I have problems with your moral sensitivities and there is nothing that you can do about it.

Before I begin, let me state that I am not sad about the suicide of Mr. Rohit Vemula [1]. For reference, I didn’t feel sad when the dead body of Aylan Kurdi was washed ashore at Turkish beaches on 2nd September 2015 [2].

What sort of facinorous bastard am I not to feel for these people? Isn’t this inhuman? Or could I be termed as a ill brought up individual with neo-Nazi tendencies?

Before you jump into conclusions, let me take you to some places. Places and people that exist in this very same planet where we happen to share our home with. You can call it Earth.

And when I show them, I am not putting forward an argument that seeks to embrace the futility of empathy, but to prove a point that our moral sensitivity as a species or in a much smaller scale, a society is not only skewed, but is arrogant and dangerous as well.

After the death of Aylan Kurdi, internet was flooded with the smiling images of the cute kid. People let off gallons of tear for his loss. Not a bad thing at all. The kid belonged to a family that could afford to keep his memory in photographs. Millions in this world still has no access to the technology as simple as clicking a photograph. And most of them die anyways.

How many of you know that thousands vanish every year when trying to cross the seas in a desperate attempt to save their lives from the vultures who took everything that possessed?

If you want numbers, I can throw them. But they are not going to change you. What you need is a bang in your head. A bang hard enough to shift your moral sensitivities from what you are taught to believe for years since your birth.

We will start with Aylan. Sorry to bring up the lad multiple times, but why don’t you have a look at him lying dead in the beach?

That’s an human dream spoilt. Unfair death of a kid is the death of humanity. But Aylan was not the only one who had to die unfairly at sea.

If you have bothered to check the stats, you would probably know that roughly four ships (not vessels) per month have sunken in the mediterranean alone in the past one year. [3]

But death is another statistic, I am sure you are not going to get the depth of it unless put another way.

If you look at [3], you would see a lot of question marks. Do they mean anything to you?

These question marks correspond to packs of human beings killed by an unfair system. If you are in an bus, you could probably see 30 people sitting around you. If you are in a class room, you can see the faces of 60 people may be. Imagine them getting killed at this very moment you are reading this.

Your best friend, your teacher, your family - All dead.

Now look again at Aylan in the picture above. I am not done.

In June 28, 2014 a Libyan refugee ship (with people from handful of other countries) with 243 people onboard went missing in the mediterranean. You can read their touching story here [4].

I hope they are safe, though I know that the chances are scant. All the question marks you saw in the Wikipedia article [3] are in fact hundreds of Aylan Kurdis scattered around the beaches of mediterranean with their faces in sand.

The grief you felt for Aylan multiplied 243 times? That multiplied for every ship that sink per month (about 10 at the least). That multiplied by the number of days in the calendar. How big is that grief my fellow human being?

So Aylan or Rohit is nothing to me, I am already in the huge grief of being at the loss. Aylan or Rohith is less that one thousandth of my agonies that I fail to notice the difference they make.


The depth of grief is maddening and depressing at the same time. I don’t blame you, we humans are naturally bad at comprehending numbers. You may occasionally need doses like these to get the jolt.

Take an whole 15 minutes or more to complete going through this link. Each dot is an human being. Can’t you see an unfair war? A lot of bloodletting that could be easily avoided? I feel for them as fellow human beings, not as a the members of an imaginary brethren that would never come for my rescue when the drone strikes me at last.

I don’t pray for them to have a peaceful life after death. For my species has failed to provide them with the basic dignity and right for their lives. It’s futile to fight till death. The purpose of fight is to avoid death. We have failed our dead.

This doctrine of human suffering is applicable to my nation as well. We are not one people descended from heaven so that they we could ruminate on our (never-existed?) glorious past forever and stay oblivious to the miseries of our people.

Across my journeys, I have seen men led like cattle to work, women being exploited in public and children playing neck deep in human excreta and other rejects from the civilised India. These children would probably never go to schools or grow up as healthy individuals.

They will never get to the level to pursue a PhD as Rohith did. They are born miserable, live miserable and die miserable. Thousands of them.

The mainstream “Indian” that you see in news channels or movies or television soaps fail to represent them. Not just their problems, not even their physique. Hollywood is now heating up with debates around diversity for oscars, and how many superstars or lead actors do we have from the some called common man genre?

None you say?

To the asses (sorry for the word) who speak mouthful against caste based reservation, I extend the invitation to travel around India. Live in the villages of Bihar and UP, visit rural Rajathan, walk the streets of Sonagachi, GB road and Kamathipora. Try to eat near the chawls of Andheri or Surat or Kolkata. You will get to know.

If you don’t get it and still prefer to stick to that theory citing your friend’s friend from reserved category sporting an iPhone and hence reservations should go down the drain, probably I am not talking to you. I prefer to speak to sensible human beings. ;-)

Varanasi, Ajmer or Pushkar isn’t India. Mumbai or Bangalore isn’t India. India is in its oppressed and the thousands who get beaten up and raped and tortured and persecuted at the moment you are reading this. The bigger picture is ever frightening.

The problem with those asses (sorry again) is that they haven’t seen enough human faces. See a thousand or more different human faces and you would get to know.

Travel is not an option for Indian, but a necessity that is oft ignored just like sanitation and primary education.

Coming back, moral sensitivities is a function of time and perception. This puny article is not going to change anything. But I urge you to look into yourself. The theories you subscribe to and the way you are conditioned to ignore human suffering.

In short, the moral sensitivity that is asleep till an instance of suffering comes to limelight is nothing but immoral. The journey to universal compassion starts with correcting our moral sensitivities.

Then we will have a world were Rohiths and Aylans don’t have to die anymore. Let’s take that small step now. Let’s start being the species that is worth having all the privileges that has fallen upon us.

Let’s start being human.

PS: Don’t forget to read [4] and contribute as much as you can to the ghost boat.

PPS: Comeback for this jolt.

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Written on January 21, 2016