Murder most foul

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- Sarthak Byanjankar

Aug 11, 2017-There is a subject in our engineering course called Engineering Professional Practice which appeals to our human side. And there is this chapter called Case Studies where a real life dilemma is presented, and one must choose between two very wrong options. It’s like a battle of the vices, where one of the seemingly guilty parties is exonerated, and the other is condemned to misery. 

About a month or so ago, two incidents took place that shook the nation, in particular, the Capital. One resulted in an online sensation that galvanised the people; and the other resulted in death, not by accident, but by murder, a cold blooded murder by the state. People poured out their grievances on the walls of social media networks, and the government took notice. It barricaded the place in Samakhusi where the child was lucky enough to be saved. And for the other, I’m sure some form of remuneration will soon be given, for that’s the law of the land. Pay not for prevention or correction, but rather for life. 

In addition to all that, we often forget that we are defined not by the life we lead, but the lives we touch. Our life is like a web, an intricate, beautiful web, on which a breakage in any one of the links doesn’t necessarily break the whole thing, but it sure does send reverberations in all and every direction. How do we monetise those social relationships, name a price and tell that this is what that individual is worth, not to you, but the state?

And just when the state was reeling from the uproar, four more lost their lives, not by accident, but by murder. The country didn’t erupt in flames this time around because the incident was neither recorded on video, nor did the deaths occur in the Capital. This time around, a game is being played, not to find the responsible one, but to shift the blame. The contractor blamed the local authorities citing the absence of provisions in the contract to fill the pit that had been dug up, and the local authorities blamed the contractor citing past practice where the contractor did the refilling. 

Had this been a 12-mark question in the exams, I’d very easily blame the local authorities and their lazy asses for not having the foresight, and also condemn the contractor for hiding behind the protection of the contract and doing what he does best, that is procuring and securing profits. But a question arises, profit should never come from shortcuts, and profit before safety. However, this wasn’t an accident, it was a murder, a murder because of negligence where every party should be tried for murder. But if the past has been an indication of anything, this incident will last a four-day news cycle, and the contractor will continue contracting and the local authorities will continue exercising its authority.

Published: 11-08-2017 07:59

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