Apathy to plight of human beings has crept into system

Basic human rights seem denied to the human being. There’s violence and brutality unleashed all over. Biases and prejudices and communal slants worsen the situation.

I’m filing this column just before the start to the Human Rights Day – 10  December. Time to think aloud: What’s become of human beings? A  large  percentage are living so very pathetically, just about surviving in dismal circumstances, with uncertainty hovering around about what the future could hold out.

Here in our country it is not just the sheer poverty that’s eating into lives but also the various traumas denting psyches. There’s also crept in, into the system, a strange sort of indifference and insensitivity to the plight of the human beings. During  my  journalistic  journeys  to  the  various parts of this country, I have met families who have horrifying stories to recount how their  young  went missing, picked up for  interrogation and then either declared  missing/ thrown in the  missing  registers, or else remain untraceable. Yes, there  are  missing human forms in every part of  this  land yet  the state is seemingly unaccountable. This is an absolutely harsh reality of the times we are living in.

Where are our missing? No clue! Taking you  still further…Correct me if I’m wrong  but  a  high percentage of  the young found loitering around unescorted along the lanes and by-lanes  could be sexually exploited; raped or  near-raped  and  molested. And with that in the background or foreground, one can well imagine the level of tortures and disasters getting inflicted on the forms and psyches of the young.

The hapless young wouldn’t know how to get out of the clutches of their tormentors. They wouldn’t know where to go for counselling or care or for safe shelter. Their agony and plight only gets compounded as days pass by…and the very ruthlessness of the system and our systematic insensitivity wrecks their remains. Whatever remains to them and to their torn apart lives and forms and souls! Nothing! We are losing hundreds of our fellow citizens to the barbaric ways of today’s dark times.

Tell me, with all the security phobias hitting the rulers of the day, can a human being even think in terms of nearing any one of them to talk aloud, about his or her grievances or laments? No, they can’t. They could be booked, if not detained.

It is a truly grim picture, as the very basic human rights seem denied to the human being. There’s violence and brutality unleashed all over. Biases and prejudices and communal slants worsen the situation.


To compound the gravity, there is no curbing  and censoring of what’s screened  on the  big and  small  screens. Those  thrusts,  pelvic  and  bosomy,  are  disgustingly obscene, and also some  of the  dialogues  reek  of  perversion. Young  viewers  are  not to  be  blamed if  they feel that if  the so-called top film stars can  get  away  with those  pelvic thrusts and  moves  in that Dabang  way, so why  not  them!

All that glitters and shines in those gaudy ways on the big and small screens carries hollowness and obscenity with severely dangerous offshoots. The Who’s Who in the filmi setups might come across as dashing but not their utterances and moves and offloads!

Raj Kapoor

And let me quote these lines from  Khushwant  Singh’s  autobiography –  Truth, love  &  a  little  malice  (Penguin ):

I  quote  Khushwant Singh –  “Being  the  editor of  a  popular  weekly, I was  much   sought  after by the film industry. I never was, nor am, much of a film-goer. And the  little I’d seen of  Hindi  movies  did  not  generate any respect for actors, directors, producers and  music   composers or playback  singers. Some  of  my Lahore friends  had  done well-  Balraj  Sahni, Uma  Kashyap (Kamini  Kaushal) and Dev Anand were  highly  rated  actors ; BR  Chopra  was among the top producers directors; Chetan Anand  had  many  flops to his credit …My  interest  in film  personalities  was  quickened  by Devyani Chaubal, the younger sister of  Nalini  who had worked with me briefly in London. I had  read  Devyani’s  bitchy  pieces on the  private lives of   film stars  written  in a brand of  Hindustan-English  (Hinglish) which I enjoyed. Devyani  took  me to Raj Kapoor’s private cinema to see the  opening shots of  Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. I took along members of the Sindhi  family who lived  above  me  –  Sheila, her  daughter  Jyoti  and their  maid servant Fatima, all very eager to meet the  great actor. Zeenat Aman was present. I sat between  Raj  Kapoor and  Zeenat. Devyani was in the row behind, with my guests. We saw Zeenat  stepping out  of a  village  pond  with her  wet  sari clinging to her body and displaying her shapely bust … ‘I am a   bosom man’ said  Raj  to me with  enthusiasm, “Aren’t you?” I agreed that shapely bosoms had their points. ‘What’s your laal paree (red fairy) like?,’ he asked. He was referring to Sheila who was draped in a bright red sari. He assumed she was my mistress.

‘I have no idea.’ I replied

‘Go on, you so and so!,” he insisted. ‘She looks all right to me. But one can’t really tell what’s inside the blouse, can one?’ “