Over a span of just a few months, I read about the war torn Syrians desperately fleeing their country and taking refuge in Cyprus and Greece, then came the headlines about the terror attacks in France, next was the shooting down of a Russian jet by a Turkish Fighter jet, soon after I read a book titled “Confessions of a Terrorist”, a few days hence the Pathankot Airbase was breached, a week later I read Samhita Arni’s column of her nightmarish trauma post her work experience in Afghanistan. And between the lag of penning and posting this piece of writing, there occurred the appalling attack at Burkina Faso killing many and maiming more. Reading these blood stained callous stories suffocates my lungs, freezes my limbs in ennui and shuts down my mind in dread. My world is reeling in horrific and harrowing by-lanes of intolerance and savagery.
Terror attacks are the most insensitive, depraved and abhorrent of human acts but what would you call the incessant air strikes and mindless bombings of state militaries that have wiped almost whole populations of countries and left them absolutely barren. I have been very fortunate not to have the slightest experience of a war zone or its cruelties, my knowledge and opinion of the world and its condition is shaped and influenced by what I read and hear. It is clear to me that the world is in insufferable state but what caused it to come to this tipping point is highly debatable. “Confessions of a Terrorist” by Richard Jackson gave me a very different perspective on terrorism as a person. It delves into the mind of a terrorist to understand why he does what he does. Of course there is no condoning or justifying their despicable acts but understanding their thought process equips you better to comprehend the harsh and ruthless reality and history of our world and its leaders.
I haven’t suffered any personal loss in the hateful conflicts between nations and their militant enemies. But lakhs of unknown and innocent families have lost and are constantly losing their loved ones in the scorching inferno of war for no apparent reason. This absolutely hopeless and tragic life of millions makes the enjoyment of the simplest of pleasures guilt ridden and sufferable sometimes. There is a trailing fear that while I dress up my kids and kiss them good bye for school, hundreds of them were mercilessly murdered in Peshawar. While I take my kids to the sand and splashes of a beach, the tiny corpse of Syria’s Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish beach.
You must wonder who am I to write and talk about such issues I have not had to grapple and deal with. I am just a troubled soul who wonders for how long is my family and I secure in our cities, malls, stadiums, theatres, schools or holiday destinations? I cannot pretend to be naive anymore and believe that terrorist strikes and counter terrorism strikes happen in some faraway remote lands. No, it might happen on the next flight my husband takes to return home or the exotic holiday resort I plan to take my family to.
The vicious cycle of horrific wars is unabating and who started it is immaterial now. Though I pretty much believe that it was brought to fore and syndicated for the ulterior motives of the developed states of this world. The looming question is who will end it or maybe it might coincide with the apocalypse of this world. Terrorists are striking us ubiquitously, persistently and more fiercely. Millions of dollars, think tanks of intellectuals, arsenals of ammunition and well trained military forces in place are yet not able to contain them or forge effective counter terrorism policies. It totally baffles me. It only goes to show that there is something fundamentally wrong with our governments and their abilities or more bluntly put, it has a lot to do with genuine intentions.
A concrete and sustained effort to assimilate the differences and redress grievances, an honest motive of fairness in the policies and just abandoning some greed and power hungriness can change a lot in our world. If an ordinary citizen like me can think of it, I am sure those adorning positions and medals can do much better. Then why isn’t it happening? Why are all the peace talks yielding no results at all? Maybe, because the governments don’t really want it and more importantly the talks are held between irrelevant parties. Why haven’t the country heads made any effort to involve various militant outfits in the process of peace talks? Isn’t that the most obvious thing to do if we wish to resolve the conflicts?
We have such hatred and notions of inhumanity frothing for the terrorists that it is now a social taboo to even listen to their side of story lest involve them in a dialogue. The sad part is that our politicians do not want to end the war, they want to win it. A war whose agenda is writ with ambiguity, corruption and a desire for superiority. This agenda is then cleverly twisted and marketed in the name of religion which instigates the mind like bottle rockets. How ironic it is that God made man, Man made religion and religion kills them both.
What can I do to change this catastrophic condition of our world? I really do not know. But if there is indeed a Collective Consciousness of the planet at work and I truly wish it is, our collective inclination, vibes and energy for a peaceful world might just tilt the balance towards a more liveable and likeable tomorrow. Amen…