helter skelter

I have not written about recent occurrences and happenings. One of the reason is that I have been somewhat AWOL from life as it once was. But there is another reason which is the onslaught of totally disparate events that defy every norm and challenge reason. Let me try and explain the course of my thoughts. Just as I get in the mood to write about an issue, pops comes another one that stops one's thoughts! And believe it or not, just as I had written the first line of this post, the news of a mother burning her five month baby to appease the Gods to bring good fortune to her family and feeling no sense of remorse. Speechless.

But that is not all. In the past days/weeks we have heard of a bureaucrat stating that no one dies of cold as if that was the case, no one would be alive in Siberia. This in the wake of the death of many infants and children in the Muzaffarnagar refugee camps! This is so typical. The authorities would concede that children died of pneumonia. My dears Sirs, pneumonia is a result of being exposed to cold. This goes the same was as the misguided assertion that no one dies of malnutrition. True they die of diseases caused by malnutrition and an impaired immune system. I cannot understand the difference. Children die and that is cause enough to hang our heads in shame. I totally agree with the politician who quipped back and stated that the bureaucrat in question need not go to Siberia but simply spend a night preferably with his family in the conditions the children were living in.

As if that was not enough, the CEO of the state where these children are dying of cold, has organised a 14 day carnival with merry making and splurging. Is this simply yet another example of the two Indias? I find it revolting. Needless to say the carnival is funded by our money. Seems like the people who 'rule' us have sold their conscience to God knows who. To add fuel to the fire, today's news says that 150 families were forced to leave their camps. Does anyone even think of where these families will go in this bitter cold.

In another part of India, legislators are off on a study tour! They will visit exotic locations, view exotic dances and partake of exotic meals. Their programme does not seem like a study tour at all more like an R & R with lots of shopping thrown in. Apparently each legislator has the right to 2 such study tours during his/her tenure, all paid by the tax payer. One legislator stated the following: We are not committing a big crime...don't you send school children on vacation..similarly MPs and MLAs are being sent through the legislature committees.... Yes dear Sir, we sent children on vacation but we pay for their trip! Another legislator who is on a 'study' trip to Australia stated that they were meant to go to Japan, but Japan was 'to chilly' hence they decided to cross the Equator to warmer pastures. Mind boggling is it not! Seems like the public outrage that has followed this news has made the Chief Minister put all trips on hold.

In Delhi last week 900 person's homes were left in the cold after their homes were demolished. This in spite of a supreme court order banning demolition during winter months. Many lost everything they possessed. Seems the new Government in the city has promised relief. Let us hope it comes in time.

I guess it is just not the politicians or bureaucrats who has lost their conscience, compassion and empathy. It is said to be the coldest December in 10 years. There are over 50000 homeless in delhi, children, women and elderly people. They are not INVISIBLE. They often huddle under flyovers we go by with the eyes of our heart tight shut. Maybe it is time we opened our eyes and did something. A blanket, a hot meal, a cup of tea, anything to ease the horror of the cold nights these people have to face.