May 19, 2010

The Ultimate Devaluation

In the breathless discussion about the gyrations of the stock market and of the price of currencies and of the price of gold, one 'commodity' has been pretty much forgotten and that is human life. The value of this particular commodity has consistently gone down in India.

The recent orgy of Naxal killings in the killing fields of Dantewada are merely the latest episode of an ongoing saga. Remember the stampede during the Kumbh Mela — that weird display of religious stupidity or the senseless stampede in the railway station in the nation's capital itself.

When such events become daily occurences, they fail to affect us. We become desensitized to them. Oh, I had almost forgotten the horrific image of the dead in that electrocution incident which happened to members of a marriage party. See, that proves my point.

So, perhaps this is inevitable — as the total number of people increase, the value of each one of us diminishes proportionately. Yeah, inevitable. How many people die in traffic accidents on India's roads? Perhaps 200 ... or, 300 ... who cares? How many die on unmanned railway level crossings across the length and breadth of India? Nobody really would give a damn. Perhaps the Railways knowns the answer to that one but is keeping quiet. It might be keeping a tally.

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