By Gitanjali Maria:
It is a true fact that the public often has a short-term memory. Glancing through the news items of the last few days left me wondering whether the world had done with its grieving for Japan and whether the residents of Egypt who till around a month before had gained sympathies and praises had been left to fend for themselves. Citizens of Libya who still are being hammered under the weight of rockets and bombs and gun fires, thankfully, do gain mention in a corner of our daily newspapers. This is ultimately what happens to every news as it gets ‘stale’.
People other than those directly involved with the news or actions forget or tend to forget about these news/activities within two to three days and carry on with their day to day activities. Other ‘news’ come up and people try to catch up with them leaving the older ones behind. So now no one bothers much about how the Japanese may be recouping or how the Egyptians may be still trying to come up to terms with their newly acquired ‘freedom’ and how to go about with it.
We no longer even remember the grand figures of the 2-G scam that we once talked about and gaped at in disbelief and anger. No one wonders what A. Raja must be doing now in his solitary cell or what Kasab must be feeling after having been awarded the death sentence. At present we are not worried about the cash-for-vote scam or scam in MNREGA scheme, our major concern now is whether Sachin will make the century of the centuries and whether India will reach finals.
Thus, every news is highly volatile; it just remains in liquid state for a small while before being vapourised into nothingness. Our memories are short, our priorities and interests change rapidly. This behavior does help us to get on with things, to carry on even after disaster strikes us or death leaves us lonely. We move on with time, forgetting the pains and joys, struggling in the present and hoping for a better future. The world carries itself forward whatever it might be because ‘No matter what, the show has to go on.’
But amidst this fast-moving world the survivors and victims’ grapple to continue living. Forgotten and forsaken by the rest of the world they are left to themselves to find their own way out of the labyrinth of worries they are lost in. That is what happens with the victims of rape cases or accidents and terrorist strikes or natural calamities; sympathies are poured on them and monetary compensations promised but all forgotten in two days’ time and victims run from pillar to post for help. Often we see this happening with our athletes and sportspersons who have made the country proud. It is also disheartening to note that the same happening even with our brave martyrs and soldiers and their families.
The poor memory of public and our governance institutions also lets offenders and corrupt politicians evade the law and escape. The time gap for delivery of justice also rubs off the graveness of the memory of any incident. And many people often try to twist or re-write public memory for their own goals and selfish interests.
64 years past our independence our younger generation is hardly familiar with our struggle for independence or the glorious eras we had before colonization. Will we one day become so short-sighted that our children and grand-children will barely care about our yesteryears’ struggles?
But time has to move on, and so have we too. Past, Present, Future — are all yours, it’s for ours to choose. The right combination of the three helps you the best to move along well.