Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Braving Death, Lakhs Of Migrants Return Home To A Tense Future. Will There Be Light After Darkness?

At least a 100 died on their desperate journey back home. India’s rural economy will be tested when lockdown is lifted

Braving Death, Lakhs Of Migrants Return Home To A Tense Future. Will There Be Light After Darkness?
Photograph by PTI, Apoorva Salkade & Suresh K. Pandey
Braving Death, Lakhs Of Migrants Return Home To A Tense Future. Will There Be Light After Darkness?
outlookindia.com
2020-05-29T18:11:09+05:30

How do you trace the outlines of pain on a gigantic, subcontinental scale…a cartography of pain, if you like? Take as your sketching ink some extremes of the human condition. As it happens, it’s available in plenty in the real world. The basic facts will do. On May 23, a 48-year-old migrant labourer died on the Shramik Express—minutes before the train from Mumbai pulled into the last station, Varanasi. A fabled last station, civilisationally. But why did Jokhan Yadav die? First, there was the heat. Then, he had gone without food or water for over 60 hours, as he moved over the northern Indian plains, like lakhs of others, trying to reach his hometown Jaunpur. No food or water was served on the train during the entire journey. And stick-wielding GRP personnel wouldn’t let anybody get down from the train. It thus became, in a perversion of how it was intended, a moving concentration camp.

Now take such a picture and paint it again and again, or photocopy it a few million times for efficiency. Then we can begin to fathom pain that comes in the size of a country. Of course, given the swiftness with which agony is being cast as heroism, Jokhan too may have been hailed as an icon of endurance, if he had survived. For, trauma is also felt by the classes that have occasion to consume this explosion of dismal news along with their takeway food, delivered by gloved hands, and Dalgona coffee—and still have appetite left over for messianic signs of heroism. Only the softest nudge is required. Ask Jyoti Kumari, the 15-year-old who cycled 1,200 km from the parody spires and glass boxes of Gurgaon to her real world—Darbhanga in Bihar—with her ailing father on the pillion. The Cycling Federation of India offered her a trial! The girl refused the offer citing the primacy of her studies. What can connect the pain in her limbs, the...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, along with his existing legal counsel comprising Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

The BCCI on Monday named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement