Are we civilized?

Cover of "Someone Knows My Name: A Novel&...
Cover of Someone Knows My Name: A Novel

Civilization is the lamb’s skin in which barbarism masquerades…

  • Case 1

Couple of weeks ago I read a novel by Lawrence Hill, called “The book of Negroes”. It is also published under the name  “Someone knows my name”.  This book is about  a slave girl,  her journey from  abduction in Africa (year 1756)  until  the abolitionist movement in London (year 1802).  Book  gives insight on how thousand of African captives were transported to the US.  “… the conditions on the slave ships were abysmal: the slaves were jammed together and shackled most of the time, lacking food and water and sanitation, leading to exhaustion, infections and starvation. Many lost their minds, many more died. When the captives arrived in North America they were traded and sold like cattle and their suffering continued …”.   The book is like a multidimensional sketch of human sufferings.

*****    Much has been written about all the human sufferings during WWI and WWII and later until  the  recent wars  ***** not to be repeated.

  •  Case 2

Scenario from a classroom with children aged 9-10 years in year 2013. This  incident  happened on the very first day of an academic year. The class teacher introduced herself and then started taking attendance. The teacher was new for the children and so they were little uncomfortable.  She took a round in the classroom and checked if  their books and notebooks are covered and labelled properly.  After going near to a boy, she checked his notebooks, commented about the colour of the covered  paper and said suddenly,  ” this  is the most incompetent boy of our class, as he scored very less marks last year”.  The boy was totally confused, and humiliated to a great extent.  The statement was wrongly made and due to lack of knowledge. The teacher did not realize that no child should be humiliated in this way under any circumstances.

While going back to home, the child told his mom that he will never go to the school again. The mom took proper action and assured the child.

Next day, same teacher and the same class room, The teacher started taking attendance, the children were bit confused about their roll numbers and were taking little extra time.  The teacher asked for a name, with no answer, she left her place and came across the same child, pinched him on his right cheek and slapped him hard on his face while asking, “if he is deaf”. The child was humiliated again, but he managed to tell her that his family name is different and that he is not the one she is thinking of.  The incidence was nothing but act of revenge and  inhuman treatment.

These examples are like the tip of an iceberg. The time period between these cases is  200 years.  Now I  ask myself  “Are we civilized” or “Where are we going”?

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