Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | Author:

You might think that what a stereotype topic to write about. This topic has been boasted about in lakhs of articles, thousands of books and hundreds of films. But revisiting this thought, I present before you some astonishing facts that will, possibly, change your perception towards India and the Indians.

It’s been more than 60 years of independence. From a frail colonial state of British Empire, characterized by brutality and monstrosity, to a nation profoundly acknowledged for booming economy and military strength, India has achieved great milestones. India’s accomplishments in the field of nuclear technology, telecommunication, space missions, IT do not need mentions. From among all the third world countries, India is the only one that scaled heights of development. We have upgraded ourselves from a poor nation to a developing nation and further to be a developed nation soon. However, apart from these developmental souvenirs, we have also witnessed some bloody heinous crimes. Communal riots, naxalism, political goofs and thousands of other disgraceful scandals, which blots our face black.

We often tend to hate ourselves for living in a society, characterized by a conflicting blend of traditional values and so called ‘modern spirit’. We abuse Indian politicians and government sector for making our lives hell. Just have a look at the newspaper early morning and you will be drowning in an ocean of fear. It’s all about crime, sex and gore. Well after experiencing all this possibly you may think that India can be the worst place to live on this earth. But let’s take an informational trip some of the African countries, to experience the quality of life there.

Kenya:
In presidential elections 2007-2008, Mawai Kibaki was declared winner. This led to the post-election violence in which around 800 people were killed and another 60,000 got displaced. Both the political parties which incited the violence are now sharing a coalition government, but the displaced people are living in forests without shelter.

Kenyan People Fleeing From Violence-Hit Towns in the Aftermath of 2008 Violence

Kenyan People Fleeing From Violence-Hit Towns in the Aftermath of 2008 Violence

Blood Diamonds:
The term ‘blood diamonds’ refers to diamond mines falling in conflict-ridden areas. Many African countries like DRC, Angola, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire have extensive diamond mines. As we all know that diamond is the most priced possession in the world, this fact should have made these countries extremely rich. But, in contrast to this, natives of these countries are still slaves to power groups financed by rich western nations. Forget about diamond, people here are sans food and sans homes. The diamond zone of the world has the highest infant mortality rates and is considered as the most war-sensitive region in the world. While buying a diamond, we never think that these diamonds are results of thousands of hunger deaths every year.

A boy works in a diamond mine in Africa

A boy works in a diamond mine in Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]:
On an estimate 45,000 people die in ongoing DRC every month. Just think about this figure and you can calculate the life expectancy of this central African nation. The ongoing war between rebels and the government is fueled by ownership of DRC mines, treasures of natural resources. US and UN forces are condemned to plunder the natural wealth of this vast country. To their plight, almost 40 percent of the nationals are bound to live in refugees camps in neighboring countries. And to add to their sufferings, these refugee camps are denounced by largest number of rapes against women and minors. Major news channels have reported that even UN forces were involved in mass raping. Although Indian forces are also a part of the UN peacekeeping forces in DRC, but I just wish they are not a part of these crimes.

DRC Refugee Camp

DRC Refugee Camp

A Lady Fleeing from a destructed DRC village

A Lady Fleeing from a destructed DRC village

Rwanda Genocide:
Now I present to you the most heinous crime mankind had ever witnessed. The term ‘genocide’ means mass killings of a community. In 1994, minority tribal group, allegedly powered by France, committed genocide killings a massive 1.2 million people of majority group. I am surprised on what motivated these people to kill an entire generation. I believe mankind must feel ashamed on this act, surpassing animal behavior. Well the dead bodies of victims are preserved in special museums governed by UN. Broken skulls, burnt bodies and tones of bones stand witness to the horrifying past of this nation. We may thank God for the very fact that regional riots in India were far more lass than genocide.

A child during war crimes in Rwanda

A child during war crimes in Rwanda

Ruined city in Rwanda during Genocide

Ruined city in Rwanda during Genocide

Rwanda refugee camp in Zaire

Rwanda refugee camp in Zaire

Well pictures say a thousand words but I believe even these sorrowful pictures can depict the plight of these people in entirety. Now the question arises why I am posting this on a company blog. That’s because Indian media never cover such disastrous events. It is essential that we learn from the mistakes others have committed pledge not to repeat the same. These horror stories tell us a gruesome fact of life. We all cry for our small problems and there are people who are struggling for their lives everyday. All is not good in India, but since we are living a life much better than many others in the world: I AM PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN.

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4 Responses

  1. 1
    Swapna 

    Mayank, I totally loved your article. I found it shocking, informative, meaningful and so touching. The part about Rwanda genocide made me feel so angry and so helpless at the same time because there is so little we can do and so much we want to do to help stem these politically motivated riots and violence. It’s much worse in Africa, as you rightly covered.

    You are also right that Indian media will not cover these issues because TRP ratings wont be high for these events. We want to know if SRK caught a cold or if Aamir next hair cut is going to be interesting. We dont want to know about the real issues because it opens our eyes to a lot of ugliness and pain.

    You’ve done a great job of making us see what’s real and what needs to be thought about seriously. Seriously, good work, Mayank.

  2. 2
    Mayank 

    thanks for the appreciation Swapna. but let me tell you another shocking fact that what’s all I have written in this article is not even 0.1 percent of the actual sufferings. I just wonder that what dreams these people cherish. I think of career promotions, high salaries, owning a car or a house. But what those people dream about? possibly sending their children to school or going back to their native places. I, you and all other people around us have turned so mechanical. Freedom has come free to us but for many Africans every day is a struggle…..to live, to eat, to work, to own and also to protect themselves from the so called masters of their life. I hope some day things will turn better for the beautiful and naturally rich land of Africa.

  3. 3
    Piyush Nigam 

    Great article and very informative. Though my heart goes out to those in Africa and I keep promising myself that one day I will do something to improve things out there…yet there is enough to be fixed in our India that I am proud of. The prosperity here needs to trickle down to the majority – and we need to catalyze that action too.
    One may say ‘hazaron khwahishein aisi’ to the way i feel about it all – but then wanting to do something about it is the first step towards getting something done!

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