Sunday, May 9, 2010

We are to Blame

Ideally it should have been like any other day. And it seemed like it was going to be any other day. I woke up at 6, prepared milk for Anhad, got him ready for school, and prepared breakfast while Chetna combed his hair and tied his turban. That done, I saw Anhad off to school and went for my morning walk.

And that is where it went on a different track.

Typically, I take my bath after I come back. As I was preparing for my daily cleansing routine I started hearing some noises. At first they were abuses. That was interesting. You see, my house is on a main road, and it is not uncommon for people to fight over minor to major issues (You are on the wrong side. You don’t know how to drive; that kind of stuff).

Except that these abuses escalated into shrieks. I rushed to the balcony to see what was wrong, and there full on in sight of about fifty people, two people were beating up two people with iron rods.

I don’t know what was happening or had happened, but loosely it must have been like this. There were two buses, and it is common for buses to fight for positions at a bus stop in order to get maximum passengers. This is especially true if the buses are following more or less similar routes. Competition is intense and it often spills over into a fight like the one I was witnessing now.

My mother came rushing out asking what was happening. I said that I didn’t know but I was going to put a stop to this. So, still in my jogging tracks I ran down the four flights of stairs and up the ramp that led to the gate outside my house.

By the time I reached, all that was left of the scene was two bleeding staff members of a bus. Both of them had been hit on the head and blood was flowing freely. There was blood on their grey uniforms, on the grey road, and elsewhere.

What surprised me was the attitude of the people. I asked where the people who beat them up were. They said that they had left already.

“What?” I said, “And you were standing there, doing nothing?”

“What can we do? This happens every day. And they had iron rods in their hands”, was the reply.

I was flabbergasted. Fifty people were seeing two people getting beaten up by another two, and yet no one had the guts to even try and stop them. Not only that, those two who had beaten them up, were very easily allowed to get away.

“The police should have stopped them”, said one.

“It was their (the staff who got beaten up) mistake”, said another.

I don’t know who did what to whom. Maybe the staff that got beaten up was guilty. Maybe the staff that beat them was excessive. But by remaining passive and mute spectators, the passengers in both the buses were condoning the wrongs made by both the parties.

I have the following questions for the passengers of both the buses:
  1. You knew what was going to happen, and yet you allowed it to happen. Why?
  2. You all were going somewhere at that time in the morning. All of you had places to reach. I am sure that a time must have been committed by you about when you would be reaching. AND YET, you all had the time for this unnecessary and totally avoidable botheration?
  3. You gave what you think are very valid reasons - “They had iron rods”, “They deserved it”, “Where is the police?” et al, what if it was YOU who was getting beaten up? What would you think of the public watching you and thinking it was none of their business?

Against this backdrop, should we really blame the government for 26/11 or the Kandahar hijack?

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Aboard! Good to see you in this space :)

    And your words resonate mine. Often, I am left asking myself similar questions in similar situations, and every time, I am left without answers.

    And you have a follower already :)