Chapter One: Tragedy Strikes
SIXTEEN Indians were roasted to death in Bahrain. But who cares? They are only Indians. And poor Indians, to be more precise.
Chapter Two: Slavery is a Way of Life
For the outside world, there is something you need to know about us Gulf Arabs (not all of us). We were born with a silver spoon in our mouths - and an oil pump up our asses - even those of us with no money. We are a cut above the rest and we employ third world country people to do our dirty work for us, not that we aren't third world ourselves. You see, our economies are still largely functioning thanks to a slavery system, which was never abolished, despite ratifying one international treaty after the other. Signing treaties and making promises and then going back on them isn't anything new, but this is another topic altogether. We pay some of those people an average $100 a month, to work day and night, night and day, sometimes without days off. They live in labour camps, sleep one on top of the other and are excluded from public life and segregated from normal everyday activities and life. Their's is a life of servitude, in which they work and toil and drop death or go up in flames. Who cares?
Chapter Three: Selective Memory
Our concern today and only today .. OK, because they are 16 .. 16 who were stuffed two in a freezer drawer... maybe for the next few days... should be to be angry about the tragedy that happened and the unneccesary loss of human life at a time when the world in already bleeding - because of the arrogance and greed of a few on the other side of the Middle East.
Chapter Four: The Saviour
Even the Prime Minister was moved by the scale of the disaster and ordered that all labour camps be inspected. Hold on a second! I thought 2/3rds of all labour camps were already inspected and found satisfactory. Satisfactory by whose standards, if I may be cheeky to ask?
Can more than 200 human beings (?) be crammed into a house reportedly having had "six rooms on the ground floor and five each on the first and second floors, plus small halls on each floor and kitchens." What about bathrooms? Oh I forgot, they are only Indian labourers.. which means they don't have to have a bath.. or a pee ..
Chapter Five: Money Talks
And all this for how much? Don't we all work - no matter what our alledged explanations are - for $$$ at the end of the day. How much are those sardines - oops - I mean Indians, worth?
The GDN report says:
But don't worry .. you cheap asswipes.. don't you worry at all.. so what if 16 people have been roasted to death and piled on top of each other in freezers.. we will take care of your families.. with a little bit of money..
One worker told how, on top of paying about BD1,000 initially for his visa, he had to pay BD450 to his sponsor to renew it on completion of his two-year contract.
Sources said most of the workers were forced to pay BD450 to renew their employment contracts every two years.
Those who are unable to pay in a lump sum had instalments deducted from their salaries.
The company also deducts BD11.500 a month each from the workers' salaries, towards the cost of accommodation.
The average salary paid is BD3 a day.
Among the survivors were free visa workers.
"We are paid 500 fils per hour and I am supplied to Royal Tower Construction by another company," said one worker, whose sponsor's name in his CPR card is shown as Atiaf Construction Company.
Chapter Six: Who Cares?
Yes. I am annoyed that such a tragedy is happening at this day and age and yes.. I will swear and rant and rave and bitch about it for a long long time to come.
Who are those bastards thinking they are when they abuse poor labourers who have left their countries and come to ours to clean and sweep and wipe our asses for us for a few dinars and lots of humiliation in return?
Why are they allowed to live in 'camps' like sardines, one on top of the other, with no access to basic amenities, privacy or days off, just because they come from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka?
Where are those people's governments who allow their subjects to be abused in rich Arab states?? Where are the human rights charters we as a country which is today proudly a member of the UN human rights committee have gone to when we allow abuse of such a wide scale on our land without butting an eyelid??
The End: Life is Cheap..Poor People are CHEAPER
The truth is that 16 families are now having the hardest time in their lives .. while hypocrites like me and you too.. are pretending to be moved by the tragedy and caring for all those people .. when all along we have seen them being carted like cattle in open trucks and knew fully well how they lived in sub-human conditions and haven't done a thing.
Personally, my voice has gone hoarse .. and my fingers can no longer keep up with typing the barrage of swear words coming to my brain .. But I really can't claim I have done anything for those people.
Those people should rise. Stop working in such appalling conditions and put demands. This is a good start. But mark my words... they will be bullied into submission.. and the lives of those 16 - whom we don't even have the decency to identify and honour- would have been lost for nothing!