The Uncivilized Never Weep

This is not a rhetorical question. Have you ever seen any Indian leader weep for the misery and hardship that millions of Indians endure throughout their lives and often die prematurely from natural but preventable causes? Have you ever seen any Indian leader weep for the thousands killed and mutilated by Islamic terrorism in India? If they do, they must do so in private and is not reported by the press.

I have seen press reports of how Manmohan Singh spends sleepless nights worrying about the families of the Islamic terrorists but I have not heard about him shedding a tear for the victims of terrorism. Ordinary people do weep. Here’s one person, Arun Gupta, expressing his anguish following the Pune terrorist bombing. He titles his blog post simply, Weep.

Abhishek Saxena was a junior at engineering college and the hope of his widowed mother. We are told – that he was passionate about cars, with special inclination towards designing , research and mechanism. “Intensivist Vilas Gundecha, of Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, said, Abhishek was admitted with severe injuries to the right leg, which required immediate amputation. Following that, he continued to bleed profusely and several rounds blood transfusions (25 bottles) had to be conducted over the past two days. As many as 15 students of D Y Patil College of Engineering , Akurdi, were ready to donate blood to save their friend Abhishek Saxena. But their prayers were not answered as he breathed his last on Tuesday.”

In India, far too often reduce the victims of terror are reduced to statistics. A billion people, what’s a few hundred lost here or there? I always believed, however, that development is the process of conversion of the masses into people. No one should be reduced to a statistic. At least read their names. Indians are typically named with the names of the divine, or else with names of divine attributes. So reading the names will be a form of prayer.

Conversion of masses into people. Which reminds me of Bertrand Russell. The mark of a truly civilized human being is the ability to read a column of numbers and then weep, Russell wrote. The reported numbers of those killed by terrorist bombs are an abstraction. Converting those abstract numbers into people requires not only the ability to read and understand numbers but also the empathy to comprehend the pain and sorrow they abstract away.

Arun has the mark of a truly civilized human being. He weeps. Manmohan Singh and the whole bunch of politicians who are protected from the terrorists are isolated from civilization and common humanity never weep upon reading a column of numbers. The uncivilized never weep.

Related Post:

Triple Point of the World at Zero Degree Humanity. July 2004.

13 thoughts on “The Uncivilized Never Weep

  1. Amit Thursday February 18, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    Anatu, the Jihadis are doing what they have to do. They don’t pretend to be goody boys nor do they hide their manifesto. Its the blind polity of this country and willfully ignorant masses who don’t wish to see the truth.

    There is nothing that any of us can do, because evertime you will raise your voice to speak the truth, some bleeding heart liberal useful idiot will come and gauge your mouth by speaking at the top of his voice. Its sad the see that liberals have become the neo Facists of the twenty first century.

    The old school socialists died with the death of Oriana fallaci who was perhaps one of the last existing socialist champions of freedom of speech and though, liberation and emacipation of women and equal rights for all. Today when I look at the so called socialists I can see a creed that is so full of self loathing and has a strange death wish. It makes me wonder how the champions of democracy have fallen into such nihilistic meanderings and take up cundels for those who wish to take our the freedoms for which the prececesors of the socialists fought so hard. This self loathing is not something that ravages India alone. Western Europe is being engulfed by these nighilistic philosophies too. As a result the disuulioned youth, due to a lack of options, end up becoming Neo Nazis and supporters of Right wing Facist parties like the BNP in UK and Bajrang Dal and others like them in India.



  2. Anonymous Thursday February 18, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    The deplorable tragedy is we the people continue to look upon the heartless as our elected saviours(( The only time I saw them perturbed was during the aborted attack on Parliament.

    The majority of us are so besotted with cricket & bollywood alone , our Armymen who perished in an avalanche ( clearly an avoidable tragedy) mattered little. I often wonder is there a Nation called India at all ??


    • Atanu Dey Thursday February 18, 2010 / 3:40 pm

      Anonymous wonders if there “is a Nation called India at all.”

      Yes there is. India is very old. Perhaps age has robbed her of her vitality. Perhaps she is just tired from having to fight all the invasions. But I believe that she will arise again if we care enough.

      I am reminded of a song by the rock group Steppenwolf. The last lines of the song is the desperate plea of an American patriot to America, ” America where are you now? Don’t you care about your sons and daughters? Don’t you know we need you now We can’t fight alone against the monster.”

      Whenever I hear that song, I substitute India for America.

      There are differences in the history of India and America. America was settled by Europeans and they slaughtered the native Americans. But there are similarities too. Listen to the song and you will see what I mean. Here are some of the words that you will find eerily familiar:

      And though the past has it’s share of injustice
      Kind was the spirit in many a way
      But it’s protectors and friends have been sleeping
      Now it’s a monster and will not obey

      The spirit was freedom and justice
      And it’s keepers seem generous and kind
      It’s leaders were supposed to serve the country
      But now they won’t pay it no mind

      ‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
      And now their vote is a meaningless joke
      They babble about law and order
      But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told

      Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose
      It’s got our heads into a noose
      And it just sits there watchin’

      Our cities have turned into jungles
      And corruption is stranglin’ the land
      The police force is watching the people
      And the people just can’t understand

      We don’t know how to mind our own business
      ‘Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
      Now we are fighting a war over there
      No matter who’s the winner
      We can’t pay the cost

      ‘Cause there’s a monster on the loose
      It’s got our heads into a noose
      And it just sits there watching

      America where are you now?
      Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
      Don’t you know we need you now
      We can’t fight alone against the monster

      India is facing a monster as well. The monster is ruling us. We have to also plead and ask, “Mother India where are you now, don’t you care about your sons and daughters.”

      One of my favorite old songs. Go see a video of the song.


  3. Anonymous Thursday February 18, 2010 / 5:16 pm

    Thank you Atanu for your reply.

    I wrote it with a lot of despair & pain . Where is the much needed solidarity among us ? Had I been the Jawan’s mother would have very strongly felt why defend this countrymen who could not care less ?

    The taliban is one bloodcurdling foe in close proximity. Yet our ill informed idiots keep repeating all religions same same shibboleth. How on earth can we so facilely presume everyone is actually seeking God ? Their very definition of God is so violently different & inimical to ours.

    There was this Chera King (who later became Kulasekara Aazhwar) who was so emotionally overwhelmed on hearing Ramayanam pravachan that he exhorted his warriors to at once proceed to assist Sri Rama in vanquishing His adversaries.

    I don’t see any such ardently devout Hindu capable of steering India. Our past glory was entirely owing to Grace of God who the kings & his subjects unapologetically embraced. We had King Janaka learning at the feet of Sage Yagnavalkya and Ashtavakrar.

    Thanks to Sri.Rama , who at a very young age feels so intensely about the ephemeral nature of this overhyped life & its chimerical pleasures we have inherited a priceless repository of wisdom called YogaVasishtam.

    It is so patently obvious we have fallen from Grace.


  4. Atanu is a silly amriki Friday February 19, 2010 / 12:01 am

    Dr ” bg cty plns gn t dst”

    lt’s b hnst mrk ..y r jst frstrtd RSS ss lvr whs mnd hs bn brnwshd t lv ht.

    thnk t’s tm t nfrm ncl sm tht y r nthng lss thn Hnd vrsn f mllh mr? f thy bn y fr ntrng th S, wll y sht n yr pnts r jst shd fw qt trs tht y cn’t mk nthr f yr “hndrds” f rln brdngs nd wll b cndmnd t b stsfd wth shwng yr sllnss t fw wtchmn hr n nd?

    Dn’t b s frstrtd tht th BJP dd nt mk t drng th lst lctn.prhps wht frstrtd y s tht t pt pd t yr Plns f sng yr rght wng crdntls t crry fvr fr yr md cp schms f gnt cts nd fndmntlst dctn fr ll?
    Cry bby cry…cry sm mr

    [The comment was plainly abusive and has been disemvoweled. I don’t censor comments expect in some rare cases where the comment serves no function other gratuitous abuse. I have never removed a comment merely because the commenter disagrees with my position. But this guy has evidently taken offense at what I consider Islam to be and has started posting plain abuse without any argument at all. I will use disemvowelment on him for a bit and then perhaps delete any further comments. — Atanu]


  5. Srinivasan Friday February 19, 2010 / 12:10 am

    I have one question to ask. How many of us stop to help an accident victim lying bleeding on the road? We conveniently find excuses like the Police will harass us, someone else will call the police etc. etc., don’t we?

    And, what exactly is the solution to Jihadist Islam? Go to war with Pakistan? Where will this take us?
    Let’s assume we go to war and capture Pakistan. Will it stop the Jihadi’s from blowing themselves up all over the country?

    Bashing liberal ideas has become a national passtime for people with a right wing ideology, but unfortunately the very same people have no solutions to the problem.

    I’d like to hear what other readers have to say.


    • Atanu Dey Friday February 19, 2010 / 12:29 am


      You ask, ” How many of us stop to help an accident victim lying bleeding on the road? We conveniently find excuses like the Police will harass us, someone else will call the police etc. etc., don’t we?”

      I don’t know how many stop. Perhaps you don’t. I would if the situation arose. But Mr Srinivasan, do you realize that some who don’t stop may be afraid for what you mention — that Indian law ill-treats anyone who is involved in any way with accidents, even those who help victims of accidents.

      Then you Mr Srinivasan go on to suggest that the only way to combat “Jihadi Islam” is to go to war with Pakistan. Why are you so belligerent? What causes this sort of war-mongering? Perhaps your military mentality? I am guessing that you are either in the military or fantasize about being in one, going by your email address “major-jacob.” Well, Mr Srinivasan (if that is your name), don’t go to war with Pakistan. Tackle terrorism by policing, not military means. And please do try not to project your own biases all over the place. It does not look good.


  6. Sayan Friday February 19, 2010 / 8:40 am


    We are not civilized. Perhaps the only nation which has climed down the civilization ladder. The most important question is, what do the people who do realize this, do? I just wish I had a definitive answer for it.


  7. Amit Friday February 19, 2010 / 10:19 am

    Atanu is a silly amriki, you rock man, keep on posting regularly. We do require entertainment sometimes.

    Srinivasan, my personal belief is that India needs to fight a two progned policy inoder to fight Islamic facism. A war alone wont be enough. Ofcourse a decisive war could be useful to humble those who fancy the thought of god being on their side. However this cannot be a lasting solution as we need to fight this war on a psycological scale too. We need to prove to the Muslims that their religion is not just bad for others but bad for them too. Like all other religions Islam is false too, however this is something a Muslim will not accept easily. For that we need to accept the real nature of the problem and find solutions accordingly.


  8. Oldtimer Friday February 19, 2010 / 10:34 am

    Comrade Srinivasan is a war-monger alright but it’s the war that Pakistan is waging that he mongers.


  9. gGill Saturday February 20, 2010 / 1:34 am

    If you can find a politician in the entire world who would genuinely weep for other human beings, I’ll mail you a genuine Canadian Loonie :P. Actually, lets take it a little further, if you can find a politician anywhere that looks at other human beings as, well, human beings, I’d be very impressed.
    IMO, you are as likely to find a weepy Prime Minister as you are a sadistic one. I think I’ll take a healthy, self-serving in-between.
    Having said that, a PM should at the very least appear worried about his job after a terrorist attack. This may sound a little optimistic, but believe Indians can be jolted out of their political apathy. It would require immense effort on the part of people like you, and other intellectuals, but it can be done.


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