Sunday, October 12, 2014

Through a distorted lens,viewing ebola

As the Ebola  outbreak continues unabated, the sad plight of nations bearing the burden is mostly pushed aside in our scramble in the west, to contain it from touching us, consuming us. ..
I for a moment wonder if this is how in some unforgotten past an ancient culture brought about cremation , in its effort to curb some catastrophic disease. Did the nidus for caste evolve thus, as a communal effort at isolation, but  like all efforts that grow rigid and at times deadly with time, they did too, just  to become a vehicle for suffering, sans any reasoning...
Are all the screening and possible isolation measures going the same way, with time we will know ,-how much divisive attitudes it will drum up, how the suffering of  communities will be increased by rigid distancing and over-played biases , the cause for more suffering overall.
An offshoot thought, wouldn't it reduce the risk for all the people involved in the burial of  those who died with the disease, if they could be cremated in a safe space.If  faced with new challenges we can, all of us, can change our rigid beliefs and practices. As it was possible to move away from ritual bathing of the dead ,I am certain other practices can be changed in time, especially in dire circumstances.
     Some other old beliefs come to mind,eg. 'when did turmeric become an all protective  object in various parts of India'. Did it come out of some viral-bactireal killing property and such use ...reasons that  got lost in time, just to remain as a cast off shell of an original active use, post catastrophy through generations, losing all the original rationale....
Looking through distortions ,some of past practices now take on a different hue.