Humanity cries in the desert in a world without love
The Bible verse âLet the dead bury the deadâ (Matthew 12:12) has many interpretations and meanings. I am neither a theologian nor a Bible scholar to interpret the true meaning of these words of Jesus Christ.
The world is full of the pain and misery of millions of desperate and helpless souls. We have every reason to believe that Jesus, who himself faced extreme forms of persecution and the cruelest death, could have meant something similar to what we see today.
The international community has watched with astonishment and horror as the Afghan people, especially the young people, lose 20 years of liberalism, modern way of life, gadgets, education, science and technology brought in by the Western powers. Although the neocolonialist masters invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of the war on terror, it became a blessing for the general Afghan public.
But one fine morning, the Afghans found everything they liked and appreciated that they missed. The destruction of their dream was so quick that they were at a loss for words on how to react.
The world was gripped by horror, dismay and disbelief as if it was a Star wars movie. Any sane human being should have been deeply moved to watch the tragic scene of desperate Afghans falling to death from a departing plane.
Thousands of people have invaded the airport without travel documents or tickets. They ran after moving planes on the tarmac as if it were a bus or a taxi. The Western powers who taught them to dream and aspire to a better way of life betrayed them and deprived them of human dignity.
Are these people in disadvantaged nations inferior human beings destined to perish or succumb to the deadly virus?
The Afghans were left to fend for themselves at the mercy of the new dispensation – the Taliban. The withdrawing forces wash their hands of their responsibility like Pontius Pilate and had to say to themselves: “May the dead bury the dead.” “
Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has raged across the world and devastated human lives, livelihoods, economies and the social fabric. Ironically, the human race that took so much pride in rapid progress in all spheres of the universe was trembling like a newborn in the midst of the invasion of an invisible but deadly enemy. Scientists have been forced to go on a war footing to stop the threatening virus by developing life-saving vaccines.
With vaccines came âvaccine nationalismâ. The World Health Organization reports that 10 countries have consumed up to 75 percent of the vaccines produced so far. Citizens of rich countries have easily received two doses of the vaccine, while millions of people in poorer countries are still waiting for the first dose.
It is also reported that some developed countries have placed orders for vaccines beyond their current needs, denying vaccines to billions of people in least developed countries.
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Are these people in disadvantaged nations inferior human beings destined to perish or succumb to the deadly virus? Here, the privileged of this world must say to themselves: “May the dead bury the dead.”
The pandemic has highlighted the usefulness and value of neighborhood stores in our lives. When supermarkets, retail chains, malls, and online giants shut down, those stores took action to prove that a friend in need is a friend. Some even extended credit facilities to clients who were short of funds.
The sad reality is that around 40% of Indians have made at least one purchase online and the number of online customers is growing exponentially. It is the death knell for the lives and livelihoods of traders and their employees who form nearly 10 percent of our Indian population of 1.35 billion.
When people like me turn away from traditional merchants and opt for online shopping, I deprive this vulnerable and independent community of its means of survival. I become selfish and say to myself: âLet the dead bury the deadâ.
âThe earth has enough for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed,â Mahatma Gandhi said. The buzzword today “more” is the euphemism of greed. The more you want, the more you want. The more you wish, the less you care and understand about nature, humans and other living things.
Corporate greed manifested under the guise of development … can be characterized as a return of colonialism, imperialism, exploitation and even slavery
We refuse to accept climate change and global warming despite warning signs like cyclones, tornadoes, flash floods, sea level rise, sudden and unusual rains, droughts – the list is endless. Corporate greed manifested under the guise of development to the detriment of farmers and marginalized tribal communities can be characterized as the return of colonialism, imperialism, exploitation and even slavery.
Caiaphas, the high priest of the Jews, once said to Jesus: âYou do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish. Today these words can be rephrased as follows: “It is better for you that many perish for a few.”
India has a large number of people deprived of their land, livelihood and education. They are forced to migrate to urban areas to do back-breaking jobs in homes, factories and businesses in order to survive. This ensures a steady supply of inexpensive unskilled or semi-skilled workers. They will forever remain poor in slums struggling to make ends meet. They look to the government for welfare programs and poverty reduction programs like Bible Lazarus who wanted to eat what fell off the rich man’s table.
Can the universe sustain and survive with the saying “Let the dead bury the dead”?
Dominic Thomas is a seasoned international broadcaster, producer and writer based in India. He has produced award-winning documentaries and radio programs on Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. He is currently engaged as a consultant, advisor and content creator for community radio stations in India. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.