So, a few days back, I woke up late and although I rushed through my daily chores and routine, I was a few minutes late to catch the bus to my workplace. I haphazardly arranged my things and tried to pick up as much as I could of what I usually carry, water, lunchbox, umbrella, etc. I ran towards the elevator, it had just got down from my floor, 6th one and it was already too late for me to witness the elevator complete my cycle of karma (I had a very important meeting to attend, first thing in the morning). Lamentably, I hastily started running down the stairs, skipping a few, risking tripping on another few and reached the stop only to find the bus had already started leaving. I clambered with all my stuff towards the bus, I was sweaty, my hair had disheveled into a pathetic state, not less than my state of mind though, getting despondent with the revving bus engine. I now had to wait for another 20 minutes for the next bus to arrive. I felt hopeless; I knew I would definitely miss that meeting.
I felt sorry for myself, in all those attempts and that meagre unimportant loss (if you compare to what can happen to one in a lifetime), I felt sorry for myself, lost and irritated. All the blood in my body began to rush to my head, my face was reddening and temper rising. I saw that the people in the back seat did see me chasing the bus, as much as I did and I wonder why they didn’t request the bus to stop. I mean I know, the driver could not have noticed, but the back seat passengers did. They probably didn’t want to delay reaching to office, but what difference would 2 minutes of delay make if you can help someone, stranger, but still. I finally managed to reach office, somewhat late but fortuitously, the meeting had been postponed to the next day (I slept at 9pm that day to avoid a repeat of that incident, I had suffered humiliation enough for a lifetime)
But recently, I read of an incident in Bhosari area of Pune that moved me a great level in my belief over humanity and human natural instincts. It is about a man who bled to death on a road, probably post a traumatic accident. The perpetrator obviously fled the scene of crime leaving the victim bleeding profusely. The people present there, not only didn’t help him by taking him to the hospital, which they shouldn’t have because if they fear police investigation and being held up at the police station later on, we still need a lot of educating to be done here. Based on an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2016 march on road safety guidelines, good Samaritans saving lives of road accident victims need not fear harassment by police or other authorities now (https://thewire.in/26680/sc-guidelines-now-protect-good-samaritans-who-help-road-accident-victims/ ). And, irrespective of whether people know this or not, taking pictures or videos of a person suffering in pain, longing for help is totally uncalled for and is out-rightly disgusting. The access of social media has inspired people to share jokes, and content to maintain a certain stature in their social groups but has that blinded the people so much that they do not see the pain and the humiliation of the victim. Have people forgotten about Article 21 that is supposed to guarantee a person, the right to safety and life or has the concern and care in the hearts of people limited to those, whom they socially know and doesn’t transcend to humans in general or animals, for that matter. Although, it would be ironical at this point to state that the punishment for killing cows gets you a more severe punishment in India that murdering people. Nevertheless, if people prioritize the need to sensitize the issue, rather than actually helping the agonizing victim, I feel that the sensibilities of the nation that says all people are my brothers and sisters are astray.
Now I realize how naïve I was, to get offended by the selfishness of people when they didn’t stop the bus for me. People here won’t stop to save a dying a man here. I was hoping against hopes there over a silly thing where people have lost their lives like that, families have lost their loved ones and only earning members like that. Was it not bad enough that people were causing those accidents and there was no regulation to protect people who wanted to help; that now when all of that is getting better, people are losing their compassion and humanity. This is not one incident that I am pointing at; there have been such reporting from Karnataka in Feb, 2017 and many others that may have not been highlighted as much where onlookers simply carried on with their social media stride forgetting to do the essential. If people can go beyond their comfort zone to help a person begging for help but fancy themselves a few pictures or videos, they might as well stop having any faith in world peace or a terror free or future and dare not complain of it later.
Let’s educate ourselves and let the concern not die. Structure of world peace lies on the foundation of compassion and humanity. And if we set such an example for our children and teach such values to the generations to come, we put that future in jeopardy. And I hope that the people not only in this country, but the entire world realize this soon that although the world is becoming a global village, our hearts are shrinking to a new low.