KeralaGuest Column

Why do we fail as a society?

The shocking incident at Neyyattinkara where a couple were forced to take their own lives due to the lackadaisical attitude of the policemen present at the spot, is a reflection of the failure of everyone involved. How did the judicial process fail a family that was trying to save their modest home, if one can call it that?

What happened to the political parties who profess their love for their homeless? Or the human rights activists who pop up just when the television cameras are beginning to roll? The two young boys were mocked with insensitive language by Police officials when they were trying to dig a grave for their father, while their mother was still battling for her life in the hospital.

Are Police officers not trained how to deal with a situation when someone threatens to kill themselves? Are there no Standard Operating Procedures to handle situations when the emotionally distraught child was trying to dig a grave? Where were those people who turned in hundreds up to protest, after it was all over? Why didn’t they support the family when they were fighting a desperate battle to save their home? Where was the Media?

The tragedy at Neyyattinkara is a collective failure, which caught media’s attention only because the visuals were captured on a mobile phone, showing the distraught couple as clung to each other doused in petrol. Then came the ham handed attempt of the police officer to stanch the lighter which went horrendously wrong. All that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Each and every one of us is responsible.

The tragedy of Neyyattinkara will be forgotten in a few days, and out of public memory in a few weeks. Till a similar tragedy happens, again.

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