Aldona Bus Accident Tragedy

This kind of tragedies dont happen in Goa that frequently and hence when this news was out I am sure every Goan must have got a bit shocked and sad. This is just a beginning, as time goes by I am sure we will have more occasions to get shocked.

Hindu religion has a saying “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah” the one who protects Dharma gets protection from Dharma. It is stupid that people relate dharma with going to temple, worship and mindless following of some stupid religious books. Under this saying lies a very simple lesson. Dharma is a subjective duty of each individual. This duty is essentially different for different people and is different at different times. This major term remains without any objective definition in our scriptures.

What happens when you fail to protect Dharma, that is to do your duty and help others do their duty ? You stop getting protection from it.

This concept is not specific to Hinduism, western Philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote the book “Leviathan”. In his book he described the need for government. His arguments might be more radical but the point is noteworthy. If we give it a thought, the concept of government is completely man made. All human being have equal right our all the natural resources. I mean why the hell do you own just 1 acre of land where as your neighbor own 10 ? In the absence of government, Hobbes argues that each individual will be at a constant war with another individual. Yes, you will be much more free to do whatever you want. You can kill, steal without the fear of punishment but then it will be a chaos as the strongest will always kill the weakest. This will bring society to a standstill.

The idea of government is an attempt to bring order. But we have to pay a price. The price is that of freedom.  Now you cant have as much land as you want, but certainly whatever land you have can not be taken away from you even by the strongest. You accept court’s judgements, you surrender to police and you go buy the rules. In return, all these institutions help protect your rights.

All this is a delicate balance. What happens when people stop believing in the institutions created by themselves? What happens when courts fail to deliver justice, police fails to apprehend the culprits and rights of weak are not protected from the stronger ones ? The system tends to go towards the chaos.

The idea of “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah” now makes a lot of sense. If as an individual you dont do your duty, you might get benefited in short term but the long term consequences will eventually catch up with you. It is because in the mechanism of society you happened to be one of the gears. If you fail, many more and there will be a cascading effect.

You can also look at the whole argument through the perspective of Karma. Karma is a bitch, she always catches up with you.

Now let me come back to the original point of Aldona accident. A few kids died. I dont know them, may be the parents were perfectly good people who had done nothing wrong in their life. But there are reasons why the kids had to die. They were paying for someone else’s failure with their own life. Decades after independence we still have the ferry system in Goa, we have built enough bridges. The bus was probably in bad condition that it’s breaks had to fail at that fateful moment. The emergence response teams were either non-existent or were ill trained.

All this is nothing accumulate negligence towards governance. This is caused by wrong people getting elected. These people were elected by ordinary folks because they saw a personal benefit in electing them and not the Dharma. Both the elected and electorate failed to follow their Dharma and in retaliation the kids had to die.

If the same corrupt people like Digamber, Churchill, Rane, Dhavalikars, Babush and Co.  get elected we will get to see more such incidences. These people get elected because they give unfair advantage to their favored vote-banks. Each time the grant such favors they are disturbing the balance of Dharma. Which will inevitably get paid. You might be a contractor winning contracts because you are in good books for a minister but remember your son is more likely to die in a road mishap or getting addicted to drugs because of your deeds.

The connection between these factors is subtle but certainly not farfetched.


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