Friday, 18 July 2014

Has the world gone mad ?

I think it has. Nothing but madness can explain the awfulness of the last few days.

The downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane over Ukraine is one of the sorriest events to ever happen. Two bunch of loonies are fighting over God knows what - yes Russia is meddling in Ukraine, which as a country has almost ceased to exist and everybody is bent on killing everybody else. But to shoot a civilian airliner that was simply overflying the country ??? What sort of a nut case or , in reality a group of nut cases wants to shoot that down ? For what ? What did the poor people who just had the misfortune of being in that plane do to deserve this. Reports say a large number of them were actually flying to Australia for an AIDS conference. Some of the leading AIDS researchers have been lost to the world. What a senseless tragedy.

Consider the situation of Malaysian Airlines. What have they done to deserve the double whammy over the last few months. It is now difficult for them to even survive.

And then, there is Gaza. Some terrorists kidnapped some Israeli boys and in retaliation some Palestinian boys were killed. Look at how this has escalated. Terrorists from Gaza are firing every rocket they can at Israel. Israel reacts by meting collective punishment to the entire population of Gaza. Hundreds of innocent lives have been lost, almost entirely Palestinian. Its the poor ordinary folk who are suffering miserably. Very little of sanity seems to exist in that place. John Kerry must be tearing his hair out - against all odds he has invested every ounce of energy he has to make some movement in the peace process. And this is what has happened.

Simply because it has been going on for so long, the awfulness of what is happening in Syria, and its spillover into Iraq is taking third place in this dubious list. Every maniac, criminal and lunatic seems to be there killing everybody else. The innocent civilian suffers, and suffers miserably.

In my own home city, a few hundred metres from where I live, a six year old girl is raped in school  by some staff. A six year old for God's sake.

Today is a day to seriously ask whether the world has gone mad. Amidst this mayhem, matters of business and economics seem almost insignificant. If there are sane people left in this world, hopefully the vast vast majority of us, we should rise and exterminate the madmen. This isn't a rational response, but in today's insanity, little else can be said.

I pray for all those in torment today.


Sriram Khé said...

Terrible, right?

I was watching George Will on C-Span last Sunday. In response to a question, Will spoke warmly of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was perhaps the last of the intellectual-politicians. Will said that as committed as Moynihan was to his New York liberal policies, Moynihan also understood well--as a social scientist and as a politician--that humans will almost always want to belong to a "tribe" and, therefore, the identities of religion, religious sects, ethnicity, language, caste, ... won't ever go away that easily as the liberals think it will.

What you refer to as "madness" is all nothing but variations of that "reptilian brain" making us act on on those tribal instincts. It is awful that we have not been able to shake that off :(

BTW, there is more one can add to your list:
the violence in Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, ...

Oh, here is clip from that George Will interview:

Ramesh said...

Yes, Moynihan was one of those insightful leaders that America had.

I am fine with tribal instincts - after all we always find associations in some form or the other. But what perplexes me is when absolute innocents who have nothing to with the matter get killed. What sort of a human being wants to do that.

Thanks for the clip.

Sandhya Sriram said...

there is something about proximity i feel Ramesh. though, every day in the papers we read something that makes you feel - OMG where is this world going, the one that happened - a few hundred meters away has literally shattered me. I was talking to samarth that evening, coaching him that he should never leave school except with his parents, he looks at me with his innocent curious eyes and asks - what about my teachers. with great pain, i tell him, not even with your teachers. he looks confused, asks me, didnt you only teach me to trust my teachers when i joined this school and it was a such difficult answer for me. I dont know what values we are giving to our children, dont trust anyone, be careful about everything, dont take any risks - are we creating a future crop that is going to be insecure and not trusting - dont know Ramesh

Ramesh said...

@Sandhya - You are absolutely right. Events really hit hard only when they are close to home - else it is just some distant thing happening to somebody else.

On the Bangalore incident, it is awful and horrible, but it is also an isolated incident. I do not believe Bangalore children are at any greater risk than elsewhere. Normal vigilance , as always, is called for, but there is, as yet, no case for panic. At least that is what I think.

Venkat said...

Tolerance are the biggest ill in our society. Severe laws, heavier & instant punishments must be performed against bangalore case. 6 months before i witnessed 4 rowdies roaming on high profile AECS layout with big knifes, they beaten up someone at night like in cinemas. few who saw that kept quite and tolorated the incident, this tolorance encouraged repeatation of scuh activties just like that. i couldn't belive about my inaction. All this still happening in high profiled people living area and no police action. witnessed same kind of incident near bomanahalli. bangalore becoming worst in law and order on these years.

Sriram Khé said...

Hey, perhaps you have already watched this week-old Jon Stewart clip ... I watched it just a couple of hours ago ... fits into this context:

Asha said...

It is painful to read and hear the stories of innocent victims, more so when you can't help but just read as we have lost control over these happenings. Prayers are all we can offer.

Ramesh said...

@Venkat - Its very sad and yes Bangalore law and order has deteriorated. But its till a safe city Venkat. We are nowhere as bad as some Indian cities. Thank God for small mercies.

Ramesh said...

@Sriram - Yes. And did you see the vitriolic reaction that Stewart received for his portrayal of the Gaza issue ? The hard right in the US is proving to be impossible to be looked at as human anymore.

Ramesh said...

@Asha - Amen

Shachi said...

What was going on in my mind - you articulated very well. We really, really need to be a country whose citizens follow rules - if not all, atleast some. I have no idea when we will get there.

Anonymous said...

Great post Ramesh..... if you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the business world, it is extremely hard right now to justify being concerned about 'bottom lines' and 'sales targets' etc when there are such horrors happening elsewhere - yet reality is that the rest of the world goes about their 'normal' day to day lives - fancinating to say the least and sometimes embarassing to be part on the human race !

cheers from 'down under'

Ramesh said...

@Trevor - Great to hear from you. Yes, bottom lines and sale targets have their place in life. I have escaped from it and can pontificate on other issues, but for you and many many others, bottom lines are as important as ever.

Trust you are doing fine in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

sulo badri said...

Hello Ramesh,

Coming here after loooong! Such a heart wrenching n heart warming post at the same time. The latter is because of what you said n how you said it.

Whether extermination r Like how unify said collective meditation - something would definitely get us there. I am hopeful.

Ramesh said...

@Sulo - Hiiii. Wonderful to see you back here. How have you been ?

Yeah , positive ways are far better than extermination. More power to people like you .

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