Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mizo soldiers’ death

I’ve been watching TV, a rare thing for me. On Friday, the local channels broadcasted the arrival of the corpses of Mizo soldiers posted at Chattisgarh. I have been thoroughly depressed ever since. Their families, their young wives looking dazed, and especially their small children, who didn’t seem to be able to understand what the hue and cry was all about, nevertheless looking so scared, just made me feel so sad.

What amazed me most, however, was the callous attitude of the public. Sure, I’m aware that many went to the airport out of respect for them, at their own expense, and lots of organisations (of which we seem to have so many) have expressed their sympathy in the form of monetary gifts. I am not disputing the role of selfless men and women, particularly from the NGOs in their efforts to do all they can to ease the pain of death for the bereaved families.

But what about the larger public? What about those who used to send endless sms-es just to sympathize with those who had been voted out of some reality show or another? Or, for that matter, what about those who did not hesitate to spend money on telephone bills to cast those votes? Not to mention those donors who gave so many presents to the participants, they had to pile it up on the floor?

I mean no disrespect to those who wish to showcase their talents or their generosity. My point is, when you really look at it, what is more important? Don’t these soldiers’ deaths deserve at least some messages of comfort via the media from the locals? I’m sure it would go a long way in giving some kind of strength to those who are still reeling from the shock of a loved one. Solidarity, compassion, empathy, sympathy…are we so warped that we give these only to those who are public figures? By blatantly burying our heads in the sand in the face of anything unpleasant, by mindlessly seeking entertainment to protect ourselves from the real world, whom are we kidding? Nobody but ourselves.

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