Exactly a fortnight after Harish Nanjappa’s death comes Vikas Sonia’s. A 22 year old life snuffed out on the road. By the bus that hit him. By the people who shamelessly stood by, and didn’t even bother to call the police or an ambulance.
They didn’t actually even need to call the police. Police was already there. Cordoning off the road because the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh’s convoy was to pass through there, in the next few minutes. Minutes which could have probably saved Vikas’s life. Minutes, precious minutes; during which the police chose to protect a minister from a slight delay in journey rather than a family from an irreparable and devastating loss. Because, they are very clear where their paychecks and next promotion comes from.
Besides what’s the most could a bereaved family do? Cry in front of a few newscams for a few days? But a pissed of Chief Minister? Now, he can do some real damage, can’t he?
So they just stood by. They did keep checking on Vikas every few minutes, though. Watching his twitching body slowly loose life and hope. But without any panic or pain on their faces. Rather with an idle curiosity, as if watching a side show on the pavement, while waiting for the real parade to pass down the road.
Then, the newsreel shows the minister’s convoy passing by. From the video, it seems he could have noticed a body writhing in pain on the road, as his car swooshed by. But perhaps the poor guy mistook the heavy crowd settled around a dying Vikas, for his usual swathe of followers and supporters. Honest mistake! And one he did make up for, by issuing a rhetorical statement, suspending one cop and issuing an inquiry. See, what a wonderful and righteous man! Let’s make a note somewhere, to vote for him/his party again in the next elections.
But before I end this rant, I can not help but wonder… what about the responsibility of the reporter/videographer who captured this whole, several minutes long ordeal. I understand that he too knows where his paycheck comes from and hence where his loyalty should lie. So I’m not saying he should have let the opportunity to catch this TRP goldmine video on tape, slip by. But once he had seen enough, should he not have rushed Vikas to the hospital? Maybe not. Not if he wants to make anchor some day!
Vikas died a few hours later.
If you think this is the worst part of this story, it’s not. The worst was when Vikas’s shell shocked father was condemning the whole thing on T.V., and the anger he should have rightly felt towards the Minister was conspicuous by absence.
Does he also accept the minister’s right to speedy and uninterrupted travel more important that his son’s right to live?
Is that how deeply our inferiority and servility to a certain class of people been entrenched in our minds?
But let’s not bother ourselves with such useless worries. The Nationalist/Anti-Nationalist discussion is still trending and using a lot of our mental bandwidth and time. Whatever little is left, needs to be used over the Budget/EPF woes and finding out the origins of that seventy lakhs watch.
We will get to Vikas later…or maybe never. Why bother, anyway. There will be another road accident, another meaningless death, sometime soon enough. We will debate over it then. Or maybe on the one after that. We’ve got time and latitude.
We, the ‘great’ nation, are over populated, anyway.