Skip to content Skip to navigation

Have We Stopped Becoming Human?

Assam is no stranger to terror but the recent serial bomb blasts that rocked the State were surely an exception. The entire administrative machinery of Assam came tumbling down, the social fabric was shattered and the already weak economy was badly jeopardized. Though analysts, political commentators and intellectuals have looked at the incident from various angles and coined a number of theories surrounding the same, I would like to term the entire episode, including the protests and demonstrations in the aftermath, as a manifestation of our own contradictory and corrupted selves.

Now why I say this is not difficult to comprehend. Right from the moment when powerful RDX-laden bombs went off at various locales of the city to this very moment – almost a fortnight since the entire episode took place – we have been displaying, through our actions, the sinister nature and working of the human mind. Since that fateful Thursday, I have met a number of people who say that they have been badly affected by the blasts. But unlike those people --- most of the people of our State, that is --- the blasts failed to have any such effect on me. The reader must be surprised but it is true that I was not moved by the blasts. However, some of the post-blasts incidents surely did, and the way it did is surprising in itself. I had anticipated an incident like the October 30 blasts for a long time now, but I surely never imagined the occurrence of the incidents that happened in its aftermath.

Let me explain. At a time when the entire city was burning and Guwahatians were trying to grapple with the dramatic turn of events, why did a few of us have to take the mangled mortal remains of a few of the victims to the State Secretariat? When many of our brothers and sisters were struggling for one last breath of air, why did some of us have to damage the highly important fire fighting vehicles and ambulances, besides bringing the entire State to a halt by damaging important public property? After the blasts, why did we have to bring the entire State to a standstill for almost four days by calling bandhs, which were totally uncalled for? For what? Narrow electoral gains? Cheap popularity? A totally false sense of bravado? The people who called the bandhs had their own agenda, but being so-called respectful members of society, why did we have to obey those calls? For the fear of our lives or for the sake of enjoying four days in the comfort of our sofa sets in front of the television? Again if you really wanted to stage such an undemocratic protest, couldn't all the organizations have given a common bandh call?

It does not end here. After the blasts and the number of bandh calls, came the show of solidarity. Well, I am at a loss for all possible emotions whenever I think about my brothers and sisters showing their humane sides. There are no forms of expression left to depict my state of mind, and at times I even feel like kicking myself for having to watch such a major downslide of the basic human values from our midst. When I crossed the Ganeshguri flyover the evening after the blasts, I felt a strange sense of tranquillity as I watched Guwahatians -- the young and the old alike – light candles and earthen lamps as a mark of respect for the victims. Then I received an sms urging me to come and donate my blood, followed by another requesting me to light candles in front of my house. I was happy thinking that we still have a bit of humanity left in us. But that feeling again was very transient, like most other things in our modern lives.

As soon as I reached my office, the phone calls and text messages started coming in which hasn't stopped till this present moment. All of a sudden, hundreds of people have come out to hold peace marches, silent rallies and demonstrations. I would not have had read much into it if they had not insisted on the presence of us journalists and if these initiatives would not have had been sponsored ones. The blasts have indeed come as a blessing for the political and other organizations of our State. If you look at most of the demonstrations, you would find almost all the protestors carry placards where the largest space is reserved for the name of the political body or organization that the activists choose to represent, while the real reason for the initiative is relegated to an obscure corner. Organizations are still lighting candles in front of their offices, near important Road crossings and landmarks, below flyovers and the like. If we really wanted to express our solidarity for the victims, we would have had done better if we had contributed even a fraction of the total amount of money we spent on the candles, the total amount of which I am sure has run into a few crores, to those who are still fighting for their lives in the hospitals, those children who have lost their parents and those daily wage earners who have lost the use of their hands and limbs.

Painters have come out with their brushes, artists have come out with their canvases, musicians have come out with their violins and guitars, theatre workers have come out with their adaptations of Hamlet, and will continue to do so throughout the year provided some journalists of the local media, if not the national media, is present to take their photographs. Just yesterday I witnessed a sight below the Ganeshguri flyover which made me realize that we have indeed reached Judgement Day – from which there is no turning back now. Three groups of women were sitting adjacent to each other and singing naams (prayers) in the very spot which bears the brunt of one of the most bloody and gruesome incident in modern human history, while each of them waited for journalists from the media houses to come and cover their mourning. Can it get any worse than this?

I know that politics has eaten into the vitals of the entire State. I know that technology and globalisation has created an atmosphere where only money has the power to make any difference. But have we become so inhuman that we fail to even acknowledge the basic code of conduct in human society? Have we stopped becoming human?

Comments

tina's picture

Very honest account. Alwayz be valued & welcome.

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

Sea of humanity in Sivasagar

17 Feb 2015 - 12:56pm | SK Hasan
Sivasagar town breaks into a sea of humanity as Shivrari festival enters day two on Tuesday.The entire historic town in the state is teeming with thousands of devotees from the state and outside who...

CBI to raid NEEPCO Umrangsho shortly

25 Jun 2012 - 2:49pm | Syed Miraz Ahmed
A 10 member-strong CBI team from Shillong is in the industrial town of Umrangsho in Dima Hasao District today to raid the residences and offices of 3 top Neepco officials and a private company...

City academician to receive award

6 Feb 2014 - 8:31am | CM Paul
Dr. Samrat Dey, Assistant Professor of Physics at AssamDonBoscoUniversity has been honoured with the “Special Mention- Young Faculty” award in prestigious 2nd Academic Brilliance Awards-14 (The award...

IT raid in leading private hospitals

30 Mar 2012 - 2:09pm | editor
The Income Tax department continues to conduct raid on a section of private nursing hospitals across the state. Senior IT officials conducted raids at Aditya Hospitals in Dibrugarh and Sivasagar...

Other Contents by Author

The Indian terms ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘Slumdog’ recently generated a lot of discussion worldwide after they lost out to web 2.0, the latest buzzword in the IT industry, to make it as the one millionth word or phrase in the English dictionary. But despite the non-incorporation of these two popular words, with AR Rahman’s enthralling score for Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and the film’s subsequent grand show at the Oscars, having picked up eight Academy Awards - including that of best picture, director, best original score and best song – there is no doubt that world music has definitely come of age and is going to be the next big musical genre...
Assam has got a new hero. And a true hero he is at that. In the violence-hit district of Karbi Anglong where the youths are angry and frustrated at being targeted by both the underground elements for fresh recruits and the security forces harassing them on suspicion of harbouring the boys in the bush, they have now found a new youth icon in the form of Kiri - the boy from Diphu who was the only entrant from the entire Northeast into the popular television reality show ‘MTV Roadies’ and who subsequently made it to the finals. Your average boy next door, Kiri - who is a science graduate and an activist with the “Karbi Human Rights Watch” (KHRW) - has become an unlikely...
In a defining moment for the regional music scene, the Rockarolla Music Society – the first comprehensive music and Art society of Northeast India – was officially launched at Hotel Landmark on Sunday with an international concert. The highlight of the show was a performance by New York-based Chinese Harmonica virtuoso JIA-YI HE, besides performances by ABIOGENESIS and STRANGE FREQUENCY. While ABIOGENESIS is the only Indian experimental rock band to have been nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards, STRANGE FREQUENCY is a new musical concept from the hills of Shillong. The crowd at Hotel Landmark that day was kept spellbound after witnessing Jia’s exploits with the...
In a defining moment for the regional music scene, the newly floated Rockarolla Music Society would be formally launched with an international concert at Hotel Landmark in Guwahati on April 12. The highlight of the show would be performances by Jia-Yi He, the numero uno Harmonica virtuoso in the world, and Abiogenesis, the only experimental Indian rock band to be nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards. The show would also feature Strange Frequency, a unique musical concept from Shillong. Jia-Yi He, a world-class harmonica virtuoso, has received numerous awards in international festivals and competitions in England, Germany, Israel, Japan and United States. He has served as a member...
For four consecutive days, the hills of Karbi Anglong reverberated with the melodious sound of beating drums and a cheering crowd, creating an atmosphere of sheer jubilation and ecstasy, as both the young and old alike joined hands to celebrate the annual Karbi Youth Festival. The 800 bigha-wide expanse of the cultural ground of Taralangso of Diphu town was packed to a record crowd of more than one lakh people, who were adorned in the best of their finery — a mixture of traditional sophistication and modern glamour — and who could be seen jostling around the hilly expanse with the tantalizing smell of various traditional dishes teasing one’s nostrils all along the way.The...
Keeping in view the concept of traditional theatre workshops, the second year students of the prestigious National School of Drama, last year, underwent a 45-day workshop in Asom to practice and carry out research work on the traditional dramatic forms of the State. The research subject of their workshop was Ankiya Naat Bhaona and their mentor was the ever-reinventing theatre worker, Gunakor Deva Goswami. The participants of the workshop were also graced with the presence of doyen of Sattriya tradition, Guru Nrityacharya Padmashree Jatin Goswami. Besides equipping the participants with a plethora of new skills and appreciable knowledge of Bhaona, the workshop also evolved a critically...
Music the fiercest grief can charm,And fate’s severest rage disarm,Music can soften pain to ease,And make despair and madness please,Our joys below it can proveAnd antedate the bliss above……. Throughout ages, music has played a significant role in the life of every human being. Numerous legends and myths have been preserved from ancient times testifying to the power of music over man. The supernatural power of instruments was referred in the Old Testament, the instance of trumpet blasts causing the walls of Jericho to collapse. According to an Indian legend, the people of Bengal were saved from famine during a period of drought by a singer whose voice brought rain from...
Promising to take one on a trip down memory lane, late Bhabendranath Saikia’s immortal feature, Xanta-Xista Hrista-Pusta Mahadusta is soon going to make its comeback. This feature which used to be transmitted through All India Radio in the late eighties is now being recorded in video format at the behest of young theatre worker Simanta Phukan. Production has been going on at the Guwahati-based Shankardev Studios since January 1 this year. A dynamic theatre worker from Jorhat, Simanta has more than hundred theatrical plays to his credit, besides some highly acclaimed video features like Joymoti and Kamalakuwari. The attempt to record the nostalgia associated with this feature is being...
There is no doubt that HIV and AIDS is one of the greatest scourges ever to affect mankind, but at the same time, it has also given rise to a lot of creative works. Ever since its discovery, artists, musicians and writers have all used this virus and its associated disease as the base for unleashing their creativity. Many writers have authored works on HIV and AIDS, while a few have also chronicled the lives of victims of this dreaded disease — the dread and despair that is reflected in each and every aspect of their lives. One of the latest additions to the archive of literary works on this subject is a collection of short stories titled, ‘Dangshan’ (meaning bite)....
John Lennon has been an inspiration for thousands of music lovers across the globe since his music covers a wide range of emotions and wisdom. Millions of Lennon fans across the world express their profound love for the messenger of love and peace, through concerts held on his birth anniversary, which falls on October 9. His campaign for peace is as powerful as ever since the time he wrote and sang Give Peace a Chance in the legendary Bed ---- campaigning for peace at the Queen’s Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal in 1969. Thousands of John Lennon fans have kept his “imagination” alive. Northeast India, being a favorite destination for Western music lovers, cannot be left far...