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Friday, November 11, 2011

How Brutal are we?

Day’s hard labour has brought the night’s supper. Pots are put to boil and family members are gathering around the fire to talk about ‘small nothings’. Elders are cajoling children to come back home after play and themselves retiring on their cots!’

This is just when the silence of the night is broken by a loud scream from one of the houses. The shrill heart rendering scream marks a cold blooded-murder. A huge sword was still quenching its thirst when a small crowd gathered around the house. Then the massacre began! In just about 20 minutes, the complete Dalit tola of Aandhari village was turned to a graveyard. A total of 150 people who lived in the tola were killed; all beheaded. None was spared except for a thin girl who had climbed a tree escaping the eyes of the slaughterers. Later on, she identified the murderers as Rajputs of the neighboring village who had a feud on the use of near by temple by Dalits. It was the year 1997 in Bhojpur district of Bihar. How brutal was that?

 A young woman was burnt alive. She was put kerosene on and lit on fire. One could see her running across the fields burning at the same time; none had the courage to save her. After all she had wronged her husband by not bringing any dowry! The incident occurred in Itarhi village of Buxar district of Bihar way back in 2002. Is that brutal?

It is not a thing of past still! During my visit I came across an AWW who had a deformed face. She was chatting happily when her husband entered the scene. He was drunk in broad day-light and abusing her at the top of his voice. She hushed him in the house and resumed her talk. ‘I won’t have been alive if I would not have been working as AWW. He would have cut me into pieces and thrown me into Soan river!’ Do any of us even consider it brutal?

Traveling back from work one day, I am privileged to have company of a lady who has by all means survived this Barbaric age. She has not only survived it; but has continued to work in such extreme areas as supervisor in ICDS system. Her profile related to interacting with people in the villages who were extremists in all true senses. ‘They would touch my feet when I helped them but not even think for a second before splitting your throat open! ‘The society was such, there was no regulation of any sort’ she tells me. ‘People become as they see around themselves. If we experience violence all around us; it is not very difficult to adopt the same way even by a child’. The dark-age as we call it has now passed, but has the violence ended?

Apart from cases of eve-teasing, rapes, physical assault, mental assault, another demon is eating up our society-Corruption. Don’t worry I am not going into the right or wrong of Anna Hazare’s movement; I am just quoting that it took such a big shape since we all realize that it is a ‘common problem’ of us all. Corruption’s root lies in greed. Greed instigates us to do something which is not moral; it is eternal violence. Such a thing (Greed) can thus only be outcome of a violent mind!

As told by Gautam Buddha, ‘Doing violence is not violence, thinking violence is violence’. Primitive man was barbaric too but he killed only for his needs; today we kill since we can’t control ourselves. We have just modified our way of doing violence; we create violence in minds now! So how brutal are we today?

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