Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The value of human life!

The value of Indian Rupee has been declining at a worrying rate in recent times. If the fall of the Indian Rupee has been sharp, the fall in the value of human life has been even sharper and is a matter of grave concern.
A falling Rupee can bounce back, but falling social values and standards don't easily do so. I may sound alarmist, but a spate of incidents in and around the National Capital Region and across India confirms the fact.
The whole nation knows about Jessica Lal who was killed  at a South Delhi restaurant for refusing to serve liquor. On September 23rd 2011, Umeshkant Pandey, a 22-year-old attendant at the toll plaza in Gurgaon was shot dead by a man when he demanded the toll fee from a commuter.
Very recently, a techie, Shailaja Roy, 27, a student of Jadavpur University, was beaten to death at a roadside dhaba in south east Delhi's Budh Market area and his friend Sidharth serious injured by four young men over an altercation as trivial as who was to be served paranthas first. The duo had protested when four young men demanded they be served out of turn.
The new generation of Delhiits , it seems, just can’t wait for their turn and are running out of patience. As the incidents show, things are getting out of hand. The incident has brought to light how the “me first” attitude is getting from bad to worse, showing scant concern for the value of human lives.
Expats living in Delhi, according to a leading daily, say that this is a common scene they face whether at grocery shops or ticket counters. “This happens all the time. So many times I have urged people to ‘join the queue’ but it all falls on deaf ears,” says Chris Harlen from New Zealand who is the founder of the BulletWallas biking club in Delhi.
I see people push and pull whenever I go to pay my phone bills. They break into arguments and ready for fisticuffs. I am just happy to wait,” says Richard Grange, 39, a photographer from England who came to Delhi two years ago. Helen Roberts, a 33-year-old-journalist from UK, says, “I have seen this only in India and especially in Delhi. People quarrel over small things at shops and public places. I am surprised, why don’t they understand the concept of queue even though they are educated!”
Samantha Allen from South Africa recalls, “I was at a mall sweet shop waiting for my turn but people attacked the cashier from all sides like a swarm of bees. I didn’t know what to do!”
Individual incidents apart, there seems to be a callous attitude towards “sanctity o life” as evident in the functioning of our day to day governance. Or else, how can hospitals violate basic safety norms with impunity and continue to function or how can illegal hooch joints thrive under the very nose of administration and continue to take scores of precious lives like the recent incidents in Kolkata.
All these incidents indicate that we are moving towards a society where the value of human life is fast declining. This is an omnious trend. The last time such societal changes took place, we had the Holocaust.
ess bee

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