MIA – The Empathetic Indian



Image Courtesy http://www.indiatvnews.com

In Jaipur a father stood on the side of a highway with heavy traffic and begged for someone to stop and help his injured wife and 8 month old daughter, while having to console his young son. Someone had the time to take a picture and upload it. No one had the time to stop and help them. Not for 40 minutes. By the time a toll booth worker noticed the accident and informed the cops and they arrived, the mother and daughter were dead.

We should be shocked and disgusted. But India being India… we are so damn good at rolling with the bloody knocks! When we heard about how the Delhi rape victim and her friend had to lie surrounded by the general public and even cops for about 20 minutes before they were moved to a hospital, we wince and shake our heads and wonder ‘kaise log hain!’ – ‘What kind of people are these!’

All these months later we assuage our collective guilt by giving posthumous awards to the girl and her family, occasionally holding a placard and a candle asking for justice for the girl and death sentence for the monsters who can hurt another human being in this way. But not one of us has ever stopped to wonder – What is my hand in this? How am I responsible? Did I by turning a blind eye for decades, by mutely witnessing crime and bovine-ly accepting every bull shit that has been meted out to us as a community, help create a world where the monsters and demons that walk amongst us think they can get away with murder? You and I know the answers to these questions. We just don’t want to face the horrible truth that is screaming out silently to us.

There is a myth that has been doing the rounds for ever about India – that we are a country peopled by emotional people who know how to love. Love my foot! Love is more than just romancing the man or woman in your life. Love is being able to feel empathy and concern for the world around us. Love is being unable to drive by when you see a father begging for help for his injured family. Love is being able to reach out to a stranger in dire need of our help. 

I know what you are thinking – It is not safe? Who wants the headache of having to deal with the cops (incidentally this is no longer as much of a problem as before), the hospital? Will the blood stains come off our car seats? We will get delayed in reaching the airport or work or where ever it is that we are headed!

Maybe the all-important question we need to ask is – What if this was me and my family? What if this happened to someone I love? What if it was my child lying there?

I would hope to dear God that my family, loved ones and I would have better luck than the luckless family in Jaipur.

3 responses to “MIA – The Empathetic Indian”

  1. Feeling miserable….., feel the physical throbbing pain in my throat & on the tips of my finger …, thinking about the family..!!!. I can’t understand what kind of people can just walk away ignoring a plea to help..!!!!
    I honestly don’t want anybody to go through that kind of trauma, but I make a promise to myself that in case destiny puts me in a position where I can be of some help to somebody, I will certainly do whatever I can to help them.

    A fan of your writings/Ma


  2. Hi Binu,
    This is a news that has come to the fore but there are so many incidents like this happening all the time in India. Someone I know lost his younger brother to a bike accident because he was lying on the road in Mumbai for 4 hours. No one bothered to take him to the hospital.
    The questions you have asked are pertinent and the answers you have given are so true . But I am glad that there have been quite a few occasions when I have helped people on the roads of Kolkata and have encountered difficult situations because of that too, but that will never stop me to jump to help someone in need. The day I stop doing that I will cease to be a human being.


  3. Choking with disgust…..



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