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Acceptable Deaths!

By Aditi Munot

24 December, 2008

There is always a lot of hue and cry about any terrorist attack anywhere in the world. Be it The Twin Towers in US or the bombings in Britain or the recent terror attacks in Mumbai….. these incidents get a whole lot of public attention and criticism, media footage, global attention.

There is no denial that these attacks are a question on the sovereignty of any country. Such hideous crimes are unacceptable and actions must be taken to prevent them. These macabre incidents deserve to be condemned and are worthy of public ire.

But honestly, there are numerous other acts which are far more deplorable and horrendous but unfortunately get little or no attention at all. The loss of life is far higher and more painful due to these incidents but most of the world is oblivious to these deaths. These events do not boil the public blood.

In the past five years, over 150000 farmers have committed suicide in India alone. That is a huge number, especially when compared with the 200 people killed in Mumbai or the few thousand killed in the 9/11 attacks. 150000 farmers have been forced into giving up their lives and no questions have been asked. The ruthless economic structure that created the circumstances which compelled so many deaths is acceptable as a part of life.

Millions of people die each year due to starvation and malnutrition. Millions each year! Millions of tons of toxic wastes disposed by factories everyday result in various diseases, disabilities and deaths everyday, every year. Innocent people are condemned to slow, painful deaths by these acts every year. But no questions are asked. These killings are considered ‘business as usual’ and forgotten. The newspapers and television channels never scream about these deaths, there are no protest rallies against these unmerciful killings. Children, adults are being executed every single day all over the world in the name of this ‘business as usual’ but it catches no ones attention.

Over a million people have been killed in Iraq and hundreds of thousands in Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Chile and the likes. All these deaths…. Or murders to be precise have been committed in the name of war or dictatorship. But the obvious reason- draconian economic policies is conveniently ignored. These detestable deaths have not received global ire.

From Union Carbide in the Bhopal Gas tragedy to Pacific Gas and Electric in US to De Beers blood diamonds to any and all such gory acts committed by big corporations resulting in thousands of deaths…. None have touched the heart of the common man. The general public has not registered these terrible incidents as acts of terror against humanity. Most are not even aware of these atrocities. Far more people have been killed in these incidents than any or all terrorist attacks put together.

The question is why are we not angered and hurt to the same extent by all these brutal episodes as we are by terrorist attacks? Millions of people are murdered on the economic altar of governments and big corporations every year but we just don’t seem to take notice. Why does our heart not bleed for these murdered and why don’t we put are foot down on these issues? Why are certain forms of killings more acceptable and others not?

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