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Kerala continues to reel under the aftermath of one of nature’s worst deluges in almost a century. The heavy rains and floods have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands and many are still reported missing. This natural calamity in god’s own country, showed us two facets of the human side of our country’s citizens.
Like innumerable times before, the armed forces and disaster rescue personnel immediately got to work, relentlessly rescuing people from the affected areas. They were assisted by civilians from all walks of life, some like the brave fishermen who despite their dire situations, decided to help those in need. There were people from other parts of the country, who helped with relief and rescue work, while there were many relentlessly collecting donations.
This made every citizen feel proud, that we as a nation live in harmony, that we know how to be there for the other. But this sadly is just one side of the story. How I wish this was the whole truth, but alas, the other face of humanity that surfaced as a result of this nature’s deluge is ugly. It made me question, if humanity is dying a slow death.
The national media was rather late in picking up the news of the devastation the rains caused in Kerala, but as this news started coming in and more people on social media wrote about it, some of the responses were scary. Negativity per se has only been growing in recent times. We see more resentment than empathy these days, but at a time when thousands of lives were in peril, it came as a shock that people could actually be so petty.
Here are the responses or rather opinions I have been reading all this past week, on comment sections, with even some supposedly important people agreeing and further propagating this hatred.
A beef eating state deserves this
This was as mindless as it could get. But isn’t this too common a phenomenon? We as a nation are so bothered about what’s there on the other person’s plate, rather than concentrating on our own. In recent times, this hatred over food habits have only become worse.
As taught in our school days, India is the world’s seventh largest nation; hence we are geographically and ethnically a very diverse nation. The food habits have always been varying and for ages, beef has been a part of Kerala’s cuisine – and it’s not the only state in India to have beef on its menu.
All these years, this never was an issue or may be a lot of the keyboard ustads and self proclaimed gurus did not know the location of the state till recently. Because only ignorance can make you spew nonsense. It’s uncivil to be peeping into somebody else’s plate – if their food does not suit you, don’t eat it but righteousness and morality are not attached to food but the mind. People who can be this petty and inhuman in times of a calamity, have no standing to be preaching either of these virtues; leaders they definitely are not, whether in religion or any other area.
By the logic of these ‘righteous thinkers’, Uruguay should have perished from the face of the earth long back, as it is the largest beef consuming nation in the world. Do these ‘virtuous’ people in any way stop and prevent the stray cows on the road from consuming plastic or coming under the wheels of vehicles? The answer is pretty clear; people with such a regressive amount of fanaticism are of no help – either to humanity or the cows.
Allowing Women to enter Sabrimala has invited the wrath
How could women not be blamed for things gone wrong and that too when there is a calamity of such proportions! The people propagating this logic, have just forgotten that women are also the creations of the same god who created them, the ‘very superior and noble men’. So god definitely does not despise his own creations.
The female gender in the country also has the right to freedom of religion, as the Constitution of our country, unlike these men, does not believe in gender discriminatory practices. The political party who were the main propagators of this theory, want corrective measures to be taken, when at a time like this they should concentrating on relief measures.
A Left leaning state does not deserve sympathy
This is insensitive, as well as proclaiming that only I can be right. India is the worlds’s largest democracy and citizens have the right to exercise their choice. Each state has its own diverse social environment and needs and the citizens living there would know who is capable of representing them at the Legislative Assembly.
Frankly, sitting at the other end of the nation and forcing your political choices on the people of Kerala and trying to penalise them for simply exercising their choice is dictatorial and the epitome of narrow mindedness. Over the years the number of people blinded by their political faith has increased manifold. But humans have been blessed with the capacity to reason and think, and when we decide to forgo the use of these gifts and resort to blind faith, the result will be such inhuman behaviour.
There were people who even claimed that they were not connected with the state in any way, so why should they help. This kind of selfishness is worrying. Kerala is a part of India, we are connected to every part of this country as its citizens and above everything, we are connected by humanity.
From all these negative thinkers actively spewing venom and propagating their negativity, it is evident that spreading hatred is easy, takes no effort. But those relentlessly working to ensure the safety of the people in the aftermath of the floods, those making their contributions to improve the situation in their own small ways have been putting in a lot of effort.
The brave people of Kerala have faced the situation with a lot of courage. As rational and humane citizens we should respect their efforts and strength and make all efforts to push these inhuman propagators of negativity out of the frame. Contribute towards the help and rehabilitation of the affected and if that is difficult, at least keep them in your prayers.
If you want to do neither, then just stay away and mind your business but do not propagate nonsensical hatred in any form.
Note: While immediate relief efforts may be tapering down, rehabilitation for the Kerala flood victims is going to be a long-term process. Continue to contribute and do your bit in any way you can.
Image source: Firstpost video shared
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A dreamer by passion and an Advocate by profession. Mother to an ever energetic and
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