How indifferent can we be?

How indifferent can we be?

Compassion for fellow humans, sadly has become a non-existent virtue.

It was a scene that could make your blood curdle. Sprawled on a Bengaluru highway was a young man all of 24 whose body had been cleaved into two after a truck hit his motorcycle and ran over him. In no time a small crowd had gathered.

The man was fully conscious and was flailing his arms and begging for a sip of water. Some members of the crowd reached not for water bottles, but for their mobile phones. Promptly they began clicking pictures even as a life was ebbing out.

The ambulance arrived in less than 10 minutes and the driver began requesting the bystanders for help in lifting the torso to the van. Preoccupied as they were with getting the best angles for their shots none in the crowd responded to his pleas. Eventually the young man died but he died a hero unlike the villains who had taken his pictures.

In the few minutes that he lived, Harish, that was his name, had managed to convey to the ambulance driver that he was keen to donate his eyes after death and that was a wish that was granted. Today he continues to look at the cruel world through the eyes grafted on the person to whom he had gifted the blessing of eyesight.

The incident was highlighted in the media with special mention of the callous attitude of people witnessing an accident, their indifference and their morbid interest in taking pictures, obviously to share it with their friends and Facebookmates later.

On reading about this accident I was reminded of a similar case in Pune, but this was in the pre-moblie days. A leading surgeon in the city and his son had met with an accident on a busy highway and the doctor had been grievously injured and was bleeding profusely.

The son, miraculously unhurt began pleading for help but not a single car stopped to offer a lift to the surgeon, who incidentally was an extremely popular figure in the city and an easily recognisable face too. A life that could have been saved had a helping hand been extended, was needlessly lost and a doctor who had saved hundreds of lives in his long career as a medical practitioner, discovered that people were more keen on staying clear of any future hassles than  on saving a life.

These disturbing incidents raise questions. Have we turned so cruel that far from lifting a finger to help a dying man, we busy ourselves clicking his pictures unmindful of the agony of the victim and even mocking his dignity?

The young man could not have been saved unless a miracle had occurred, but should this bunch of people surrounding him have behaved the way they did? The truth, painful as it is, is that human lives hold little value for most of us. In today’s world, wars have turned into prime time entertainment that we watch on our screens while sipping coke and munching on peanuts.

We have turned immune to human suffering and death as long as we can ensure that our loved ones are safe. But then what else can we expect in a country where toddlers and even nonagenarians are gangraped and murdered every single day with each crime being more ruthless and gruesome than the other.

Compassion for fellow humans, sadly has become a non-existent virtue as inhumanity rules the roost.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)