. But this is totally averse to what we will analyse going forward. The former-mentioned content is nothing but key concepts that need to be kept in mind to understand our chosen case study efficiently.
The most vivid case study on insecurities that we can analyse is the British conquest of India. How the British effectively colonised India and later how we Indians fought for our freedom and got it won’t seem like an example of insecurities in hindsight. It becomes clearer to us only when we take a deep dive into the nationalist movement.
Firstly, all of us know that the British came to India primarily with the intention to trade in goods such as spices. This later led to the establishment of the East India Company which slowly strengthened their grip over India.
Even as the British colonised our land, we can notice that many Indians showcased a lack of resistance towards the British. Of course, there were exceptions like Tipu Sultan of Mysore, Nawab Siraj of Bengal and the Revolt of 1857. But most Indians eventually welcomed the British or fell prey to them.
We could attribute this to insecurity. As we studied, there are 3 possible causes of depression. These are failure/rejection, social anxiety and conflict. Keeping in mind our case study, we can see that all of these causes apply.
At first, Failure/Rejection. Why did so many young Indians join the British Indian army? The British army was visibly much more powerful than any army that the local Indian kings had. After the Battle of Plassey, which was fought against the Nawab of Bengal and ended up being one of the earliest big victories for the British, many Indians realised that they would fail to stand up to the British and this is where the insecurity kicked in. Many Indians who joined the British Indian army ended up killing many native Indians because of this venom known as insecurity.
The second is Social anxiety. The British weren’t the first European power to come to India. It was in fact the Portuguese (Vasco Da Gama) who came to Calicut. They were followed by the Dutch, the French and eventually, the British. They established territories such as Goa, Puducherry etc. Here, Indians saw the European powers and felt that they were in a sense, ahead of the Indians. The Europeans had a powerful naval fleet and again an advanced military system. They introduced various other technological advancements, such as the railways, post and telephone. This led to social anxiety or the notion that the Western powers were better than us.
Third, Conflict. Here we can draw parallels to the cold war. We saw 2 opposite forces that are socialism and capitalism. Here, the cold war ended when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Countries that were formed in the aftermath started adopting capitalism and democracy. This was because there was a Victor in this ideological battle. Similarly, when the Indians noticed that the British were defeating their local kings and emperors, their belief in religion and the theocratic system eroded. Indians started converting to Christianity and started thinking about liberalism and self-governance. Indians succumbed to the British’s governance with the opinion that the British had won the conflict. This is again a sign of insecurity.
We have understood the deep-reaching effects of insecurity upon Indians due to colonization. But the question arises, how did Indians come out of this insecurity and eventually start fighting for their freedom?
Earlier we saw methods to overcome insecurities. If we try to analyse these methods in the context of insecurity due to colonization, we would have our answer.
At first, Awareness. It is a method by which we realise that we are indeed insecure. How did Indians start fighting for their freedom? They realised and became aware of their insecurities. Inspired by many fighters, they realised that they had no reason to be insecure about their ethnicity.
Second, Understanding the effect of insecurities. Indians very quickly understood the effect of their insecurities. The British colonised India for over 200 years. A nation that was once prosperous in its own right was reduced to a mere colony of a European power.
Third, Using strengths to deal with insecurity. What most would consider to be the strength of Indians is the unity factor. When we were fighting for our freedom in the 1940s, many Indians had differing views about the new nation. But there was one constant thread. The fact that freedom was a necessity.
Fourth, Remind oneself about past achievements. Most of us would’ve studied the effect that was caused by nationalist poets, authors and artists.
These people drew magnificent visions of the country’s glorious past where disciplines such as art, mathematics and even faith flourished. This helped people lose their feeling of insecurity and made them proud of who they were.
Last, Trust and Belief. When leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and various others fought for freedom, most people’s hearts were filled with nationalist spirit. Even those who weren’t filled with nationalism before we realised freedom, were devoid of any insecurity when we achieved this goal. Most Indians lost this insecurity because of Trust and Belief. After a long history of colonial rule, they were about to be governed by leaders whom they could choose and Indians placed their trust on these leaders.
We now come to the conclusion of the analysis of Insecurities with an emphasis on the Colonial period. This analysis gives us key takeaways such as how insecurity could affect us on a personal level as well on a large scale level and many more.
Featured Image Courtesy – Elegant Themes