Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beyond comprehension .......

I read today the news item Mass starvation warned in West Africa and was struck by the tragedy of it all.

Can we even begin to comprehend what it means for the women in Chad and Niger, who sift through gravel at the side of the road, trying to find some grains that may have been blown from aid trucks or trying to capture the tiny amount of grain lying in the ant hills? The tragedy is compounded when we learn that there is food in the market but the ability to buy it has disappeared. Livestock are dying as villagers use animal fodder to feed themselves. Soon we will see images of malnourished babies published in the media which will haunt us. Oxfam has launched emergency measures to avert a humanitarian catastrophe but will the world respond adequately?

The problems of the developed countries are entirely different from that of the poor countries. A country can be classified as a developed or an underdeveloped country based on the issues it has to grapple with. When food continues to be the chief of worries for the entire population of a country, what kind of development could ever be possible? The present crisis brings back memories of the Ethiopia famine of 1984 in which nearly 1 million people died.

And I wonder how could these people in West Africa reconcile their pathetic conditions with a merciful, benevolent, omnipotent god? Oh probably they blame themselves and their actions that made their god abandon them ..... Or for not praying enough .......Maybe soon there will be some Pat Robertson talking of god's wrath. What the hell .........


Sachidanand Mohanty said...

The disparities are so stark.

And at so many different levels.

An entire continent is perennially in trouble. Africa is synonymous with all the negative images.

But, that's just the bird's-eye-view of it.

When you look from closer to the ground level, you see things differ from nation to nation inside Africa.

Some are prosperous and some are not.

Then, there's the situation of the 'developed' nations. Food is not a problem in these nations. But other problems consume the people of these nations.

People are 'dying' to live longer!

People want to own ever-bigger automobiles and want to live in ever-more luxurious residences.

People want to consume more and more.

We have a rather 'flexible conscience' is what struck me.

It doesn't bother us too much if people in Africa are suffering from starvation.

Talking as an Indian, there are of course millions of Indians who are living on the verge of starvation if not actually starving.

As far as people's religious beliefs go, clearly even seeing other people suffer should make the 'lucky' folks question their own faith.

But then they probably conveniently rationalize these myriad injustices.

It's odd to reconcile these two realities: the 'fact' that we are lucky enough just to be alive because of the immense numbers of possibiilties afforded by the structure of our DNA, etc. The entire evolutionary heritage that we carry — stretching back over millions and billions of years. And the wretchedness of life for so many of us humans.

How far the species still needs to progress!!!

When will people learn to grow beyond the many different identities: nationalistic, religious, ethnic, linguistic, etc.?

prema -just sharing my thoughts said...

closer to home in rajasthan and bihar availability of water and food is aday to day problem making the women folk sell one of their babies or take up surrogacy to feed their family,,parallely in this month of aadi, religiousness is at full swing. our development is so vast that the maximum cell phones are being used here and lakhs of engineers come out every year.. what are we developed , developing or under developed?