We put all blame on the government and system. It changes nothing, other than our attempt to sheath our conscience, ourselves from the guilt. We want to hide our fragility, our inability to take risks. But we can not shrug off that responsibility, the onus of those tearful eyes is on us too.
From coercion to abduction or murder, they die a death every once in a while. Families would never see their daughter again as no one knows where they vanished.
Children, at the age when they should be playing in the dust of their village, getting familiar with their fields, open their eyes under a closed sky. In the age of receiving life values from elders, they hear abuses and cries. Their eyes are clouded by cement and sand. The dreams, the hopes, the childhood aspirations all lose their existence, never to sparkle again.
Not only the mind but also the body bears the burns of migration. The health of the community and village gradually deteriorates. Migrants bring with them diseases which the people have never heard before. Spending a substandard life on roadsides and drains, a whole generation grows up malnourished.
The combined effect is that migration, gradually, eats away the communities, and their traditions, festivals, virtues, life values and entire knowledge system. People lose their identity in every way. Like a root-cut-tree, their green, prosperous culture starts drying up. Villages lose their identity in every way. Then what remains is neither a village nor a town, just something which has no soul, no pride, no identity. Migration is creating a future-less world, where people have lost aspirations and hope of life.
The migration not only kills people but also kills the community and its culture. It kills villages.
The ground reality is far more frightening. We are witnessing the death of migrants walking on the streets; we count their bodies. But do we count the many deaths that rural India is dying?
Today our heart is suffering, but are we still able to understand their pain? Can we feel even today the pain that they feel while leaving their soil, their village, their people, their animals and birds?
It is time for us to rise above our pain and try to understand theirs.
Try to understand why millions of villagers are forced to migrate. Why are they forced to live in a shadow of tattered plastic on some corner of a road, when they have their own land, their home.
My heart aches when I feel what difference youth like us can create, but how otherwise we choose to soothe our pain. We put all blame on the government & system.
It changes nothing, other than our attempt to sheath our conscience, ourselves from the guilt. We want to hide our fragility, our inability to take risks. But we can not shrug off that responsibility, the onus of those tearful eyes is on us too. Even those who feel these emotions choose a supposedly comfortable & secure life.
Why don’t we want to do anything about it? What is stopping us? If rural India cannot expect from its youth, then who?
The question that persists like a deep burning scar on our face is whether we want to do something about it or not.