POST-EMPATHY AGE

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POST-EMPATHY AGE

The precursors seemed to be visible and as always, we decided not to see it; post truth, fake news, deepfakes etc. The mainstream media got embroiled in non-mainstream reporting. The masses did not come into any reckoning. The TV studios were transformed into ground zero and  the spokespersons and media created experts became the philosophers and thinkers of the day. Whatever might be the tragedy facing the nation, the evening debates and opinions during the course of the day does not reflect it even a bit. We had numerous earlier instances of dead and injured passengers looted at accident sites, both rail and road. The bungling in supplies and funds during natural calamities relief has its own story, fortunately it has not been documented, otherwise our faith in humanity would have certainly been decimated.

All this finally led to what we have experienced in the last few months. When cries across high-definition screens in every house, inclusive of all the decision makers, did not change the ground reality. This is the beginning of the Post Empathy Age, where the person in need of help does not know on whose shoulder to put his head on. There were tons who visited him, even his remotest village, in the most ramshackle dwelling, looking for that vote that would make them the king. The story gets murkier when he realizes that there are innumerable functionaries who are mandated to officially and legally take care of him. They vanished into thin air. The ones who had taken upon themselves to be social workers and activists, and there are a plenty, performed the same act.

The accident site jewelry thieves, the movie ticket black marketeer of yesterday and lots in similar trades, jumped the bandwagon and got into newer, grow overnight rich trades, of a variety of black marketeering never heard before. That new and prosperous trades of the Post Empathy Age were in; Oxygen, Ambulances, Hospital beds, Remdesivir, Cremation grounds etc. Wherever you find horrific dance of death as a sequel to dance of democracy, black marketeering fanned out in the manner unheard before. The ultimate happened when hospital managements cried for oxygen and that too also got unheard. A patient in an ICU dying because of the lack of oxygen, is a death which no civilization can pardon.

During this time too, we have instances of drug pilferage from official sources finding its way into the black market. Patients and their relatives waited outside the hospital to find a bed, waiting that somebody would die. Death meant another hassle of cremation or burial. Where was the time to grieve? Individuals, families, communities and the nation did not have the luxury to grieve. The country still deserves a national mourning and clear-cut program to assuage its feelings, which the cruel system and its proponents have numbed. The TV debates maintain their venom, which even the insane would not indulge at the time of this horrendous tragedy. For once there should be a media ceasefire but for programs which do alleviate us, bring sanity to our lives and educate us to bring our lives on track. Time to change everything that has made it happen and is still sustaining it.

HOW TO BRING BACK EMPATHY TO OUR EXISTENCE IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING THE COUNTRY.

Sanjay Sahay

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