The worst accident at the Sabarimala Hills yesterday causing the death of over 100 pilgrims due to a stampede reflects on the poor preparedness of the State Government and the law enforcement authorities. Even during the best of times, the citizens cannot expect much from any government, but the complete apathy towards what is a human tragedy of such proportions can only be termed callousness.
The government of the day anywhere in the world enjoys its position due to the support of the citizens to get elected in the first place. The safety, security and well-being of the citizens should be the first priority of any government, and these criteria should take absolute priority in the government’s reckoning.
But, alas, this is not the case in India.
Any law enforcement authority would strictly regulate access to a place of national religious importance, and ensure that the pilgrims follow a certain route up and down the hill. There should be more than adequate security provided during the months of heavy pilgrim influx, which is the case now. Having a few policemen loitering around when there were nearly 2 Lacs pilgrims on top of the Sabarimala Hill can only be termed as gross negligence of duties on the part of the government.
Presuming nothing much is going to happen as this is a holy place or some such logic would have played on the minds of the law enforcement authorities. But there are obviously several factors at play when you have such a huge crowd – on the one hand, people have to navigate a narrow hilly path through a forest, and tensions could flare up between any two persons leading to a scuffle ; on the other hand, the same path is used by vehicles and any mishap between two vehicles can easily cause a serious accident. Both these occurrences seemed to have happened last night.
One can only regret the consequences. Imagine the plight of thousands of people caught in a stampede ? Can we dismiss this as an inevitable result of India’s humongous population ? Or, should we accept the fact that a few policemen could not obviously control so many thousands of people ? Who should be blamed for this tragedy ?
Accidents are avoidable in almost all situations. Government is to be held solely responsible, as it always has had the regulatory authority to control the situation and the outcome, irrespective of numbers. It did not exercise that power in this situation, and it does not do so in many other valid situations crying for governmental intervention.
Well, God is angry at men and their stupidity for having elected governments who do not perform their duties.
When is man going to change and mend his ways ?
Sincere Regret at what happened to man last evening at Sabarimala,and heartfelt condolences,
15th January 2011