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  • Writer's pictureAditya Gupta

French Woes…Très Profond

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Prior to dusk, smoke could be seen bellowing out of the revered Parisian symbol, the Notre Dame on the 15th of April . With huge clouds of smoke forming in the gloomy skies, large hoards of helpless Parisians gathered in front of the doomed cathedral . The stranded public saw a huge chunk of history being lost to the evils of fire . That night saw the intricately designed ceiling and spire succumbing to fire, something unimaginable as the crafts of Yonker years were taken away.

The fire couldn’t have come at a worse time for the European nation which had just started healing from the fractures of the largest mass protests in country : the yellow jacket protests. Started in October last year the movement had rocked the nation causing a deeping sense of burden to an already disturbed state. Macron being prime face of this movement received a lot of backlash and resentment because of his actions as a president.The protest which somewhat stabilised in spring this year brought to the forefront many a problems faced by the nation .

The fire highlighted what the yellow jacket movement stood for : a disparity in the society where the rich enjoyed their greatly unequal wealth and the poor fought to survive at the very least . The tragedy saw a huge outpour of donations from French Business Houses and the families behind them, like the Kerings and the Arnaults . The outpour caused deep rooted anguish and backlash amongst the protesters . The anguish arose out of the fact that for restoration causes these billionaires pledged hundreds of millions within moments of the catastrophe whereas they couldn’t reach out and help the poor and needy when required.

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The Yellow Jacket Movement came to life when Macron proposed to remake the country’s entire economic model . Enraged by an elite class — epitomized in their minds by Macron — that appeared to have no understanding of their financial pain, demonstrators marched, while agitators repeatedly trashed and burned stores and banks across the country. The protests shook the entire nation to its core .

The fire brought forth the issue of how the government thought of its history. Notre Dame was subject to a measly 2 million dollars a year for restoration and upkeep purposes. The amount clearly wasnt enough to protect the cathedral from this calamity. Notre Dame is far better off than other such cathedrals shrouded in rich history because its the only one getting some money for its upkeep.

What the fire did was highlight the broken parts of a nation requiring alot of mending and healing . The burning out of the cathedral brought forth the hidden disparities in life, such that it showed the different steps present in the ladder of life. Moreover, it brought together the french public in grief after months of tumultuous fighting and protesting. The fire brought out reality’s of life whilst also joining a separated public in common grief making things considerably easy and difficult at the same time for one government on a road for recovery.

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