Thursday, 6 May 2010

Bird's-eye view

Another bird rescued from the major oil sleek (Deepwater Horizon rig explosion) that happened a couple of weeks ago on the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, it is certainly a bird I am talking about, to be precise a brown pelican, currently doing fine at the isolation recovery area of Louisiana Bird Rescue Center. Well, not exactly intending to discredit this news article(Citation: click here) which was btw published in Bloomberg Businessweek, it’s slight bemusing to find such an article, when you can expect (and rightly so!) that most of the people would be fruitlessly engrossed either in estimating the exact figure of the gallons they lost or indulged in the blame game for inept recovery operations.

All that aside, it highlights the stark difference that exists across societies the world over, the differences in choices available, the difference in liberty, the differences in the evaluation of a human life or any life for that matter, in different parts of world. It’s funny when you see that an injured bird receives equal (if not more) media coverage (read importance) than what would be received by a whole bunch of humans who die almost daily in a bomb explosion, in some of the other parts of the world say for instance- Afghan, Pak or Iraq. Surely Americans take pride in their lives, and probably anybody would if in a similar position. Does their snobbishness ever deem them less friendly with the rest of the world? Doesn’t matter, they are in a position where they don’t need many or at least they don’t need to beg for making any. Take the Times Square car-bomb incident for instance, what I heard was, on 6:28 the officials were notified by a local shirt-seller and at 6:30 the entire troop had arrived on the scene, moreover they deployed a robotic arm to their service, safeguarding even the lives of their hurt lockers. Two days later they nab the criminal and are able to accumulate all the details and evidence related to the case. Well, so much for our successful conviction of Mr. Kasab….belittled in comparison, even when it is considered one of the fastest trials held on a terror linked criminal case.…reaching a verdict in record time (under 18 months!!, although it’s an altogether different story about the number of years the Indian constitution offers him to extend his lifespan by remaining in pipeline or by carrying forward his appeal to the President, in which ever case it is highly likely that the junta might lose interest in Kasab or will get soft-hearted and ultimately acquit him from the capital punishment)

Anyway, the point above focused on highlighting the striking difference....Now the question is why? One might rubbish this off saying that it’s entirely the rich nations’ muscle power of ‘paisa’ or ‘bhandwan’ (in local slang). I would not rack my brains arguing back, even a nincompoop would agree...but surely, isn't it wonderous to think, why and how come so much difference exists in a particular life form - Homo sapiens, in the same planet. Just to bring things in general perspective, the difference pointed out above was between two nations separated by only by 9 others when listed based on nominal GDP...there are over a hundred with which no comparison can be drawn. In fact, I now realize I can’t be fit to justify my view entirely, because based on an estimate, if I am able to write this post and publish this on my blog from my lappy, sitting comfortably at home while sipping coffee...then I belong to those lucky few millions who can afford or have the luxury to do so, out of the billions who amass this planet. Thus, my view can never entirely quantify the plight of the billions of below-poverty-liners. There has always been this difference in the past and perhaps it will continue to be in the future.

Here as you would recon, I don't seem to be drifting towards a conclusive end of this whole predicament; It's not so easy and not my job. However, it does remind me of something that Stephen Hawking has said in his new documentary with Discovery Channel, that stirred up quite a debate in scientific circles. He said we shouldn’t be seeking aliens in the outer space, (right after he almost confirmed their existence) explaining that we are not ready to face them. Although, his remark was touted as the most unscientific bohemian view point yet, the celebrity scientist does make profound sense in terms of serene logic.

We have a very long way to go indeed, resolving internal conflicts, working ourselves towards humanity, bridging the gap among different races, bringing all human lives up to scale and uniting all under one common banner, before we can dare to think of tackling aliens. Genocides, wars, hunger, colonization, plunder, deprivation, jealousy, hatred...we already have enough means to nail our own coffin and dig our own grave, who needs an FDI from outer space??