By Amit Singh Negi

I was going through the morning newspaper, trying to find something more intriguing than the not- so happening political affairs or the larger than life sports championships and  then my eyes rolled up to the corner of the newspaper to find a small heading. “Man throws daughter into Chambal River from train”.  Quite shocked, I read the small piece. In Kota, a 23 year old man threw his daughter from a running train after a spat with his wife, the poor little life was later found dead in the river.

I had hardly recovered from it, when my eyes caught another headline “Family kills Odisha girl over relationship”. The 18 year old was strangled by her father and minor siblings just because she couldn’t stop loving someone. I turned a few pages of the newspaper and found the headline “Man kills wife and his 3 year old daughter because he wanted a son. The more I probed; many more such articles sprang up. Somewhere a salesman was shot dead by a group of burglars; elsewhere a girl was forced to commit suicide when she was denied justice. All these news I found were within the perimeters of 4 pages. I put the newspaper down. One thought; a question came to my mind “WHAT’S THE VALUE OF LIFE IN INDIA?”

In Economics, we study the Law of demand and supply. If we have got a large supply of human beings in our country, does it decrease the value of human life here? So much so that 24 engineering students lay dead in the waters of Beas, 2031 km away from their home, because a few callous officers failed to alert the public before releasing the water from the dam. Enough is enough! This ‘Chalta hai” attitude needs some heavy poundings. Imagine the tragedy faced by the parents and friends of the deceased, who are still waiting for the drenched lifeless bodies of their loved ones.

It’s been a year since the Uttarakhand Tragedy. Approximately ten thousand people died and many more are still missing. Some of the relatives have refused to give up hope.  The government says that the exact number of casualties can never be determined. How pathetic is that statement? Some families will not be even able to do the last rituals of their loved ones. When you see a parade of 100 men marching strongly together, you feel adrenaline rushing through your body. Just imagine 100 such parades marching down the Death Lane, how painful is the sight?

Well, we live in a country where people are killed just for trivial things like scratching a vehicle, plucking up a fruit from the neighbor’s tree, stealing biscuits, spilling food, denying after service supplies, belonging to a particular gender, giving birth to a girl. No wonder, people are dying in large numbers. Our anger, impatience and sky high egos have turned us blind and deaf that we value a mango or a biscuit packet more than a human life. If not humanity, there is also a lack of fear in the minds of the people for law and order. This is the repercussion of our failed lethargic law and order systems which gives the law breaker enough opportunity to get away with almost anything without a single trace of guilt.

Not just this, we have the habit of turning our backs to someone dying on the road. When a tragedy or an accident occurs, the victim lies on the ground crying for help, looking at the passenger with some hope of humanity but what people do is, stand shamelessly at a distance and watch the person die painfully. Why don’t we come forward and help the victim? …..Because we all have too much tension and pressure to bear in our own lives, that we can’t afford taking others. Right? Well if that is right, then what differentiates us from wild animals? As a matter of fact, some animals are more helpful and selfless at least to members of their own species.

The value of the life in a country is not only determined by economic parameters and resources but also by the attitude of its citizens towards one another. Let’s reach out to each other and raise the value of our lives together.


 Amit is currently, pursuing a BTec degree in Civil Engineering from NIT Durgapur. Originally from Uttrakhand but did his schooling from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. More of an artist than engineer, he loves writing poems, fiction, social satires etc. He likes to be a story teller either through his literature or his movies. Also he is a travel-enthusiast. Loves travelling to new places and meeting new people but never forgets to tuck pen & paper in his pants before leaving.

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind