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MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD – SELECTIVE CONCERN OF HUMANITY ?

By N. S. Venkataraman
When China occupied Tibet,  thousands of innocent Tibetans were massacred and in Tiananmen Square in China, freedom loving persons were slaughtered by the Chinese government. Several similar incidents and violence between individuals and suppression by dictatorial governments have been taking place almost every day around the world. While some are reported and many are not reported, the world community has been moving on with least concern about such violence and murders.

The world nearly rose as one man, expressed anguish and protested, when the news came and the photograph flashed in the media of a black man being killed deliberately by a white policeman in USA, even as a few  white policemen were nearby watching the scene  approvingly.

The anger of the world community is justified and appropriate, though some of the protestors used the occasion in USA to indulge in  violence and marred the solemn protest of concerned citizens.

Why little concern about other murders ?

One immediate question that arises in one’s mind is as to why the cruel murder of George Floyd received such world wide concern , while news about thousands of  murders and killings that happened   in the past and happening at present,  carried out in open area or behind closed doors ,largely go unnoticed  and  occupy  small corner place in the visual and print media ,with  section of media even ignoring such incidents.

When China occupied Tibet,  thousands of innocent Tibetans were massacred and in Tiananmen Square in China, freedom loving persons were slaughtered by the Chinese government. Several similar incidents and violence between individuals and suppression by dictatorial governments have been taking place almost every day around the world. While some are reported and many are not reported, the world community has been moving on with least concern about such violence and murders.

In USA itself, several  innocent persons have lost their lives  in shoot outs in malls, universities and even in places of worship.  While some concern was expressed , it was not as strong and vehement as in the case of murder of George Floyd. Why is this ?

Is it racial conflict ? 

Some people interpreted the murder of George Floyd, a black person killed by a white person, as an indication of racial conflict in USA and advocated that the protest movement was against racial discrimination. This is a deliberate and mischievous misinterpretation of the ground reality.

The fact is that number of white persons actively and vigorously  took part in the protest against the killing of the black person. There have been many occasions in the past when white  person has killed white person, black person has killed black person and black person has killed white person, clearly indicating that the murder of  black person George Floyd  by a white policeman  need not be viewed as result of racial conflict.

Protest by meat eaters about killing of  pregnant elephant in India:

In Kerala province in  India, a few days back,  the killing  of a pregnant elephant  after she ate a pineapple filled with firecrackers that was given to it by miscreants, has prompted a wave of national outrage across India.

While the harm done to the innocent  pregnant elephant was extremely cruel, what is surprising is that many of the “animal lovers “ who protested sympathizing with the dead elephant are not vegetarians and they cherish eating the flesh of  fish, sheep, pig, cow, chicken  etc. which are slaughtered day in and day out for the eating pleasure of mankind.  Do these protestors make distinction between the animals while condemning such killings?

Are protestors in USA pledged to non violence ? 

Just as in the case of sympathisers  of dead elephant who claim themselves as  animal lovers in India but are meat eaters, it appears that many of those who protested against the cruel murder of George Floyd in USA  might not have been people who have refrained from violence and hatred in personal and public life.

Are the sympathisers of dead elephant and George Floyd  followers of non violent movement ?

Is it a case of selective concern ?

Just as there is selective concern about the cruel killing of the pregnant elephant  by meat eaters  ,  there appears to be selective concern  about the cruel murder of  George Floyd by people, who may not be  pledged supporters of non  violent movement,.

Let not the world wide protest with regard of the murder of George Floyd be mistaken to propagate a view that the world community is revolting against injustice , violence and murder.

The ground reality  is that the  mindset of the  world  community has not changed a bit after the cruel murder of George Floyd. Large section of world community would not take pledge for non violence , even after the murder of George Floyd.

It appears that even as violence and murder are being carried out day in and day out all over the world, they become an issue only if the sensation seeking media prominently highlight the incident  and organize debates and discussions and stir the conscience of the world,  which is  momentary and lasting for a short time.

It appears that even in the case of murder of George Floyd in USA and killing of pregnant elephant in India, the question per se is not the concern about the  murder but about the way it was executed.

(Author N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.)

Published Date: Saturday, June 6th, 2020 | 09:15 PM

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