Friday, December 4, 2015

Chennai floods and the Paris attacks - Is it fair to compare?

People have been comparing and complaining about the lack of media coverage over the Chennai floods and the Paris attacks. Is it fair to compare these two? Let's see.

Paris was an attack on freedom. An attack on culture. An attack on people. A result of an artificial irrationality, hatred. We have no one to blame, but, ourselves. An entirely man-made disaster.

Chennai is not an attack on freedom, culture or people. It is not a result of an irrationality or hatred. It is a result of nature's fury. Of course, accentuated by human greed. But, primarily, the work of nature.

Now, do you think another Chennai floods scenario can be avoided? This can be answered by answering the question, "can man stop nature"? The answer is NO. We cannot stop nature. We can probably handle such a scenario, better. That's about it, though. No way, we can prevent such a natural disaster from happening, again.

If you think nature is evil, well, it is a necessary evil.

Now, do you think a Paris-like attack can be avoided? YES! How? By realizing and admitting that religion needs reform. Man needs to change himself. To move away, from irrationality, superstition and the likes, towards reason and rationality.

Religion needs us. We don't need it.

If the Paris attacks received more media coverage, I for one, am happy. It shows that we are really concerned about a man-made crisis, arising out of an outdated set of bad ideas and rules, also created by man, which we are still struggling to shrug off (As George Carlin said, there's no invisible man looking at you, and judging you, from the sky).

The more they cover such artificial atrocities, the more people will realize, that religion is not as peaceful, as they think it is.

If you think religion is evil, well, it probably is. But it need not be a necessary evil. If we put ourselves up to it.

Chennai and Paris aren't the same. Yes. Lives were lost. But the connection ends there. Paris was an attack on humanity, by humans. It deserved the coverage, that it got. And, if the coverage helped people realize how twisted religion could be, and dissuade them from becoming fanatically pious, blind gun-toting, grenade-throwing zombies, it was a victory.

Chennai, being my hometown, holds a very special place in my heart. The Chennai floods may not have received enough worldwide or even India-wide attention. It is unfortunate, to say the very least. What would be truly depressing, though, would be a scenario, wherein, the people of Chennai didn't get enough attention.

But, thankfully, this does not seem to be the case, as the people of Chennai themselves, along with the NDRF, Army, Air Force, Navy, people from the neighboring states, and all such Good Samaritans, have extended a helping hand to get over this horrific crisis. Twitter and Facebook are testimony to this. The no. of posts and tweets citing how people have helped out family, friends, neighbors, strangers and even stranded animals is phenomenal!

The magnitude of such positive, random acts of kindness is so staggering, it is hard to believe, that man who is so capable of doing so much goodwill, is also capable of committing crude, violent acts of terrorism.

If people want more coverage of the Chennai floods, I sincerely hope, that they show more and more of all these arbitrary acts of generosity and caring, rather than people suffering. Suffering is much too commonplace. It is here, there and everywhere. Suffering is like God. It is omnipresent. Suffering is here to stay.

Goodwill, affection, caring, love are all so rare, they deserve to be shown. Broadcast it live on television. On movie screens. Wherever you can. Show Chennai in its full glory. Even though it, stands in ruins. Beauty is after all, in the eyes of the beholder.

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