Apathy, the Greater Affliction

Photo Credits: “Era of Gossips” by Mick Wiggins / WSJ

Riyaz Kazmi

ON that day, in a dicey weather, dark gloom descended over the horizon. It was a sad and startling news to hear that a promising youngster had died by suicide. It had sent shivers down our spine. There was confusion and cacophony. Most people were perpetuating narratives of vilification. We can rarely find the people who have impeccable character .Everyone has a dark side.

In this grievous and gruesome incident, it came to the fore that the deceased person was mulish to marry a divorced woman which was not approved by his defiant family as they thought it was just a passing whim! Adil (name changed) didn’t toe his line. The rumours couldn’t be scotched. Meanwhile, gadflies also nosed around and spewed their venom. It was mendacious and hurtful.

Alas, he could no longer grin and bear it. He was depressed and left everyone as well as the interminable pain.

It was a heart piercing tragedy which will always haunt us as a dreadful memory. The discussions divulged many bitter realities which clearly show how we as society have become enablers of such tragedies.  It is as though we derive sadistic pleasure from pushing the vulnerable and meek people against the wall. Slowly and sadly, desperation and indignity becomes too much for them to bear.

In Kashmir, there is an alarming increase in mental illnesses which has its roots in the onset of insurgency in 1989. A large number of people suffer from depression, mood swings, mental revulsions and other severe ailments .The fallout of  these problems have given rise to drug abuse, alcohol addiction, chain-smoking, rash driving, gang fights and impetuous behavior among the youngsters.

It is high time for us to look deeper into the pitfalls which have entrapped us in this vexing situation. We have to parse the severity of the situation keenly and consciously to intend and act now before we are left with only shame and shock. We have become so apathetic about the pain of others that we dilly dally in gossiping, gas lighting, back stabbing, bad mouthing about others. We have lost that human touch a long time ago. We leave no chance to slate and stultify others. We are hardly moved by emotions anymore. When someone is falling apart  we ensure that we pull them down further.

In Kashmir, when more than 1.6 million adults are suffering through depression as per 2015 survey figures, it’s high time for us to look at the grave situation and introspect. Instead of hurling invectives and addressing them by demeaning nicknames, we should be kind enough towards our fellow human beings who are going through traumatic experiences. We should do our bit to get them out of this mental distress and “disgrace” (as we have labelled it) .

We connive without a scruple of shame to vaunt our superiority. We are complacent and always keen on catching others on a wrong foot. It might seem innocuous to take a dig at others or look trivial but our fatuous remarks leave a long lasting negative impact over those who we target. We piddle around and are fond of pestering others and have become vicious and venomous to the extent that we turn a blind eye to our own faults.

Everyone is going through different trials and tests. By our arrogant and apathetic attitude, we actually afflict more hardships and hound our targets. When we indulge in the claptrap of ignorance and indifference, we make it very hard for them to live a peaceful life. It is unsettling and enervating for them. They get caught in the precarious life crises.

We have already lost too much to the ongoing conflict. Connect the dots and do your bit before it is too late.

Life is not always hunky dory. Everyone has their share of struggles and sufferings. Everyone navigates through challenges and criticism. Some have succeeded while others are stumbling. We should not stultify those who have fallen. What we are going to get by exacerbating and trashing people? In reality, doesn’t that speak volumes about us?

We can either choose to be supportive or sarcastic, bitter or better. We have seen enough of vice and violence. In the disguise of humans, let’s not be the spawn of the devil. We can notch up the victory over the mental crises by feeling the pain of our fellow beings. Live and let others also live peaceful. Be loving and caring to others – it’s not just the medicines but also our beautiful manners and memories which have power and positive impact upon those who are going through mental anguish and anxieties. Let’s do our part by helping and healing others – by our acts of kindness, love and laughter.

The author can be reached at [email protected] 

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