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Double standards!

Nov 11,2018 - Last updated at Nov 11,2018

Nearly two weeks ago, 21 people, 16 of whom were schoolchildren, lost their lives due to freak flashfloods and the sorrow and anguish which followed rushed the country to demand the identification of those who could have been responsible and apportion blame among them. That widespread reaction was followed by calls for accountability for those who were responsible for the death of so many children.

Children enjoy a special place in the hearts of people anywhere in the country and when the tragedy struck two weeks ago, people wanted those responsible punished and fast. Ironically, last Friday witnessed a repeat of the tragedy of two weeks ago, and this time the toll in human life was 12, among whom there were also some children.

Obviously, the loss of life once again presumes the occurrence of negligence or a dereliction of duty on the part of some people who have yet to be identified. This time, no one has even raised his or her voice demanding retribution for those who were indirectly responsible for the death of innocent people this past Friday.

Why, one may ask, the difference in the reaction of the government and the public? Where is the public or official outcry that rightly took place two weeks ago but was no where to be heard or seen over last Friday's tragedy. Why this time there were no similar protestations and calls for accountability?

True, the circumstances of the two sets of weather-related tragedies are not identical but where it counts most, they are similar if not identical. Could it be that people have become accustomed to weather tragedies and are no longer taken by surprise when they occur!

As a matter of fact, similar weather-related fatalities have repeatedly occurred in the past but somehow they did not manage to cause an alarm or an outcry. The difference could be that two weeks ago, children were the victims.

In wars, when the fatalities are women and children, the world at large goes up in arms. It could also be because children are too vulnerable and cannot yet take care of themselves or protect themselves from accidents. Children require protection over and above the kind that should be accorded to adults. Still, one could have expected at least some modest degree of public and official reaction. There is really no excuse for complete silence!

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