We Indians are immune to loss of lives and tragedy, especially when it happens to others.
People die everyday - somewhere due to terror attacks, somewhere due to atrocities of armed forces, somewhere due to riots triggered by smallest of issues (religion is a small issue too in larger scheme of things), somewhere due to overwhelming debts, and somewhere due to apathy of people and government towards basic rights of the citizens.
And death, the unnatural death, is not the only thing, we have got immune to. We are immune to squalor and poverty. We are immune to lack of civility in public places. We get used to slums around our apartments. We stop even registering them, learning to ignore them and turning a blind eye towards such issues. The list of such things is endless. And things don't change, irrespective of the political disposition in power.
Then there is this another thing I have started hating over the years - The famous Mumbai Spirit, touted by politicians and people alike, as some form of divine strength we possess. No, it is not. It is basically our inaction and inability to change things, given a nice name, to make all of us feel less guilty. 2005 floods, we got stuck. We moved on. Bomb blasts in successive years. 26/11. Elphinstone Station Stampede. We just move on, going about our daily lives, as if nothing happened. We don't hold anyone accountable. We don't change anything within ourselves. We don't care. And, why Mumbai? This apathy is all pervasive, in each city in India, in each village. But you may not have noticed. We don't have time to notice.
We are the people who play our loudspeakers at ear shattering volumes during all festivals, not caring, that someone's kid might be sick and need rest. We are the same people who drink and drive without caring for lives of people sleeping on roads. We are the same people who find people sleeping on roads okay. We are the people who know where to fix blame, but we don't know where to fix accountability.
Yesterday's incident is not something that shocked me. It happened few minutes away from where my office was in Mumbai till few months back. I am in Chennai. That's why it hasn't shocked me? No. Even, if I was at that station at that very time, when the stampede occurred at Elphinstone Station, and I wasn't hurt or I hadn't lost someone close to me, I wouldn't have been shocked.
And this apathy kills me... kills you... kills all of us...