Kolkata after Amphan – what North Korea can teach us

Sometimes I feel we can learn some stuff from the ‘bad boy’ of the class.

For example, consider the picture of the completely ruined city of Kolkata after Amphan. The roads are blocked by trees. The electricity poles are broken. There is neither water, nor electricity. An absolutely devastating condition. And what are the reactions from the common public like you and me? On one hand, they are like the character Navakumar from Bankim’s novel, Wow! -What-a-storm-I-just-saw.-I-will-not-forget-even-beyond-my-death type reaction. On the other hand, though they are well aware that this is a happens-once-in-a-century kind of natural calamity, they are trying to demonstrate a protest over the question, why the electricity is not still there.

Well man, let me tell first, I am not here to collect some easy likes with a popular but repetitiously boring narrative. So I am not gonna say, hello public, the people from Sagardwip are not getting food or water. And you guys are crying over electricity here? For if you show sympathy for the people from Sagardwip and stay calm at your home, that is not gonna make the government take a policy, okay, let’s deploy our servicemen from Kolkata to Sundarban, There people are under more pathetic condition.

Since that is not gonna happen, it is the duty of the public to check whether servicemen are up to their duty or not. Before you call me an antel, let me state one thing. Having said my stand, I am not supporting the people who are too impatient and allowing no time to the government (especially considering the Corona situation). No way I can support that.

This is a picture of North Korea. People are clearing the roads by scarping snow before they go to their office. (The picture is taken from this source.)

Anyway, let me come to my point. The adjacent picture you can see, I have taken it from a documentary. A documentary about what? North Korea – hmm, the bad boy of the class. What happens there when the roads are blocked by snow in the winter? The public themselves take out shovels or kinds of stuff and clear the road before they head to their office. This is their duty. What happens if they do not do this? Well, I am not sure about that. You know, this is North Korea. But the thing is, they are brainwashed so much that they sort of inherently understand this as their part of duties to the nation. You do not require to call the police or anything serious.

I am thinking about this particular aspect. Our brains, I mean the brains of the people of India – how do they work? We just assume that we do not have any duty once we stand outside the wall of our home. This is the government, i.e., the service persons of the government who need to turn up. Even after such a horrible disaster we assume that the government should have kept enough personnel ready to do these things quickly. But we easily forget that if the government hires so many persons how will the pay them. So the end result is, we will accumulate together to protest, we shall give hot bites in from of the mikes from the media. But we will not chop a single branch of a single tree to clear the road.

This is not that bad toward the rural side. I used to see in my childhood days, that the people joined their hands to do this kind of job themselves. I am not sure about the present situation. It is almost nine years since I am in cities for my study. But I am afraid, maybe they have also become ‘aware’. Because to us, civil awareness means to be aware of our rights, but not about our duties. I ‘hope’ – light does not reach the rural parts so easily!

Anyway, lets come back to the point. Sometimes it is not that odd if we learn one or two things from the ‘bad boy’ of the class. What do you think?


If you want to have a look at the documentary I mentioned, click here.

1 thought on “Kolkata after Amphan – what North Korea can teach us”

  1. Somethings are risky if done without the right kind of resources. Most of the people died the day after the cyclone, due to electrocution, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. So, suggesting a blind “do it yourself” approach is promoting risk.

Leave a Reply

A Soliloquy
A bilingual blog in Bengali and English. © A Soliloquy