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August 16, 2012

The Callous Side

This post has been due for some time. There has been a tussle goin on for a few weeks now, a bitter one between my self confessed procrastination and a never ending itch to write. This is not the first time I have hosted these fights, but my pen had never before endured such a long struggle to come out victorious. On July 26th morning, another usual bright morning at office, I was skimming  through the online news papers when one headline caught my eye. Thankfully it was not another media sensationalized sexual abuse incident, but much worse. "Newborn dies as father couldn't pay Rs. 200 for incubator". I didn't want to read the details; who would want to begin his/ her day with such a heart wrenching news matter.

Caught up in the abyss of office work, I forgot to read the news later. As, it was a friday evening, me and my friends decided  to have dinner at 'Subway' rather than our usual restaurant. We sat at the table near the TV to catch up with the news. The news ticker flashed the news I had read in the morning, but soon I sunk deep into some stupid conversation that we were having at the dinner table. As soon as I got back into my room, I logged onto the internet to read the details of the news. Disheartening would be too small a word to describe my feeling. The new born baby at a Government Hospital at Jhalander had some birth related complications and so had to be kept in the incubator. A fee of Rs 200 had to be paid, the parents didn't have the money and  had to beg with almost everyone present at the hospital and still they couldn't arrange the money. The child was taken out of the incubator and soon the poor soul met with a completely avoidable demise.

In some sense, I feel the child never deserved such an ignominious society; He/she is lucky to have never born in such a callous social fabric. Two hundred was what I paid for my one time meal at SUBWAY,  I never knew life came at such a cheap rate. Its even beyond my contemplation, the mental attire of a parent who failed to pay such a meager amount. Nobody  in their vicinity was ready to help them. We have indeed pulled out a new low in our society, the very same one which doesn't mind throwing away bucks in the name of new year parties or other big bashes.

I find it hard to distinguish between us and a wild animal; we live in concrete jungles and they live in natural ones; we eat junk food and they eat raw ones; even in case of wardrobes, we are strongly competing with them, nudity being the fashion statement these days. The only thing that separated us from the wild was humanity or the intensity of fellow feeling; but now, it seems to be very much disappearing.  Sexual abuses thrive in the society and the media celebrates it with much fanfare. Why blame the media when we enjoy every bit of it. Its our sheer insensitive apathy that is exhibited in each such savagery acts. With this incident, we have hit the last nail in the coffin.

What economic prosperity are we talking about when we shamelessly host such infanticides. Its high time we realise that any progress unless in holistic realm can lead to an ethical chaos and probably, we are in the middle of one now.  What I felt about this particular incident is, it wasn't the lack of money that killed the child, but our attitude.  We talk about removal of corruption from the country, lets first come clean in our individual self introspection. Its not about barging out in the streets and getting involved in fist-fighting for the justice; its about not sitting duck, until your house is burnt, your sister is abused, and your child is dead.

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