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What price humanity?

What price humanity?

On Bhogi, an aunt of mine lost her life in a road accident. The car in which she was travelling lost control and she was thrown out. As she lay wounded and bleeding, my uncle begging passing vehicles to stop and help them. For forty-five long minutes, he did so, with folded palms but none did. Finally, one kind-hearted gentlemen did but by then it was too late.

A life that could have been saved, has gone. All of those people who travelled on that stretch of road in Thirupathur on the Bhogi morning have blood on their hands. Maybe that comes across as really harsh, I don't know. But how else could I term it? How could one justify not stopping to help a desperately wounded family? What sort of reasons does one give to assuage their conscience so that things like this don't stick?

Isn't this what being human is all about - lending a hand to someone in need? The mere fact that so many people have just shrugged it off and carried on with their lives galls me. I have seen scenes like this in movies, when car after car drives past a broken, bleeding man and have just shrugged it off as over-sentimentalism by the director. I always firmly believed that, when push came to shove, one cannot ignore such an event and turn a blind eye.

Was I mistaken in that surmise or what?

I know what most people think: why would I want to get involved in such a thing, as it will only mean unnecessary hassle from the police? True enough. Who needs it anyway? On the other hand, if you had the power to save a life, would you throw that power away? Had it been your loved one lying there, would you not do anything in your power to make sure they were saved? Or would you shrug it away as needless hassle?

As I think of what is going to happen to that fractured family, of my young cousins devoid of their mother at such an age, I am filled with so much rage. Impotent rage as sitting many miles away, safe in my home, I had carried on with my day as normal whilst my aunt was breathing her last. Chatting away on the phone whilst strangers were driving past her with no concern whatsoever. If it had been me in the car driving past a family needing desperate help, would I have stopped and done so?

If I had said 'yes' to that glibly before, I can now say with absolute conviction that never will I ever be able to see things like that in a detached sort of way like those uncaring strangers did. Because I now know, the price you pay for not heeding someone's plea for help.

And I know that never will I be able to look at Bhogi in the same light again. For it will always be etched in my mind as the day humanity died a violent death.

Posted by DesiGirl 7:10 am  


  1. apu said...
    OMG. That is so tragic. Its unthinkable that something like this would happen to one's family. We have all heard stories of such callousness (indifference ? reluctance to get mixed up with court case etc? ) but it hits home when something like this happens. Truly saddening to hear.
    witnwisdumb said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    witnwisdumb said...
    A sad tale. Verily. So much for, "in India, people care, unlike in the West, with its selfish Westerners, who don't stop and help if you broke your ankle on the road..."

    People are people, wherever they are. Some good, some rotten. Rotten for the most part, but thank heavens for the few good people.
    Murali said...
    It was tragic no doubt, we need to develop a more efficient emergency response system. There will be lot of crowd but none to take on the responsibilty. More people are willing to go through the trouble the system will correct itself.
    Samir said...
    Very sad. I'd like to draw your attention to an initative in Gujarat to deal with exactly such situations.

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