On the death of a child….

While historically Rome may have burnt as Nero fiddled, zooming closer home, one sees the irony being recreated.

The Minister of Women and Child Development watched pornography while yet another child died today of malnutrition related causes in the state.

Malnutrition is a convenient medical terminology. It masks and dehumanizes. It puts the onus of a starving child on the family and the child itself. It doggedly refuses to state that malnutrition is systemic – that it arises out of apathy, greed, corruption and serious systemic failures.

What are the systems in place to prevent malnutrition related deaths in our state?

For a state that is governed by power-hungry men and women, what, in reality does the death of child a mean? A child’s death, especially a poor and mentally challenged one, would rate as below insignificant when taken relative to pornographic orgies, mining scandals and ministerial in-fighting for plum posts.

Does it matter that a poor family went back to its village with one less member and a huge burden of debt for medical bills that didn’t make a difference anyway?

Obscene amounts of money are being spent and swindled by the land grabbers and those vested with the plum position of power and money. Do ministers really have no heart or no conscience? Do they not wake at night and say to themselves “I have the power today to make a change that goes beyond lining my own pocket. With this power, can I prevent the death of children like Imran?”

Does the middle class not see Imran’s death as a violation? Do they rather make statements like “Muslims have a lot of children anyway”,

Is India’s population so big that we can discard the majority who are poor and from minority communities? Is that what our religion and our value system teaches us? That the poor are worthless, that the tribals and schedule castes and the minority religions are of no consequence in the larger picture?

For Imran, today is the end of his one year in Chikbalapur district of Karnataka. For the activists, it is a clarion call for the amount of work undone, for the minister, it is another day as usual……………..

One family mourns and the state slumbers in stuporous disregard.


2 thoughts on “On the death of a child….

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  1. Dr Karpagam, I admire your passion. I live in the same world as you, but geography distances me from your experiences. There are of course terrible things in my own world. I find that I mentally distance myself from horrors to cope with them (i don’t go into personal matters in my blogs, but I can justify it to myself, no doubt wrongly, on the basis of personal and family struggles that i have to contend with). You however continue to engage and struggle and speak out in a situation that would just burn me out, and I wish you all the very best. I shall draw upon your writing and reflect upon myself and what I should do to engage more and improve the little world around me.


    1. Thank you. I think the writing on your blog is fantastic.Am sure it creates little ripples – and we all know what effect these ripples ultimately have.


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