Heartless Kolkata watches woman commit suicide – The Times of India
Courtesy The Times Of India:
No words, just shock. Read it yourself, and see into a mirror that portrays how uncaring and cruel we have become… we need urgent attention to our internal value systems, which, far too obviously are skewed up, and screwed up big-time! Our internal compass, which I had thought to be in dire need of correction, is actually lost somewhere; we just lack a moral compass in totality. Read this if you care; move on if you dont!
KOLKATA: A woman climbed on a lamp-post on Friday evening, took her time fashioning a noose from her dupatta, put it around her neck and jumped off. Heartless Kolkata passed by as she choked to death. It was 4pm, rush-hour on Central Avenue, and no one had the time to stop to save a life.
Even when the body hung limply from the lamp-post, no one stepped up to see if there was a heartbeat left. The culture hub ofMahajati Sadan is nextdoor and MG Road Metro station right in front but commuters glanced at the body and went their way. It was 15 minutes before someone informed a policeman and 10 minutes more before the body was brought down because no passerby wanted to help the cop with the grisly job. The victim was identified as 50-year-old Soma Bakshi, who gave up after a bitter fight with her addict husband.
The incident reveals the dark, uncaring side of the city that was not long ago known for its compassion and helpfulness. In October 2008, two police stations squabbled for four hours over jurisdiction as a 37-year-old man lay dying in Howrah and in November that year, hundreds filed past an old man who was shivering to death on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. In August 2011, a teenage boy lay bleeding for an hour after an accident on the busy AJC Bose Road but no one tried to save him.
Even on Friday, insurance agents were milling about the place when Soma carried out her suicide preparations, witnesses told TOI. They had come for a musical soiree at Mahajati Sadan but no one reacted when she climbed a tree, clambered up to one of the lamp-posts set up recently, and threw herself off.
“Soma lived on the pavement in front of Mahajati Sadan with her husband Dipankar and a daughter. They slept under the open sky and when it rained, they would take refuge on the porch of the Metro station. Soma was the bread-earner and the couple often quarreled because Dipankar didn’t work and blew up her money on drugs. So when they fought on Friday afternoon, none of us paid much attention,” said tea stall owner Pawan Jadav.
Private firm employee B S Chouhan was the first to react when he saw the body after exiting the Metro station. “I was shocked to see the woman hanging while people went about their life as though nothing had happened. I alerted a traffic constable. But when he sought help from passersby to bring the body down, no one agreed. Only when two other constables arrived could the body be brought down and taken to hospital,” said Chouhan. Police have ruled out foul play but have detained Dipankar for questioning.
Gopal Das, who sells fries on the adjoining pavement and knew Soma, rued how insensitive everyone had become. “I am to blame as well for not realizing that Soma had snapped. We are too busy with our own lives and don’t bother if the person next door lives or dies. Had I turned when the quarrel intensified and seen her, I could perhaps have saved her,” he said.