Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stampede


15072005(053)
Originally uploaded by The Big K.
Every year I read of a tragedy at the Haj, and somehow it always seems to irk me that South Asians (of all nationalities) are somehow the worst affected. Sure, South Asia has more Muslims than any other region in the world, but somehow I think this is symptomatic of a deeper malaise - and this post ain't taking religious overtones. I'm just accusing ALL (well, most) South Asians irrespective of religions unable to understand the concept of order.
I have been very impressed with the Delhi Metro. I've been riding on the new Line 3 aka 'Blue Line' to office after parking my car at Patel Chowk. But this picture I took a few months ago, shows what happens whenever the train stops at the CP stop in the evening. Getting off is near impossible. Chaos theory at work, and the Metro is far more organised than the roads where the uncertainity principle 'you can only ever know the speed or the direction of the Blueline bus/Maruti Zen/Motorcycylist ahead of you but never both' comes into play. The concept of letting people get off before you get on is difficult to understand. It somehow works in Bombay (barely), unless its a Virar Fast pulling into Churchgate. The concept of order seems to be beyond us, unless there is a guy with a gun forcing you to do something.
But bring religion into the mix and all hell breaks loose. Its not just the Haj, every Kumbh Mela there is a near riot or almost riot or stampede. And the authorities are helpless against religious fanaticism, which somehow always means crushing the young, old and infirm underneath you.
If we breed (and we are breeding a pure-male race at that) like rabbits this is what will invariably happen. So, actually I sympathise with the Saudi authorities on this matter, there is not much they can do. The next time you read of a stampede at the Haj, don't be surprised to read that the maximum number of dead are from either India or Pakistan.
By the way, did you see how Shahid Afridi blasted Bhajji in that over. Madness!

10 comments:

Manish Chauhan said...

They can make lanes during that Stoning of Satan ritual during which most of these deaths take place....

I read several of your posts.....I hope you wouldn't mind if I link your blog in mine ...

4WD said...

in the metro, really, i think that a lot of people just want to get in as soon as possible, and get off as soon as possible because they're scared of the doors closing on them. Really.

Vikas said...

Hi..
may be its not about the lack of order or bad people. may its just about too many people and too less resources to manage. same goes for haj or kumbh mela or ganpati visarjan. so when you marry, do follow family planning. as gandhiji said proved, one man can change the destiny of millions.
regards

K said...

Manish : Anything to improve my Technorati ranking!
4WD : You might be correct, but the doors vdon't close if someone is blocking them.
Vikas : Its not just too many people, it is too many disorderly people. However, I think homo sapiens should ease up on the procreation front.

4WD said...

yeh, i know that. But i don't think guptaji and pammi aunty do :) Just look at the mortal fear at most elevators that don't have those olden days grills that you have you manually shut!

MoodsAndColors said...

Hey K
One can import all sorts of technologies...but how does one import the discipline? Chaos is the only discipline, we as Indians know.

K said...

Old style grills that chopped your fingers off....
Watching people use Escalators is quite interesting too. Anyway, I guess education is a long process. I guess discipline will be one too.

satyapadam said...

they should have one coach with no windows doors etcetc

sudeep said...

It used to work in Bbay until a few years back (much to the surprise of first time visitors I may add).

Lately, the system appears to be breaking down. More people from rural background in the city ? or just more people in the city ? dunno..

thalassa_mikra said...

Cut them some slack K. Rush hour madness is the same everywhere. People have all sorts of horror stories from the Tokyo metro, and I cannot imagine any nation more disciplined than the Japanese.

Even in LA, the subway at rush hour is free for all. Although people generally are a little better about letting others get off before boarding.