Rage is a dangerous thing. It locks a person in a severe state of vehemence, compelling him to act on his emotions and do something utter regrettable and sacrilegious. In a fit of rage, when your senses ditch you, you end up doing the unthinkable and unpredictable which later traps you in a judicial web of trials and tribulations. In India, rage has claimed lives. People become victims of absolute fury. Most of the anger has stemmed from and on our roads.
According to Mint, almost 16 deaths and 58 road injuries per hour happen in India. Delhi ranks the highest when it comes to fatal accidents and pedestrians and cyclists falling victim to crashes.
On April 6, 2015, a 37-year-old motorcyclist was beaten to death in front of his children when his bike grazed against a car near Delhi’s Turkman Gate area. Shahnawaz was riding home with his sons when he was stopped by the occupants of the car. After an altercation, the men beat him up and fatally injured him. According to his son, the police deployed there were mute spectators who did not take timely action to stop the brawl.
In February 2016, a teenager was brutally murdered at a park in Delhi’s Patel Nagar. The class X student was stabbed multiple times by two youngsters who had accidently brushed against him while riding through the colony in their bikes. The teenager had warned the boys against returning to the colony. The accused however, cornered him when he was playing in a park, stabbed him in his vital parts and left him bleeding.
In May 2015, a 42-year-old DTC bus driver was bludgeoned to death by a biker, after the bus hit the motorcycle from behind.
These are a few of the many distressing road rage episodes that unfurl every hour in our country. While you’re reading this article, some schmuck, in some corner of the country has lost their temper on the road. Somebody is getting ploughed for making that ugly dent on someone’s vehicle, and somebody else has been locked in a fierce quarrel that seems endless and inimical.
What amuses me is the fact that people lose their cool over a scratch or a dent made on a machine. When you take your vehicles out on the roads, on Indian roads, do you expect a smooth runway and smoother drive? Our roads are meant to test your patience. Driving on these roads is like making a futile attempt to negotiate with the ISIS.
When your vehicle is new, you want to take care of it. You make sure it is washed and cleaned every day. You want people to appreciate it and so you are extra cautious when you take it out. But have you ever realised that your favourite car is just a piece of technology? It is lifeless and of no use unless driven, by someone. It may have costed you a fortune, but that dent in the bonnet can be fixed. Those scratches just need to be painted over; all you are expected to do is shell out a few bucks and your lost pride will be yours once more.
A human being cannot be resurrected by money. That human being you fatally injured, because they gave your car a scratch, will probably never rise again. A human being is not a piece of machine but flesh and bones. The loss of a human life is costlier than any other loss in the world. Your money may erase a scratch, but it will never be able to erase that permanent scar you leave on a victim of road rage – your rage.
Road rage is a persistent and real problem that needs immediate attention. The government can and must do its bit to ensure safe roads, but it is ultimately you and your disposition that can bring an end to this fury.