#Article (Archive)

Without Rhyme or Reason

Sep 29, 2009, 4:56 AM

It is hard to understand why there have been so many deaths of late. Lives have been lost almost on a daily basis mostly through road accidents since the beginning of the rainy season. There were cases of mysterious deaths, manslaughter, or murder. Some of the stories were so chilling that you cringe on knowing about them. Take the case of the young mother who drowned her own child. Now there is a story of a family losing two members - a grandmother and her granddaughter - in what we would call a domestic accident. And there is another story of a mechanic and his apprentice having been electrocuted.

William Shakespeare describes death as a necessary end that will come when it will come. So death is inevitable. The fact that one is alive means that sooner or later one will die; this is a fact of life. Though we agree with Shakespeare's insight into mortality, we are nonetheless grieved any time we lose a loved one - a friend, a relative, a colleagues, a compatriot, a neighbour. It is just a natural feeling to have; it is sometime hard to imagine life without someone special, always feeling the absence of the departed one in remembrance of the good and happy moments we have shared with them. John Donne, another eminent poet, provides justification for such emotional response to the loss of a fellow human being. He said each death diminishes him because he is a part of humanity.

Like John Donne, we have been feeling diminished by the too many deaths that have been occurring in the country. We raised this issue on the same page sometime ago, arguing then that the strange phenomenon should be investigated. A thorough investigation could hint at the underlying causes of some of these strange deaths. Why would a mother, for instance, drown her own child? Why are people so easily provoked nowadays as to stab others to death? Is it social, economic or cultural?

We have also observed by reading obituary announcements in the papers that most people die in their prime, between the ages of 30 and 45. Almost always, they are said to have died after a brief illness. Does it have anything to do with our lifestyle, our dietary habits, or lack of regular exercise?

This is a serious national matter that should be given priority attention. The security agencies, together with the National Assembly, the Supreme Islamic Council, the Christian Council and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare should work closely together to figure out what is wrong and draw up remedial measures.

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families".

Margaret Thatcher