Time to introspect

On Sunday a family of 4, the parents and 2 young children, aged 5 and 8 months, were hit by a speeding truck. They were on motorcycle. The truck sped away. The mother and baby riding on the pillion were badly hurt. The father and is 5 young son, though hurt, begged and pleaded for help from the passing cars. Needless to say no one stopped. Their voyeuristic instinct did make them slowdown but no one heard the heart wrenching entreaties of the father and his son. It is much later, at a time when minutes and even seconds can make all the difference between life and death, that a motorcyclist stopped and informed the police. It was too late for the mother and the young child. Eighteen cars passed by. And if that is not enough, no ambulance came. The mother and daughter where thrown into a pick up van and taken to the hospital by the police.

This happened after all the hue and cry that followed what is the known as the Delhi gang rape, where the raped girl and her companion begged for help but only encountered voyeurs who watched. This happened after recommendations were made by commissions and translated into laws. Yet nothing has changed and nothing will change. The majority of our ilk will remain mute spectators to aberrations after aberration hiding under the cloak of cynicism and indifference or at best honing our voyeuristic instinct. We will girls being molested, people being abused. We will even grab our cell phones and film the incident, but never will we reach out and help. Compassion is an emotion we have conveniently erased from our lives. Oh we have many explanation for our cowardice: we are scared of repercussions, we do not want to get involved in police cases of lengthy trials etc. We prefer to be murderers.

Now imagine if that person asking for help was someone you cared for, the mother and daughter were someone you loved and nobody had reached out to them. But I am being silly. We are the ones in the cars, the ones who live behind closed gates, the ones who can never been on the other side of the invisible wall. Yesterday, a TV anchor asked whether any one viewing the programme would have stopped. No is the unfortunate answer.

I do not know how many of us managed to sleep after hearing of this news. Most of us I guess. But I did not. My mind once again traveled many years to the day when I first saw Babloo Mandal, a mentally challenged young man who had been cast away by some vehicle driver who had injured him. Click on the link if you want to know the whole story. Babloo Mandal screamed for help but no one heard him. I guess everyone was scared of the repercussions. Yet it took just a few steps to save him and send him home. It was not the end of the world. It is was the only thing any self respecting person could do.

So then why have we become a callous and indifferent nation. I do not know the answers. I only know that I will stop again and again till my dying day!