By: Dalmar “Run Sheeg”
Two contrasting tragic incidents happened in two different parts of the world in the past weeks. Both incidents involved tragedy in the ocean resulting in loss of life. The first tragedy involved a high number of fatalities in the Mediterranean Sea—known of late as the grave yard of desperate black and brown people fleeing political, economical hardships and warfare engulfing their region towards Europe. The exact number of casualties is estimated to be over seven hundred so far, with over two hundred Pakistanis confirmed as among the dead.
The second tragedy occurred in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. It involved the death of five fabulously wealthy individuals who were reportedly on a ghoulish jaunt to the burial scene of the nearly a thousand lives that perished in the tragedy of the Titanic ship wreck nearly a century ago. It has been reported that to participate in this macabre tourist hype adventure to take a fleeting glimpse at the wreckage from the window of a cramped submersible, the individuals paid a quarter million dollars each for this exclusive dive. A Pakistani billioner and his teenage son were among those who paid a quarter-million dollars, each for the eerie dive in a much hyped submersible; ironically named Titan.
Every death is painful and it is incumbent on us as Muslims to never speak ill of the departed souls! Therefore, we surely sympathize with the families of the deceased! However, the causes of the two deaths could never be more different and the extenuating circumstances more striking. The coverage and response of the global mainstream media could never be more different either.
The victims of the Mediterranean Sea tragedy were—on the whole desperately—poor people fleeing for survival and have sacrificed all in order to enter the European Union by any means, and hopefully make a better life for themselves and their loved ones back in their home countries.
Unlike the wealthy clients of the Titan submersible that is believed to have suffered catastrophic failure, the people who perished in the Mediterranean Sea are unbeknownst to any authority anywhere. Footage of their creaky, dangerously overloaded boats taken by the European coastal guard air patrol spread all over the sea protecting the maritime borders of Europe have emerged since the tragedy.
However, seems like no serious attemps were made to assist this people. Seems like they were expendable ones.Those who perished in the Mediterranean are the victims of people smugglers. The death of this poor individuals was quickly forgotten.
The incident involving the wealthy individuals in the Atlantic Ocean was given saturated coverage by the media. No effort was spared to rescue the victims of the Titan.
The two similar tragedies and their opposite responses are emblematic of the plausible paucity of human empathy to the needs of our unfortunate fellow human beings. The decision by the deceased Pakistani billionaire to spend such hefty sums to gawk at a grotesque disaster scene is obviously an individual choice.
In conclusion, compare and contrast the choice of another Pakistani individual who walked into the Turkish embassy in a foreign country and wrote a cheque of forty million dollars donation to support the victims of the devastating earthquake in that country earlier in the year. That multi million donation was done unanimously and unknown to all but the gifter and his creator. That is the true faith of Islam.
This column is a periodic series named “Ruun Sheeg” with the main character as Dalmar. The author occassionally covers contemporary topical issues through humorous lens. However, much of it consists of storylines based around Wajir town, the hometown of the author. The views and illustrations expressed in the series are those of the author and not necessarily of Kulan Post.