Lakhs of people have been displaced, hundreds have died, and the road to recovery is long. Kerala needs empathy and funds, not ridiculous and regressive comments.

Its ok if you dont want to help Kerala but dont spread hatePTI
Voices Opinion Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 15:31

"Aur khao beef," typed a stranger who has perhaps never been anywhere below Delhi, located in the northern part of the Indian Union, in reply to a news agency's tweet on one of Kerala Chief Minister's many updates on the flood situation in the state. "Eat more beef," it literally translates to. A proper translation? "The people of Kerala brought the floods upon themselves because they ate beef."

And of course, this is not an isolated comment. This is not just one person, who lacks empathy. As thousands and thousands of people across the country and the world are trying to mobilise relief efforts for Kerala, and are trying to do their bit in some way - small or big - some people stand out conspicuously with comments that are motivated, simply, by hate.

While beef is one beef these people have with Kerala, the other common 'message' of these hate comments is how this is the wrath of Ayyappa unleashing on the state, because women are daring to seek entry into the Sabarimala temple. 

Then there is the hatred for Muslims and Christians - with people asking others to either not donate to Kerala because the population has a large percentage of people from these religions, or people asking others to donate to organisations that will exclusively help Hindus.

And all of them, surely, believe they're being clever. They hate Kerala for what they believe the state represents in an increasingly religiously polarised country. They have possibly never met someone from Kerala, they perhaps don't know the difference between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Kerala is perhaps nothing more than the name of a state whose capital they had to remember for their geography lesson in school.

Their hatred for the population that lives on a piece of land that they believe belongs to them -- owners that they think they are of this union of states -- is apparent in every tweet, every Facebook message.

While the Centre allocates only a portion of the funds the state has asked for in this hour of need, these faceless hate mongers laugh at the plight of human beings stuck inside and outside homes, surrounded by water but thirsty for a single sip. While Kerala asks for help, and while anyone with any empathy realises that the road to recovery for the state is going to be a long one, these strangers are not just devoid of kindness, they are actively seeking to spread hate.

What do we say to them? Be nicer? Be kinder? Be more human? Be helpful to Kerala in her hour of need?

No. There is no need to be nicer, and Kerala will live without your kindness. 

You don't need to help Kerala, there are lakhs and lakhs of others who will. Kerala will recover, Kerala will thrive.

In the meantime, if you can simply hold your hate inside for a little while, until the state can stand back up and look you in the eyes, it will be much appreciated.

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