Friday, January 8, 2010

We deserve our leaders (Blog-a-ton 6)

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 6; the sixth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
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It is late night. It is dark. I am sitting on the terrace of my apartment block as I key in this. I am in a terrible state of mind. When I get ready for Blog-a-Ton 6 I am supposed to be excited as usual, thinking about the number of people who are going to visit pagedIN from tomorrow, the number of comments that I are on my way. But I am not that excited today.

I was getting my post for Blog-a-Ton 6 ready in the evening. I wanted to try and see how the word ‘writer’s block’ evolved. I was putting together my post and was on the third paragraph when TweetDeck brought up a shocking news and a graphic video clip along with it, from @ndtv. In a clear case of mistaken identity, a Tamilnadu Police Officer was brutally murdered in Thirunelveli. More pathetic and brutal than the murder itself was the attitude of the two Ministers and top-notch Government Officers who stood there, watching a helpless man bleed to death. It seems that the ministers never bothered to get out of their car and it took eight minutes for the Collector to get out and call an ambulance. The government convoy waited next to the dying man for twenty minutes, for the ambulance to arrive. I was shocked. I was angry. I was agitated. I was disillusioned. I felt terrible. I forgot Blog-a-Ton. I forgot Writer’s Block. The image of a dying man, with no one to help him next to a fleet of white cars was all I could think of. Shame on you India, I thought. Shame on you Indian democracy, I thought.
I can understand why no one got out of the cars to help this man for the first eight minutes. Our times are really bad. The police had to make sure that this was not a ploy to harm the VIPs in the cars for security reasons. I can really understand why they waited for eight minutes before getting out to find what was happening. But, after that? When there were at least five to eight cars at the place, they waited for an ambulance to arrive. Leaders who are elected to serve the people, two of them, were at the spot and they never bothered to get out, they never ordered the policemen to rush the victim to the hospital.
Where are we heading to? How meaningful is a democracy of this sort, if the leaders do not have even the sensibility to help a man dying right in front of their eyes? Whom can we blame? My mind was reeling with questions on questions, when all of a sudden I remembered a situation I witnessed a few months ago.
I was in Kerala, in my hometown. I had to go to another city for something very important and I was walking to the bus terminal. It was afternoon and the sun was blazing. As I was walking, I noticed an old man struggling by the wayside. Everyone who passed by him never bothered to stop and take a look at what was happening. They just passed him by as though nothing was going on. I was on the opposite side of the road. I noticed that his face was covered in blood. He was an old man. He was trying to get up on his feet and it sure looked like he was not going to. And the City Hospital was a few feet away from there, where he was lying. What did I do?
I wanted to help him. But was he a drunkard? Or was he attacked by someone and were I going to end up in trouble if I went ahead and helped him? Or did he really need help? And why would I be bothered when no one around seemed to be bothered? I was going to be there only for a day or two and I didn’t want to end up in trouble, called to the court as a witness for things like that. I could have drawn the attention of the people around to that old man and told them I thought that man was in trouble and needed help. I could have run to the hospital and informed the Emergency Ward about the man dying [I wish he was not] right in front of their hospital. What did I do? I did nothing, I walked away.
Now as I sit to judge the elected representatives to tell them they don’t deserve to be our leaders, the dying man I did not help stands there, laughing at me. When I tell them how shamelessly inhuman they are, he shows me my own inhuman tendencies. I cannot judge them. They are my leaders because I deserve them. We are living in the most insensitive era of history. We just do not care. How can I expect my leaders to be sensitive, when I am not? “Be the change you want to see!”, the shadow of the frail half-naked man who lived and died for Indians whispers in my ears.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

25 comments:

  1. I agree wid the half naked man...We need to be the change, there are numerous occasions where I could have helped a man in trouble, its not tht I havent helped anyone, it is that I know of so many instances where I would have.....

    Shahid

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  2. I think we have all done that growing up -- look the other way. But feeling bad about is a start. As elected officials and representatives of people their actions are pardon less. They should have done something ; for cryin out loud one of the bastards is a Health Minister..

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  3. It is sad that society changes and we fit ourselves into it .. for all practical reasons, I know. Those who help face problems is the state of our democratic country. May, be next time when such events happen around us, we should act and we should support each other in these times -a citizen's network I mean.

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  4. I felt awful seeing that video clip. Truly horrible state of affairs.

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  5. Isn't it funny... we choose the people who are going to suppress us?? U got nice views...:)

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  6. "We are living in the most insensitive era of history."

    Very right... and this era is called "Kali Yug".

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  7. At first I felt it wasn't relevant to the picture and later felt its all about writing and here, you have written something. It was very touchy. I too sometimes pity policemen who take all the pains of guarding the society, VIPs and us.
    And well said, "we got to be the change that we want to see".
    :)

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  8. Sure blaming the ministers and other officials is easy, but we do it with the right reasons. They deserved to be blamed. We can do little things once in a while, but it's they who have to handle a big responsibility and they don't do it?!
    Little things that much matter, and you are right when you said that we too have our responsibilities.
    Excellent post, Sojo!
    All the best!

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  9. I completely agree with you but i really wanna know what camera man was doing taking the footage instead of helping. These media channels are talking about the politicians. what about them?

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  10. I too had seen the same telecast in the TV.. I was speechless, and u know i dont have any words to say..

    All those people who let the person die have to take the shame on thier heads and lead thier rest of the lives..

    SHame ..shame..

    thanks for this topic.. and i appriciate ur guts to have chosen this topic as a part of blog a ton.. Thank You and all the best..

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  11. Hello Sojo!

    I'm glad to read someone being vocal on a platform like this one. A lot has been discussed about the state of affairs in the Country and it is horrible to see such things being aired on news channels over and over again for sake of TRPs. It is so lame. These days the credibility of such happenings is doubted due to the foul cry of people who seek lime light. The real ones like the one you've mentioned cause a lot of hurt initially but the public memory is so weak that it is all forgotten in few days' time. High time people should stop being skeptical and take notice of issues and try contributing their bit to help sanity sustain. Good one! Good luck!

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  12. be the change you want to see in the world.... MKGandhi said this so many years back.
    n it starts with each individual

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  13. Thank you every one for reading:

    @Shahid Mukadam, Wish we all could begin with ourselves

    @Madhu, I'm not trying to play down the stupidity and callousness of those ministers.

    @aativas, I have decided, no matter what happens, I'm not going to just stand there and watch

    @Dreamer, I felt so awful to see the man struggle alone when people were watching that couldn't sleep that day.

    @Sid, it isn't funny at all

    @Roshmi, Kaliyug indeed

    @Nethra, I started off with a theme relevant to this picture when the news came up. I couldn't help but write on the news.

    @Karthik, I'm not saying we shouldn't blame the ministers. They should be sacked. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't question our responsibilities as human beings.

    @vEnKy, fingers always point at the media for being hungry fro scoop and sensation. In this case the cameraman did his job, by bringing us the horrific scene. Otherwise, we would have never known.

    @ Pramoda, you are right, it is really a shame.

    @Raksha, you are right, it is high time we took matters into our own hands and acted responsibly.

    @JustAnother, let all of us do our part for the change.

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  14. Really good that you changed the comment form. And you wrote a brave post! I really cant understand one thing - Is telecasting a news more important than saving a life?

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  15. @Shruti, I had to change the comment from, somehow :)

    Is telecasting news more important than saving a life? I think, yes! In our system, media is not the executive. Media is just a mirror.

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  16. I think we all have some bad qualities and some reasons and fears to behave as we do but our leaders have everything to their desposal still they do not act.still they do not have the courage to behave properly. You have courage to admit your falt so you will improvise. I think we all common people have that courage so one day we will have the leaders we actually deserve.I don't think we have the leaders we deserve yet!!

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  17. I wanted to know who clicked those pictures and whose EXCLUSIVE coverage were those videos??? is it not high time we kept our cameras on ground and took the needy to the hospital??would we want our Hapless situation to be filmed so that the NATION knows how efficient those leaders are?i think whoever present there and REFUSED to do anything is a culprit...be it the leader the driver..whoever...nice post..really ..the media needs to toe the line too..perhaps i should say cross the line and lend an arm..being our EYES ..well...we will manage being blind at times..

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  18. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs. 'Be the change you want to see.'
    You sent the message right across! Very thought provoking.

    Good luck for BATOM6! :)

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  19. Stupendous post......
    Hard and naked.....
    Transparency and Honesty at its best...
    Great job.....
    I do appreciate you to write about that incident.....i did see it in tv and was totally shattered by many questions that have arisen thereafter....
    I will consider this for voting....

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  20. Thanks every one for reading.

    @Pra, I hope I also develop the courage to go out and do it in times of need.

    @Naren, I have taken that discussion to another post :)

    @gkam, i hope we all learn to be the change we want to see.

    @Mahesh, it was very encouraging to hear that from you. Thanks buddy.

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  21. I think ppl dont help because they do not want the unnecessary hassles that follow after one get involved..circumstance have made ppl insensitive....
    well expressed !!!

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  22. Thanks for reading Pushpee...and you are right :)

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  23. Hai!

    I saw the video and it sure was disturbing. I still wonder what sort of people they were all? Even including the amateur cameraman...I guess everybody was insensitive and acted most inhumanly.

    But I know I can't blame anyone...because there have been many instance in my life..where i could have helped someone who was really in need but I did not. Though I may try to forget them but the guilty feeling of what I could have done and what I did not haunts me.
    And I feel these ministers and all those people who acted blind and deaf to the pleas of that dieing man...shall not be spared from their conscience.

    I don't know you if you will win the BAT or not this time but you sure are gonna get a follower for this post. :)

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