A bridge collapsed in Kolkata yesterday. 22 people have been killed, and hundred or so injured.

There are so many things I’m pissed about.

It took three hours for the rescue cranes to arrive at the scene of the tragedy. Just imagine that. For three hours people were lying under rubble with no hope of being pulled out. I can’t imagine what went through their heads, as they waited in a state of crushed desperation. It’s terrible enough that with thousands of crores set aside in a budget for laying out a decent infrastructure, with most of it eaten by politicians and contractors, we somehow can’t build one properly cemented bridge; but being unable to react and rescue efficiently, that really adds to the horror. How bleak must it feel to be a citizen of a nation that chooses to passionately care selectively about some issues and sweep the rest under a carpet after a few Facebook shares and tweets? Modi paused mid-way while giving a speech to pay respect to the azan, and there was a whole discussion on how he was milking a predominantly Muslim crowd to score brownie points. Some silly woman in Delhi was drunk and got violent with a cashier in a shop and that video went viral. Aamir Khan made a comment about his wife’s concern with regards to raising their children in an India that isn’t safe anymore and everyone’s ass burned with overwhelming patriotism and anger that someone could make such a treacherous statement about their wonderful country. Yes we are Indians, we care with convenience, we salute the flag when we’re brimming with pride, and then keep it folded in a drawer to collect dust the remaining 363 days.

I’ve been harping on for years about how unfair it is that India is such a powerful nation with such depth of resources, talent and opportunities; and yet we are constantly sidelined in the international playing field, especially by not being given a permanent role in the UN Security Council. I now know that we don’t deserve it. Not just because the government is a terribly corrupt, ineffectual one that persistently ensures we remain a ‘developing’ nation, but for the disgusting truth that we ourselves choose not to care for one another.

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