We Have Become Dehumanized?
I was in Connaught Place, New Delhi, a week ago, and was looking for a place to eat. When my wife and I left the travel agent, we walked around, arguing about where to eat. She won the battle. Anyone surprised? Anyway, I noticed this guard sitting and stretching. Bored out of his wits, he sat there. By the time I whipped my phone out, unlocked it, and found the camera app, he had stopped stretching. But when I photographed him, two thoughts ran through my brain. The first: he is lucky to be employed. The second: we are like cogs in a machine. At that moment, I thought we have become dehumanized. Am I bumbling less now?
India is one of the most unequal countries in the world. There is enough data to prove this, even though the government refuses to acknowledge this. Our health statistics are hopeless. When I recall the incident–the moment I photographed the man–I also had another thought. That’s when I had an epiphany or realization. We Indians don’t treat each other well. In today’s world, we victimize Muslims, Dalits, and the poor. In doing so, we have become dehumanized.
People Want To Survive
Yet, people want to survive. They want to be treated with dignity. Everyone wants to be treated as a fellow human being, and not just as a brick in the wall. When I spoke out that phrase, ‘a brick in the wall’ to myself, I smacked myself on the head. If you are wondering if I smacked myself on the head in the middle of the market, you are mistaken. I didn’t. My wife considers me to be a crazy person, and I don’t need to prove her correct in the middle of the street!
And, it’s hot these days. When I read stuff on social media, I receive many messages about the heatwaves in India. In the plains of North India, this is not the worst part of the year. The worst is yet to come, between July and September, when the wet-bulb temperatures cross 30 degrees Celsius. Wet-bulb temperatures of over 35 degrees are fatal.
But. But people must survive. They have lost income and dignity. We are following a strange, nationalistic neo-liberal agenda, because of which, one person is becoming rich. In contrast, the rest are becoming poorer.
People Are Angry & Uncertain
Anger, frustration, and uncertainty fill people, especially in these uncertain times. When this happens, they need an enemy, and it is easy (in particular, countries like India) to create strife. The analysis will not comfort those who are being victimized. No one wants analysis. They want a solution. They want dignity and security. However, this is hard to find. Despite our prayers and religion, we have become dehumanized to the point we do not accord our fellow humans any dignity.W I continued to ponder this point, I figured that this could be my theme. But we are not mere bricks in a wall. But I don’t want Pink Floyd to sue me, which is why I have arrived at the metaphor of the anonymous cog. While writing this, I realize my thoughts are bleak. I hope, in the eventual result, you will see the victory of the human spirit, and not the result of my bleak thoughts.
Some Resources I Used
- Cogs in the wheels of our own lives https://bit.ly/38zUZuR
- Social, psychological, and demographic characteristics of dehumanization toward immigrants