‘Mafi’, Can Humanity Ever Seek Forgiveness?
“I will give you a handful of humanity
In return of the joy
To see a humane world”
– Moumita de Roy
Is being abjectly inhuman the new norm? Is the disease of inhumanity more dangerous and uncontrollable a pandemic than corona? Or is it just another leaf in the book of the timeless human-animal tussle? These questions have jostled to get some critical attention because the mind is numbed, pained and enraged at the brutal murder of the 11- year old mother-with-trunk in Kerala. Isn’t carrying a child in the womb already motherhood? Her name is ‘Mafi’. Isn’t she ‘Mafi’ for she didn’t kill her murderer?
Two things about this grotesque display of human’s inhumanity are striking: the style of murder and the succumbing of the mother-with-trunk. Could we ever imagine in smattering degree how maddening the combined pain of burning and hunger might have been for ‘Mafi’? Perhaps not! How human mothers are cared for and guarded when they are pregnant is the comparison that hits the mind instantaneously. A sharp shooting sensation strikes our brain when even a small ember falls on our hand. Imagine the mother-with-trunk moving around the village with the charring heat from the cracker, pain, hunger and a child inside. If we could imagine, perhaps ‘Mafi’ would have been alive today.
Yes, an individual’s action doesn’t determine and define a tribe’s character but the growing incidences of shocking cruelty against the pawed and tailed tribe says that it can no more be delimited as an unrepresentative act. The other argument is being silent to crime is being an equal partaker. Yes, the social media has gone berserk with petition-signing campaigns and such other synthetic protests but had we registered our intolerance to animal cruelty long back, perhaps the murderer wouldn’t have dared. Yes, conditional statements don’t make reality but possibility cannot be routed.
Now, coming to the murderer, two things come to mind: the signature style of murder and reasons behind, call it animal hatred, perversion or whatever you like, anything that is just the opposite of being a human being. Even a sweeping look at the style of murder of animals over the last couple of years shows the murders were not acts of anger or frustration but of enjoyment and fun. Else, the style of murder would not have been so crafty and insidious. It sends tremors of terror and trauma to even think about how dangerous the murderer’s scheme was.
Is wrong parenting or congenital perversion the common reason? Perhaps, there is copious psychological research laying bare the reasons. But what we need now is not insights into human perversions but hardcore and headlong onslaught of this breed of murderers that can perhaps let other ‘Mafis’ to live peacefully and the ‘unborn eyes’ see the world. The tipping point is here for quite long now but we have careened it morally displaying our hypocrisy and selfishness. We worship the God-with-trunk most pompously but we murder many ‘Mafi’.
One of the theories in vogue explaining the advent of corona is the human fall into debauchery. If this is believed, even the deadly virus has failed to jolt humans out of inhumanity. Will humans again deviate into humanity? Rhetorical it may sound but the regularity of such crime makes it the norm.
Animals have always been and now it’s more than ever that they are at the receiving end of the mindless human hegemony. They have equal ownership over earth but their helplessness leaves them to die every day out of fear, hunger and pain before they actually die. Standing for those who cannot stand for themselves is also a special power the human is entrusted with. Let’s not let this special power rust. Let’s not be silent and hoard up reasons for regret and perdition.
Animals don’t have trust issues. Another mother-with-trunk will again eat an offered pineapple, but will we be able to trust ourselves for long?