In July of this year, 12 Thai boys and their football coach in the Chiang Rai province in Thailand were stuck in a cave for 18 gruesome days before being rescued after some heroic efforts by the international community. One can only imagine how harrowing the experience would have been for these young boys, and they were extremely lucky to come out of it alive. The rescue effort involved more than 10,000 people, including over 100 divers, many rescue workers, representatives from about 100 governmental agencies, 900 police officers and 2,000 soldiers, and required ten police helicopters, seven police ambulances, more than 700 diving cylinders, and the pumping of more than a billion litres of water out of the caves (Source: wiki).
Why am I cribbing?
Now, very honestly, I was not really interested in writing about this issue but today I found out that the rescued boys got an opportunity to meet the Manchester United football team and watch a live match at Old Trafford. Prior to this, they have been on the Ellen DeGeneres show, met football legend Zlatan Ibrahimović, played an international football match in a World cup stadium and so much more. I am glad they got all this attention after being through that nightmare, but is this really fair? Right now, you might think I am the devil’s advocate or the devil himself. But let’s be honest, I am only saying what most of us feel.
When those boys were stuck in that cave, the world came together to make sure they made out of it alive. Thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly day in and day out to make sure the mission was a success. One Thai Navy SEAL even lost his life during the process. How is it that his family has not been invited to watch a football match or attend a TV show? Apart from the British divers who were invited by Prince William for dinner, I honestly haven’t seen others receive the recognition or attention they deserved.
I don’t want you to think that I don’t sympathize with the boys or I do not understand how scary it would have been. But in all fairness, they were stuck in cave due to no one’s fault and several fearless individuals came together and rescued them. What about them? Yes, most of them were doing their jobs, and even many came forward simply for publicity. Still, a humungous effort went into getting those boys out and I believe it deserves recognition.
Not an isolated incident
Once again, I want to emphasize the fact that my problem is not with the boys who got stuck in that cave, my issue is with the world media and celebrities alike. We live in a world where ratings mean everything and we are ready to stoop down to any level for publicity. The moment those boys were out of that cave, these TV shows and brands pounced on them like fresh meat. It is wonderful the boys got all the attention and travelled the world, something they might not have done so quickly had it not been for the incident.
When Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan, it created a furore. The fact that she survived made her famous. Otherwise, thousands of kids are dying in these regions every day, not only at the hands of terrorists, but western forces alike. The world is not a conducive place right now, and ‘artificial’ is no more a term related to intelligence. We are in a free fall of duplicity, deceit, meanness and all forms of evil which tag along. It won’t be long before we hit the floor hard, and don’t be surprised if ten people stand there to videotape your mortal remains. After all, irony is the form of life, isn’t it?