Can spending too much time in a public toilet cost you your life??
For one unfortunate 26-year-old man in Mumbai, India, the answer is yes.
The fight occurred between residents of a tenement with shared facilities, a common situation in India’s densely populated financial matrix.
The incident brings India’s sanitation problems and the lack of proper facilities sharply into focus.
Simon Lingeree was killed last month when he got into a heated argument with Santosh Kargutkar while using a public toilet. The latter became highly impatient while waiting his turn. When Mr. Lingeree exited the toilet, he was physically assaulted.
There were no weapons involved, just fists, but the young man was struck a fatal blow to the crotch. The killer quickly fled the scene and was later arrested.
Tenement residents were up in arms and chastised authorities for failing to provide adequate facilities.
“We have absolutely no public sanitation facilities … Sometimes basic human needs take over all rationale, and this is what happened today. It is tragic that two lives have been destroyed over such a petty issue,” said resident Rajesh Paswan.
The incident is an urban tragedy and is all the more ironic given the fact that India prides itself on its national Toilet Museum.
Established by Indira Ghandi and meant to educate the populace about the importance of sanitation, its existence for the last three decades should have signaled sanitation reform, and as of yet that remains very much in the wings.
Perhaps a royal flush might change things.