Published: 23rd August 2021
#ThrowbackToday: Why the term Stockholm Syndrome owes its name to a failed bank robbery
In today's #TBT, we take you back to the incident which gave the world the term Stockholm Syndrome. Here's how a bank robbery in Sweden and subsequent capture of hostages gave us the term
Convict-on-parole Jan-Erik Olsson attempted to rob Sveriges Kreditbanken, a former bank in Stockholm, Sweden. But he wasn't able to. So to save the botched-up robbery he took four employees of the bank as captives in a cramped bank vault. What transpired on August 23, 1973, which was turning out to be a strange day, became even stranger.
When Olsson saw a hostage trembling with cold, he covered her with a woollen jacket and when she had a bad dream, the captor gave her a bullet for keepsake. When another hostage wasn't able to reach her family, he encouraged her to keep trying. Then there was another who felt claustrophobia and was allowed by Olsson to walk outside the vault albeit while staying tied to a 30-foot rope. Later on, one of the hostages called him, "emergency God". What was happening?! One of the hostages actually said, while speaking to the Swedish PM, "They (captors) haven’t done a thing to us. On the contrary, they have been very nice. But, you know, Olof (the PM), what I am scared of is that the police will attack and cause us to die."
What was happening gained a name only after this incident. And this is how the Stockholm Syndrome came to be named, because the incident happened in Stockholm.
Out at work
As many as 100 days of guaranteed work in a financial year plus guaranteed minimum wage and the work itself to be located within five km of the applicant's residence. Moreover, if for any reason, the government is not able to provide employment, then the applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance. This is the promise of Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act 2005, popularly known as MGNREGA. It was proposed by former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and passed under the leadership of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 23, 2005.