Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Death is not an Art

Celebrated Assamese poet, Hiren Bhattacharyya (popularly known as Hiru da) had written ‘Mrityu Eti Silpo’, meaning ‘Death is an Art’. He had written it during a time when Assam was still a peaceful state with very few incidents of violence. But time changed. Violent insurgency took over this beautiful region and violence became a way of life. At this juncture, popular Assamese singer Zubeen Garg sang ‘Mrityu Jodi Eti Silpo Hoi, Mrityu Kidore Sahaj?’, meaning ‘If Death is an Art, how could it be so commonplace?’. It was a valid question. Artistic ability is a rare gift and it is not bestowed upon all. Artistic talent is not commonplace, and as such, death cannot be said to be an Art. That song by Zubeen brought home the truth about those violent days in Assam, when death had become commonplace.

The situation is still same now. Death is everywhere; whether it is in Paris or in Beirut or in Kenya or in Assam. It has become commonplace. Death is now just a number - 129 dead in Paris, 90 dead in Kokrajhar, 100 dead in Nigeria. It has all come down to statistics. The gravity of the situation is now determined on the basis of number of deaths. Deaths - which have cut short many promising lives – some of whom might have someday become an Einstein or a Picasso or a Mozart. Though there is grief at every death but people have now, more or less, got accustomed with violence and death. Death no longer is an Art.

Also, there is a bit of criticism in the social media nowadays that people only care about deaths in places like Paris but there is no media attention to deaths in places like Beirut or Kenya. But, here we need to understand the human psychology. People usually connect events to places they know and hear about and are familiar with. As such the outpouring of emotion is more when people are killed in Paris, a place which is world famous and a tourism hotspot. People cannot connect themselves much with a place in Africa or the Middle East. Same is true here also, where deaths in Mumbai would surely invoke greater emotions nationwide than deaths in a remote district in Northeast India. But that does not mean that people ate insensitive to deaths in those places. Death of innocents always hurts a fellow human. It is just that outpouring of emotion is not shown in all occasions.

The terror groups like Islamic State are carrying out their own selfish agenda in the name of religion. They are brainwashing poor kids from under developed regions. But it is a certainty that such organizations cannot last long. Those organizations would surely get destroyed and the people leading those groups would face justice. Humanity has endured such barbarism before and can endure this too. But at the end, I am sure peace and harmony would surely prevail in this world.

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