Umesh Pandey – Victim of a Sick Society

Tonight I am going to write the strongest post yet on this blog. Not everyone may want to accept everything that I’m going to write, but it’s my blog, my right to write it and if you can’t take it you’re welcome not to read in future.

An educator is, inherently a person who believes in the innate right of every human to work and strive towards their self actualization. A believer in the right of all to learn, grow and be something greater tomorrow than they are today. That’s tough enough an aspiration to hold close to your heart in today’s world. Sometimes you have to mentally deal with tragedies; a young life nipped out in a road accident, a child who loses their way and succumbs to drugs or other risk behaviours or who is overwhelmed by emotions to the point where they lose mental stability and end their own life.

However, tonight, every one of us living in our city stands with blood on our hands. That blood belongs to a 22 year old, Umesh Pandey, who saw the chance to build a life through his job as an attendant on the Gurgaon toll I understand from past reading that many of the young men who work there have come from very humble backgrounds and been trained. I’m sorry, but when was the last time you thanked these guys as you passed through, for the work they do.

Umesh was gunned down for trying to do his job!! He tried to do that job to better himself.

Which of us should be surprised? Driving on the streets of this city we feel like we are in the midst of a dog-eat-dog jungle. Manners mean nothing. Human decency means nothing. Giving way to a fellow traveler means nothing. It is a win-lose battle for supremacy bloodier than any animal battle.

Sad to say, these pitiful worms, pathetic excuses for humanity become so ‘brave’ once they climb inside their metal box (often with tinted glass to protect their individuality) that they believe that they are like gladiatiors, warriors going in to battle for personal victory on the road, pressing continually for others to get out of their way – to let them believe that whatever may be the reality of our congested world, they are the true ‘kings of the road’. How many times have most of us felt the sense of fatigue and misery that flows from having given way to these bullies, these self-proclaimed ‘kings of the road’.

Oh, what heroes they are – break every red light, cause a 15 minute jam by pushing round the outside or the inside at a slow junction. Cut people up. Weave, jag, but get in front

Tonight oh road warriors of Gurgaon you are proved to be the pathetic, immoral idiots I always knew you were. I hope you feel it. I hope you feel how you have contributed to the culture that eventually culminated in one of your fellow road warrior morons pulling that gun and shooting Umesh Pandey dead. Own up! Take responsibility and let Umesh’s death not be in vain. Let this be the start of more civil, human, respectful and human behaviour on the roads of this city.

By the way, I write this as a person who has made this place their home and who chooses to make their contribution to humanity through education in the city. But, if things don’t start to become more human in this city, then be assured …………….. I’ll be out of here. I have no intention of debasing either myself or my family – that’s a price Gurgaon doesn’t have the right to ask of me. Because, as an outsider, as a foreigner, I’m ready to say as loud as you need – this is not normal, human behaviour, accepted anywhere in the world. Don’t kid yourselves that this is normal.

Finally, if people were ready to raise up against some nebulous ‘wrong’ through the campaigns of Anna Hazare, then for **** sake let people, please raise their voices here and now. Let Umesh Pandey not have died in vain.

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