A question of debate? yes, may be for some. It has been a question asked by many humans over centuries. And the humans itself has proved themselves on the long run of existence on earth. The ability to think and perceive makes them at the top of evolution.
Now, let me put down the situation that made think about this centuries old question. I left office early today and I was on my way back to home., to begin the week long vacation ahead. The ‘Onam celebration’ – the native festival of kerala is just a week ahead and the people are on their final preparation to celebrate the festival of prosperity and equality. I stopped on the way to get a hair cut. There, I saw, on the crowded bus stop pavement, an old man lying unconscious. I just observed the place for a moment. The crowd around him was passing by, as if he is just a lifeless form or an object indeed.
There could be many interpretations going inside the minds of people passing by and the onlookers. Many will think him to be a drunkyard, sleeping unconscious on the road side. Even I had the same first impression. May be many have went near him, before I turned out and might have checked him. But, the question I ask is what ever be the reason of him lying at that odd place motionless, if that person was a relative of any one of them, would they stand there , watching the helplessness? Let me remind the readers that the relations are buildups of human civilized mind. For uncivilized animals, there is only race, the race of their kind. They respect their race, no matter how carnivorous they are.
The least minimum thing anyone present there could have done is to phone police and just pass this information. I don’t know how long this man was lying there. But, that very scene made me make the first call of my life to the police helpline. I called the control room and informed that an old man is lying unconscious at the Karamana bus stop. The personnel at the other end ensured that help is on the way. I waited there for a while, to check on the police. But time passed on and none came. I again looked at the slow moving traffic with dismal hope and started on my way home. Out of the first corner, I saw a police van moving towards the opposite direction. I hoped it was moving to fetch that old man.
I had to go through the same place after around 2 hours from then. I looked out for the place where the old man was lying. Now, even that small area was jam packed with people. I felt like there were waiting to occupy that empty piece of clearance available on the evening crowd. But, to my heart, it was a mere piece of inhumanity that happened right in front of my eyes. With this thought still, revolving in my brain, I asked again to my heart
How civilized are we?