The Jaipur tragedy where two members of a family died in a road accident raises several questions once again about the public's insensitivity, the officials' apathy, law and order etc., but no one has bothered to ask what four people were doing on a two -wheeler and why they were in a tunnel where riding on a two-wheeler was forbidden, and why we continue to breed like rabbits. Why are we bereft of common sense even when it could impact our own safety? Do we want to blame the government every time we choose to flout a law?
Call me insensitive but the truth is that quite a few Indian families would have the children taken away from them by the authorities if they were in a first world country. Perhaps, only a few African and South-Asian countries would come close to us when it comes to utter disregard for human life. Now, it is nobody's case that only the rich should be allowed to breed but shouldn't there be a base standard that assures our children nutrition, education, health, shelter and a right-to-life in a child-friendly, safe environment? Shouldn't the government raise taxes instead of lowering them? Shouldn't our reimbursements be taxed as well - well over a third of our take-home salaries? Shouldn't all deductions be taken away? You want a home, pay for it and please don't expect tax concessions. Perhaps, it was the decision to offer tax sops on home loans that created this land -mafia, ever-rising-property-prices free-for-all.
The other day I saw Maruti Omni vans full of children careening wildly on a road in Greater Kailash-1. Am amazed when I hear people say: 'Arre, hum bhi toh palein the', 'Sab ho jayega' etc. Isn't a slogan - hum do, hamare do - coined in the 1970s' a little passé? Shouldn't it read 'hum do, hamara ek' or even 'hum do, hamara ek adopted'? Isn't even this 'hum do' bit on its last legs in a modern world?
The way the population is growing, we shall all be spilling over into the 'Bay of Bengal', the 'Indian Ocean', or the 'Arabian Sea' soon enough - Malthus's nightmare will seem like a walk in the park.
Am afraid I have no words of sympathy to offer - I am, after all, the 'insensitive public'.