We, the aristocrats, bureaucrats and the educated few criticize the current state of affairs but only to watch the world rot in the gut on television. We discuss the statistics of poverty, yet when we witness one right before us, we become the supposedly ‘higher class of people’ who shrug their faces away from indigence. All the while, we have been the elements of destruction of humanity. While a thousand work for the humanity, we are one amongst the millions who instead of lubricating it, are providing friction. Two specific incidents affected the sophisticated personality in me. You needn’t possess superior knowledge of the world to understand it. It is only a matter of perspective from a common man – YOU!
#1 – ARMED, YET UNARMED
Once in a while, our family makes sure to visit each other’s house to ensure the fellowship and bond of family isn’t broken. During one such visit to my aunt’s, I along with my father went to the terrace to catch some fresh air. Right opposite in the neighbors terrace, we witnessed a very disturbing scene. A young man in his mid-twenties, had a ‘pet’ dog with him. He started off by throwing stones at a slow pace towards the dog. Next, he took the dog by its tail and pulled it towards him and started swirling the poor creature for around 15 seconds. Immediately, before the dog could recover from the dizziness, he overturned a huge barrel on top of it and sat on it. After about a minute, he got up and went downstairs, whilst the dog somehow managed to come out the barrel and went wagging its tail behind its master.
Leaving aside the fact of existence of such psychopaths, we need to realize one major issue. Apart from myself, my dad, there was another person who witnessed the same torture. Yet, none of us even shouted out against that person. One shout, would have made a difference. At least, it would have made him think twice before he would abuse the dog again. Despite having a smart phone which can capture decent videos, I couldn’t gather myself to do it. Even, if I had done it, it would have utmost circulated in Whatsapp.
“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”
Here we are armed with the bullets, yet, crippled enough to not be able to pull the trigger. We possess the awareness to bring a change, but not enough to drive the change. We think too much, feel too little. It is not enough to have a Blue Cross Foundation, but it needs people like you and me who can stand up for the poor creatures and fight for them. It will not suffice to write articles on humanity (least I could do), but act in a timely manner (which I failed to do). Actions speak louder than words.
#2 – HYPOCRITE
This incident happened, during a train journey from Chennai to Hyderabad for a 3 day conference to discuss the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ as a diplomat, where poverty was the central issue. Indian Railways is one of the few places where the under privileged sections of the society seek refuge. Eunuchs being one of them came around asking for money. Most of us gave them alms, while some pretended to sleep. We celebrate when the government of India recognizes them as a gender with equal rights, but, when the situation comes when they need support to bounce back from the social oppression, we pretend to sleep. Sad state of affairs.
After few hours, an undernourished child clearly subjected to cruelty which was evident from the broken leg and blinded eyes, came begging for alms whilst we were eating. Unable to witness the plight of the poor boy, I handed over a 10 rupee note for which one of the co-passenger advised me not to encourage ‘these’ people. I remained defiant and handed over. There was another person, who raised his legs up, turned his face away in disgust as the child raised his hands for money. Not to mention the threats from a few if he didn’t go away.
Despite this being a common sight especially in the metro cities, I wish to highlight the same incident from a diplomat’s perspective. We were en route to discuss one of the world’s deepest crisis – poverty and offer plausible solutions to it. Despite which, we the educated, statistically enlightened, few of the blessed souls with a roof over our head, chose to turn a blind eye to the same problem we were about to discuss for 3 days.
This is not an incident which happens once in a while. It happens to the millions who travel by train. It happens to millions who walk by the pedestrian path. This is the story of a billion souls all around the world who are lying on the ground with minimal clothes helpless. Not that offering money would have elevated them from poverty overnight, but our attitude towards them is what that matters. The hypocrite in us, wants to help the world and pull up the societies thriving in difficulties, but, when the situation to act comes up, we choose to hide. Why? Because, we think too much and feel too little.
I have not written this article to prevent animal cruelty or eradicate poverty or elevate certain sections of the society from social oppression. I have written this article purely from the perspective of emotions that run through a person when he faces an untoward incident. As much as this article is controversial, think back on the various incidents, where you as an individual had the power to question back or provide happiness to the less fortunate ones, but, we chose only to shed out tears. Most of us possess high ideals and aim to contribute back to the society. But, do we need established NGO’s to contribute back? Not necessary. It starts from small actions like fighting for what you believe is right for the society! It starts from being proactive and action oriented rather than being a hypocrite. YOU ARE THE GOOD SAMARITAN!