Friday, June 28, 2013

Shades of human nature in the wake of calamity

I wanted to update the 'status' on Facebook regarding recent floods in Uttarakhand however somehow managed to strung together some lines based on the incidents I read and watched in media over past few days, some accounts from the people who were 'saved' from the disaster. The floods were as worst as they could get and destructed everything in its way. Literally everything.  Except God. Miraculously, the lone survivor in Kedarnath was the statue from the temple.

Natural calamities. Just two words. Nonetheless depict, despite giant technological advancements, human being needs to take a bow when confronted with the Nature. Calamities impact at different levels - mainly physical and mental. At physical level, it directly affects the unfortunate people trapped in Nature's fury. While the physical scars can heal over time, the mental scars often cut quite deeply. The pain of irreversibly losing the beloved ones, pain of washing out all the assets that were earned after years of struggle,  seeing the extreme shades of human nature.

Which leads  to the question: how the same mishap brings out the best as well as the worst of virtues of a human being? How the calamity invokes extreme and polar reactions out of human? Probability, this was the single thought which made me write this post.

On one side, there are various government agencies like Indian Air Force, Army have been involved in rescue operations – no amount of words are worthy enough to appreciate the work they have done, and in fact it would be insulting to try to capture the essence of efforts in words.  In particular photo, the army people were standing at a point, (where, even a drunkard wouldn’t dare to stand after gulping down 100 beers) holding a rope so that people can walk safely from one side. There are medical teams. There are people volunteering in creating and updating the list of missing people and circulating it online from time to time.

On the other side, there are ministers doing rounds of aerial surveys, trying to take political mileage out of the tragedy. There was one particular journalist reporting from water while sitting on the shoulder of flood victim. So much for the call of the duty, Sir! Based on the first accounts, some people were selling a packet of biscuit for 1000 bucks, water bottle 200 bucks. Also people were taking out ornaments, clothes from dead bodies. 

Journalist on the shoulders of flood victim

How much mentally retarded should be someone to think of anything more valuable than human life, in the times of calamity? Selling a biscuit packet to the needy for 1000 rupees? Really?  Fighting for taking credit for saving lives.  This is really the nadir of humanity.

Of course, who didn't experience the tragedy can’t feel the same intensity of pain. However, can we  at least attempt to respect the graveness of  the situation? 

As the legend goes, when Lord Shiva gets angry, he opens his third-eye, leading to catastrophe. These are kinds of days, we should be thankful that Lord Shiva doesn't have the fourth eye.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saare jahan se achha..

Okay, though I read blogs regularly, I don't have written many of them. If you have any suggestions, you're most welcome - to keep it to yourself and try to apply them in your post. (Oh poor you, now don't get offended that easily, as Chunky Pande in Housefull 2 says " I’m a-joking". Do let me know what your feedback.)

I moved to Melbourne last year with family. Not that I haven't been here earlier, I've couple of stampings on passport, the first being back in 2007, as a bachelor (aah, that italicized word invoked so many memories!).

After coming here, I got awestruck by fact that, mere change in physical boundaries makes us realise how much value the governments from developed countries put on human life, in contrast to India, where our government doesn't give a shit to human life, similar to how Shakti Kapoor doesn't give a shit to Heroin's plea of "Bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod do" while marching towards her.

Thousands of people lose life in road traffic accidents; the government pays compensation (from tax payers' money) to the families of dead people and moves on. Thousands of farmers commit suicide, government gazes helplessly - perhaps with the same helplessness, the dying farmer once gazed at the sky expecting rains! Thousands lose life in bomb-blasts, the ministers who are supposed to act stern, indulge in 'labelling' the colour of terror. Probably they'll get to see the dark shades of terrorism, god forbid, after losing their families in blasts. Rapists, unlike government, don't discriminate women; colour, caste, age, - no barrier. Defunct government fails hard time in prosecuting & punishing the culprits again.

I could go on listing more types of deaths, but the purpose is not to make that list exhaustive. I'm not even saying that such things don't happen in developed countries. However as I said earlier, they 'value' the human life over 'Aman Ki Asha' and do anything and everything in their capacity to minimise the chances of its recurrence. Post 9/11, in USA, there hasn't been a single instance of massacre engineered by external enemy. Israel, since its existence, regardless of which party is in power, responds to every enemy action unmistakably. They fought a war against Lebanon, after 2 Israeli soldiers were CAPTURED - yes, you read it right, CAPTURED, not beheaded.

Which bring us to the point, whether our lame government values human life at all (excluding privileged political leaders, whose lives must be insulated with Z level security so that 'work' towards the aim of bringing 'value' to our lives). Rather than trying to gain sympathy with compensation distribution spree to affected people, why doesn't it stress on passing stronger bills? Or to put it more aptly, why doesn't it implement the existing laws more stringently (so that the psycho who knows precisely how to rape a woman in a moving bus but expects leniency from the rule of the land, under the pretext of being 'juvenile' gets castrated chemically, physically, biologically - hell whichever way).

Unfortunately, we can't get answers to these questions in a country where, its prime minister, instead of being ruthless against crimes turns poet and comes with classic verse - "Hazaaron jawabon se acchi hai meri khamoshi"!

And yes, Happy Republic Day.