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.

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