Monday, January 03, 2005


Melting Pot, Or Mosaic?

This story about the cleanup of dead bodies in India (post-tsunamai) is a good example of why I prefer the "melting pot" approach over that of the "mosaic:"

For some Indians, untouchables are less than human.
But no mask ever stops the gagging smell of rotting human flesh, which becomes almost overpowering as the body is dug out, lodging deep somewhere in the back of the mouth.

Each new body discovered is painstakingly prised free of the wet sand, torn palm thatch and debris, mostly by hand.

It is sweaty, backbreaking work. Shifting sand and rubble make just standing hard. It is done slowly, carefully and patiently with a delicate respect for the victim.

But there is no dignity.
It's better, of course, when there are no such caste distinctions between people. India seems to be steadily moving in that direction, but it takes time.

Faster, please.