Even Decency in Death is a Privilege Given Only for The West

Even Decency in Death is a Privilege Given Only for The West

-Dear Indians, World Has Once Again Turned Blind!
Our tears have dried up, we are struggling to withstand this crisis. Every day when we receive calls from back home in India, we are scared, and go into a state of eerie sense we can’t explain. In a true sense, the Indian-Australian community is on edge, too many have lost parents, friends, and loved ones back home. Australians from many other communities who have loved ones overseas are struggling with the same.

It was looking like India is on the right track until the past two months and suddenly a crisis of unimaginable proportion has knocked it to the ground. Many loved ones will be only in memory when we return to India next time.

Who is responsible? Maybe EVERYONE.
The one who hid the virus outbreak and conveniently now selling all the medical supplies at a higher price to the rest of the world. The Governments who did not do enough or buckled under pressure. The people simply do not want to be responsible or leave their comforts.
In recent months whenever I call my relatives and friends back home in India, I will almost end up call in utter dismay and anger, they knowingly refuse to understand the seriousness of this virus. Almost everyone went on to shopping or functions without proper safety precautions when the virus was still at its peak in India. Just because of that careless attitude, now almost everyone I know is impacted by this rampaging second wave of Covid19 in India. Condolence messages have become our daily greeting, both aged and young alike are losing this battle.

This was the same situation earlier in China, then in Italy, followed by Brazil, South Africa, even the US, and just recently in the UK. The hospitals and the Government in all these countries mentioned above and many more around the world could not cope, there was death everywhere. But alas, I can most certainly say that none of you would have seen the dead bodies in the crematorium or funeral pyres splashed across in the world media.
The media across the western world and even Indian media had shown dignity when they reported the thousands of deaths across the globe, but I am dismayed that they could not extend the same courtesy for the Indians who have lost their lives. The reason is none other than our god-forsaken tolerance, too much of Amrut is Poison, too much of tolerance is a nail in our coffins.

Why are Indians who lost their lives are treated so poorly when the rest of the world is given dignity? Why even in death media have robbed the respect from these poor souls? Media Companies and Indian journalists are selling images of Hindu Funeral pyres burning in crematoriums, with families crying and performing prayers around the dead. Have you seen pictures like this when death was at its peak in Italy or the US?
‘Starving Child and Vulture’, many of us know this famous picture where a vulture was stalking a little child, the photo, known as ‘The Vulture And The Little Girl’, was taken by young photojournalist Kevin Carter in Sudan in the year 1993 and published in The New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize for this picture, but just four months after he was awarded the prestigious honour, he committed suicide. Florida newspaper the St Petersburg Times criticised Carter openly by saying, “The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene”.
Today 28 years after that famous picture was shot, we see many more such vultures preying on corpses and human misery to fill their purses. Recently “The Australia Today” criticised Indian journalist Barkha Dutt openly for unfairly sensationalising the deaths of Indians; it said, “Barkha Dutt didn’t spare even her father’s death for her propaganda. If vultures are assembling at a place, dead bodies are scattered nearby. How can Barkha Dutt be far from the crematorium? She reported from the cremation ground in Surat on 19 April”.

Journalists used drones illegally to shoot pictures in the Hindu crematorium and we saw many of these pictures are being sold online for cash-rich western media. It is just a sensational cover picture for them, but you know what? it is the loss of humanity and every moral high ground they preach.

Many may argue with me, for them, I respectfully ask to stand in the shoes of the ones who lost their loved ones, sorry we do not wear shoes in our crematorium, they are sacred, please try to stand in their place for a moment and feel a camera hitting the flashlight on your face for that perfect picture. The world’s most wanted terrorist Bin Laden was given a decent burial away from the eyes of the world citing religious reasons, why don’t they extend the same respect to the innocent people of India?

They will not because we don’t question them, we don’t call them out, even worse they play blind to our misery and we run with eyeshades to protect their fake blindness. They are morally corrupt, and we are pompously righteous.

Author: Karthik Arasu is a social and political activist, who has been involved with various initiatives for the multicultural community in Australia. He is currently the President of “Australia India Sports Council”.