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Blind to the Eyes

Krithika Karthikeyan, IIK Young Reporter
Thursday, March 12, 2020

There is this meme that has been taking its rounds on social media for a few weeks, that I think every one of us can agree with:

Want to break relations with friends? Try discussing politics. If it fails, try religion.

That is by far, the most appropriate ‘quote’ I have ever read. It describes the present condition of the world in three lines, perfectly.

All that is happening in the world now is biasing. Politics, religion, caste, creed, race, the list might as well be longer than my Christmas wish list for this year. Out of these, religions are the worst. I reckon you know what I’m talking about. Instead of standing up as one community, we are divided and broken and absolutely out of control. No task can be fully accomplished in today’s world because of the divided thoughts we possess.

But, a night has a day which follows it. There has been a number of circumstances where all our differences are blind to the eye. We join forces and demand justice for the truth and honest. We set our setbacks behind of us and walk down the street as one, united, unbiased community. Here are some which shook me and forced me to pick my pen up for this article:

1) Nirbhaya- the soul which still hasn’t rested in peace

It’s evident that this would be the first example in the list, for this was the first time the country had ever witnessed anything like it.

The date was December 16, 2012. The incident spread like wildfire all over the news, and the public were stunned by the barbarism in the case. The people could simply not believe that the holy land of India was plagued by this kind of a case they had never experienced before. They decided they should do more than just sitting in their pajamas and gripping their bowl of cornflakes. They got onto the streets.

For a few couple of weeks, protests were raging like the wildest fires across the entire country. Violent protests as well as silent protests took over our land. #justicefornirbhaya hashtags crashed social media. Not minding the type of person standing next to them, almost the entire population marched down the streets and acted as the voice for the voiceless Nirbhaya (who, unfortunately, passed away two weeks after the original incident). After the guilty were charged with their sentences, the country was shocked on how much it could accomplish if they stood together. Even the foreign countries were amazed. To express it in modern terms, ‘It paved the way for a new world’.

2) Ted Bundy- the man who invented the phrase ‘barbaric brutality’

Let’s get a little international this time. Doesn’t the name ‘Ted Bundy’ send a shiver through your body? It does for me! For those of you who do not know:

Ted Bundy was the most notorious serial killer the world has probably ever seen. All of his murders were in the 1930s-40s couple of years. Trust me, you do not want to know more about this man (nightmare alert). He spent a lot of his time trying to prove that he was framed and he didn’t commit those crimes, but after one of his trials (where he revealed what he really did), protests flew all over the world to charge him with the most painful punishment possible. People hung banners, brought pluck boards, and did a ton other things to make sure Bundy got what he deserved. After his sentence was placed (electrocution in a chair), modes of celebration raged all across. This was one of those unique moments where the world came together for one cause. Oh, what we’d give to see that happen again (not Ted Bundy).

3) Reshma Qureshi- lost her eye, but not her vision

One of the most influential persons for today’s generation is Reshma Qureshi. She is an acid-attack survivor, and one of the most fearless of her kind. After having acid sprayed on her face by her brother-in-law, she isolated herself from the rest of the world and also attempted suicide. But, a meeting with the head of the NGO Make Love Not Scars changed her life. She came outside, and for the first time, showed herself to the public. Supports and encouragements came out from everywhere in India, standing up for Reshma. This was the time people did everything in their power to boost her up. The journalists wrote about her, the artists drew her and the police arrested her brother-in-law. The existence of such a great personality became well-known in India and brought the community together in a different way- problems can be different, but solving them in your own way is the best you can do.

4) P. T .Barnum- the Greatest Showman

International again! And this time, emphasizing on an already well-known personality.

Phineas Taylor Barnum was the most penniless kid in medieval America with the most vibrant imagination. His way of uniting a divided community was to become a showman, but instead of the usual acts in his show, he had the people who stood out in a crowd. Didn’t get me? His show consisted of- a bearded woman, a dwarf man, a man with dog abilities (both physically and mentally), two black trapeze performers (very weird in those days), a very obese man, a tattooed man, and many others who brought his world together. Initially, he was greatly biased- his show place was burnt to the ground, he had financial issues, he wasn’t able to get his wife the life she wanted, they called him and his show ‘freaks’ (the most decent of those names), but in the end, his world learnt to accept who they are and live with it. He managed to bring a whole lot of people ashamed of themselves into the spotlight and cherish their lives to the fullest. The title ‘the Greatest Showman ever lived’ was not wrongly bestowed upon him.

5) A country in need

Wherever we go, we finally wrap up from where we started. Let yourself be transported to 2nd August 1990, when people of Kuwait were shook by the sudden invasion of their neighbor Iraq, Completely clueless about what they have to do, Kuwait experienced about 1000 deaths during this period. When Kuwait was in need, the other countries helped.

Countries like the Unites States, Sweden and Egypt lend their helping hand to Kuwait. Indians were evacuated from Kuwait to various other countries. Peace organizations like the UN and Arab League provided limits and safeguards to Kuwait. Everywhere around the globe, protests demanding freedom to Kuwait was established. Some people also indulged themselves in the freedom movements and helped in the millions searching for escape. On 25th February 1961, when the efforts of thousands of communities bore fruit, the entire globe marched down as one. Their chests swelled with pride, on being more than just one division of people. Now they were marching as humans.

Then what now? Why is the world so biased today? Are the humans going to be one only if a catastrophe occurs? Why not otherwise? Innumerable numbers of these kind of incidents have proved to us that we do have the capacity to be one, but are just wasting them. Now, (God forbid) if an epidemic occurs, will humans still walk down as one? Maybe yes, maybe no.

I would like to conclude my article with the hope that my message has been conveyed, and a quote by Simone de Beauvoir, “The fact that we are humans is infinitely more important than all the peculiarities that distinguish human beings from one another”
Thank You.

Krithika Karthikeyan
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