In one of our worst railway accidents, almost 300 people have lost their lives. The moment an event like this happens, different reactions emerge — people baying for the railway minister's resignation and the Prime Minister’s resignation, people rushing to the site which is sometimes a hindrance to the rescue operations. Besides, the railway minister was actually on site directing and helping all the rescue operations. There were of course, the cacophony of ridiculous responses. Ministers like the one from the south saying he's going to rush to the site, after 24 hours!
Besides this first reaction, there are the TV channels and their expert opinions on why this accident happened, demands on why there was no kavach (anti-collision device) on the trains, forgetting that kavach will not work at such high speeds. Every Tom, Dick and Harry gave their expert opinions on these channels with some of them having no expertise in the field. They're all celebrities looking for their 30 seconds of fame.
In this cacophony of noise, how is a common citizen ever going to understand what really happened? It takes a discerning reader and listener to come to some understanding, even if not conclusive. So, the common man very often flips to the other extreme and says ‘It's all such a pain. I don't care about it’ This is apathy and we have enough of social apathy in the country. The millennials also don’t want to engage with it. And we are looking at this generation for the future leadership! In all of this, a few things stand out as a ray of hope for the nation at large The Kharagpur techies and the two jawans who were involved in the accident. Not being injured themselves, they rushed to rescue the others who were trapped. The locals who responded and helped rescue people from the coaches, even before the government rescue teams could reach, the locals who queued up in the hospitals waiting to donate blood so that the injured who had lost a lot of blood could be saved. These are the real heroes in our society.
The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com