Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Nimby Syndrome



Most of us are still reeling from the shock of the Mangalore airport and the Gyaneshwari train mishaps and we get the news of the bus that was burnt in Karnataka. These incidents not only make us feel insecure but also allude to the fact that the security scenario in the country is worsening at a worrying rate. Our very life is at stake.
If you travel by flight your plane may crash land. If you feel flights are unsafe and travel by the train you may find it being derailed. Instead, if you choose to travel by bus it may meet with an accident anytime. Finally, if you choose to stay at home, still you may find your house on fire due to a faulty wire. So travel at your own peril and beware of staying at home. Safety and security it seems is biggest casualty and little is being done to rectify the situation.
Our country is densely populated but does that make the value of human life cheap. We all know about the standards of hygiene and the state of infrastructure in most hospitals. Then there is the medical equipment scam, the issue of counterfeit medicines, spurious milk factories etc., that have numbed us into accepting all this aberrations as a part of our daily life without protest.
I wonder if we are waiting for something more drastic to happen before we stand up and react. Or is this the silence of the aam aadmi - the proverbial lull before the storm. The problem stems from the fact that we have by nature become self-centred and indifferent to the plight of others. This is the typical Nimby (Not in my back yard) syndrome. Also, the people seem to gradually accept the ways of the world, including its anomalies, as part of life.
One of my friends has an apartment at Queens in New York. There is a bridge just below his apartment. Few months back there was a car accident in one of the turns on that bridge. The US administration kept a watch on the bridge for months to ascertain what went wrong. And finally decided to reconstruct the bridge and all this action was because of one incident. 
On Saturday evening I went to the Academy of Fine Arts to attend a candle light walk in memory of those who died in the recent train accident (picture). Many like-minded citizens were there. Sunil da, Mrinal Sen, Usha Uthup, Arindam Sil, Agnimitra Paul, Chuni Goswami, Rituparna Sengupta , Sabyasachi Chakraborty and others from all walks of life. I was really sad and just as the walk began to commence there was a heavy downpour for 15 minutes. It seemed that even the skies cried out for the hapless innocent victims who died in the train accident.
Since Friday I haven’t visited any function and neither was I up to it. On Saturday evening the Tolly Club marriage reception of Indronil and Swastika’s sister got cancelled because Indronil’s cousin sister, who was in that ill-fated train, lost her left hand in that accident. When we see the death toll we often forget about those who are handicapped by such accidents. Their life is no less painful than the dead. The fact that they survived offers little consolation.
The whole weekend I did not visit any party and events but did cast my vote on Sunday (picture). I know this would hardly make any difference, but still I thought that voting is essential. If we don’t protest, don’t vote or react then there is no point cursing the way things are shaping around us. We get the society we deserve. Sometimes I even feel there is hardly any point saying or writing all this as we are up against a system where nobody listens.
Tute huye par dekh ke rota hoon
Ujede huay chaman dekh ke ro deta hoon
Rotay huon ki meri aahon ka kuch asar ho
Phir unhi aahon ka asar dekh ke ro deta hoon
ess bee

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