Is it all talk? Are we just a Platitude Nation?
India, the land of Compassion….Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (May everyone should be happy, content, healthy), the land of the Vedas, the land of Buddha, the land of wisdom, and the land which firmly believes in Karma – that which goes around, comes around.
Are all these mere platitudes? Have we forgotten their meaning? Do we know what it means to live according to the principles of Karma – of putting our best foot forward and doing things which are right?
A recent case in point is the crisis of Migrant labours First, during the COVID Lockdown, they were treated shabbily, they were left to fend for themselves, without shelter, walking hundreds of kilometres to get home, quite a few deaths along the way for want of food and water, and of course shelter.
After much hulla buloo on social media, the Governments (both Center and State) started taking some very reluctant action – as an irritant, an afterthought, and something which they really didn’t want to do.
In contrast, last year we saw helicopters showering flower petals on Kanwariyas organized camps made along the routes with food, shelter, etc. Even District Magistrates, Senior Superintendents of Police, and other worthies massaging the feet of the Kanwariays – of course in U.P for long called ‘Ulta Pradesh’ (upside downstate) by long time residents.
Of course, the Kanwariays – read Hindus being the mainstay of the current ruling party – the BJP both in the Center, and U.P. among other states had to ‘appear to be pandered to’. So given the success of L.K. Advani in resurrecting and bolstering the fortunes of the party with the Rath Yatra, the Ram Janam Bhoomi issue, etc, which merrily stoked the fears of the larger Hindu community of being swallowed up by the largest minority community in India was a publicity stunt.
However, what this stunt showed was that the state is capable of good logistics when the need arises (however banal, cheesy it maybe). Even budgets and money can miraculously be found to do something (like for example giving the Members of Parliament and legislative assemblies a raise).
The same goes for the Congress and other political parties – albeit minus the rose petal showering and resting camps for Kanwariyas.
In the case of the migrants, there was no defined religious community involved. They just happened to be a lot of unfortunate people who had migrated from their homes in search of livelihood, caught out in an unforeseen situation, which really didn’t merit any political brownie points (after all they were not voters for any particular political party – The BJP, CONGRESS, TMC, RJD, etc., etc.) Even the political allegiance of their hometowns or villages was a grey area. Thus, they were of no interest to the politicians in any case.
A panic was created in the cities after the workers left – who will do the odd and dirty jobs? Where will we find our kaamwalis – maids, cleaners, etc.
Just how short our memory is elucidated by a recent incident. I recently read a story on OneWorldNews.com about it.
There is a colony (fully illegal/partially illegal) behind the Marble Market in Arjan Garh, Gurugram, Haryana. Apparently, there has been a small cluster of shanties behind it for donkeys’ years. A team of very officious and conscientious officers, accompanied by Police, bulldozers etc. landed up to destroy a large part of it, citing it as illegal, and that they were merely following the Court’s orders.
In the video, one hears a mother tell her horrifying story of saving her child from the bulldozers, another of a little girl simply thrown out to fend for herself, as her parent/s were away working, another of a man beaten up and his house destroyed, even though he showed some card which showed his residency status there. In all cases, they were not allowed to take out their belongings and informed that it has to be destroyed.
A number of questions emerge from all this – assuming that the colony is illegal:
1. Was this the correct time, given the COVID scenario, monsoon, and impending other monsoon related diseases?
2. Why the rush to break houses, so that a mother has to plead on folded knees to save her child?
3. Why was no welfare officer present to take care of the little girl – what if something happened to her? What if she got lost? What if she is hungry?…
4. Why beat up the people?
5. Why not even let them take out their belongings?
6. Why the so-called local politicians – corporators, etc. were not present there to give succour to these poor people – after all they do go to them with folded hands shamelessly for votes?
7. So many more questions that needs to be answered
Why cannot we be more compassionate towards our fellow human beings (Indians)? Don’t the lives of our fellow citizen’s matter at all? How are we planning to become like Singapore, New York, Shanghai (different statements of different politicians to make their cities like the aforementioned cities) or for that matter ‘Mann ki Baat’ of our dear Prime Minister?
Is it all talk? Are we just a Platitude Nation?
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