03 October, 2014


At least 32 lives are snuffed in a stampede at a Dussehra rally at Patna this evening.

TAHZEEB offers its profound condolences to the unfortunate bereaved families of the dead and of the injured. May they experience the fortitude and patience they will require to face this terrible tragedy.

There is inarguably enormous amount of other attendant suffering, including no less, of finding missing people, which for the time being is no less painful than death.

But isn't this typical of all crowded places: Kumbh Mela, the Hajj, the political rallies et al?

Questions galore:
- These devout go for the sake of Whom they deem their Creator. They end up losing their lives, instead. Those that refused to participate in these festivities most likely remained alive, watching TV in the comfort of their homes. Ditto for Uttarakhand tragedy.
- If there is a God He clearly is utterly insensitive. Watch the painful scenes at the hospital, hear the wailing and mournful cries of devastated mothers, daughters, sisters, wives... But He surely is secular... kills the faithful of all hues, shades..equally mercilessly!
- The crowds do not seem to learn lessons and refuse to walk their faith, despite a multitude of channels telecasting such events live.
- We may condemn the government of the day. But who were the killers? WE.. specially men, who trampled children and women. [Even here the more vulnerable suffered, with the more powerful escaping death.]
- What must be the degree of trust the devout have in their deities when they run for life, away from them, at the drop of a hat, usually due to baseless rumours of some small calamity. [Today it was about a rumoured fall of an electric cable].
- But hypocrisy doesn't let them admit this harsh truth that in God they do NOT trust, when it comes to dear life. [Hospital patients are not reported to run away that easily].
- Alas, instead of focusing religiosity how good would it have been if these devout had learned civility and compassion. Football stampedes kill fewer and demonstrate greater valour and chivalry of individuals than those at such religious gatherings. Recall the 2011 Sabarimala stampede in Kerala?

In this hour of crisis one can't even think of rubbing salt to the wounds. But it is the sheer desperation and frustration of having to see the scores of gullible innocents suffer for their faith that gets the better of my restraint tonight.

To those that died in vain, my heart goes out crying. To those that they left behind, we need to extend all our support. I shall welcome any suggestion towards their amelioration - and offer my share of sacrifice. 

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