Friday, December 12, 2008

Some facts

The events that have been unfolding in the aftermath of the horrible attacks in Bombay are quite unprecedented. Public discontent over perceived lack of adequate security provided by the government has lead to widespread protests , condemnation of those in power, and a great sense of betrayal and disillusionment. As we speak the uproar is raging in several places, through different mediums and channels and at various levels. Both the volume and extent of involvement by the public surpasses any response we have seen so far in earlier tragedies.

No doubt, it was indeed a ghastly series of events and there can be nothing said or done that would make those who have lost a loved one feel better. I will not pretend to understand what they must be going through.

However, not being so close to the disaster should help others look at the attacks in a more objective manner and take note of a few relevant facts and statistics that may be missed during the heat of the debate. Before I go on to list them, I must make it very clear that this is not meant to make the horror of this tragedy, or any of the related developments in international politics since, less significant. The idea here is to put things in their right perspective.
Here we go:
(I) The number of casualties from accidents every year in India is about 100,000. That is close to 300 deaths per day
(II) The number of Indian casualties in the deadly 2004 Tsunami is close to 12,000. I'd be interested to know the status of the rehabilitation efforts.
(III) The number of people of who die every year in Bombay Suburban Railway accidents is more than 3000.
(IV)Since these attacks, there has been a bus explosion in India that has resulted in 63 deaths.
(V) 5 people have been killed so far in terrorist attacks since then. These were associated with the Naxalite movement.
(VI) If you would like to have an idea of the frequency of terrorist attacks worldwide, here is the list for 2008.

Aside from this, it is important to consider the death toll arising from malnutrition in India. Preventable Diseases?

Should we also not care about those innocent citizens who are being arrested and inhumanly assaulted in prisons to elicit a confession?

Amidst the media obsession and sickeningly excess coverage, it is important that we never forget the basic facts involved and lose sense of balance that is so crucial in a precarious situation like this.

Note:Edits made to original post.

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