Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We Remain Divided: Mumbai attacked again

No, I haven't gone insane. If anything, everything seems very clear and sadly absurd. I'm bang in the middle of my exam week. When I print out my lecture notes, I get them in black and white. I can't decipher certain diagrams because they depend on color to differentiate between different kinds of cells. Those times, I open my browser and get the notes online to try and understand stuff better. That's what I was trying to do a few minutes back.

My default page for IE is msn.com. When I opened my browser, this is what I saw

Death Toll Rises in Mumbai Terror Attacks

I was stunned for a moment. Only last night msn.com home page was flashing ideas for the holiday season and parenting advice. In just 12 hours, its flashing the news of the death of a 101 people in the commercial capital of India. With a slide show of "the horror in Mumbai". Police suspect its an Islamic group and the rescued hostages say they were targeting Americans and Britons.

Why does the average man become the target of attacks? What's the point the terrorists are trying to make? Why bomb a hotel that houses some law making delegation? Then go on to "spray" bullets at the Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminal? People were asking similiar questions just a few years ago. Why kill hundreds of innocent commuters who are just trying to get home after a long day at office? Why bombs the Mumbai trains?

It doesn't seem absurd to follow different religions. It just reflects that we are all different in our thoughts and beliefs. It just seems damn absurd and silly when we fight over whose ideals are better and whose religion deserves to prevail. When Gandhi was shot, before the confirmation arrived that it was a Hindu who shot him, I bet all the Muslims were ducking for cover because they knew the blame would fall on them whether or not it was their fault. 60 years down the line and nothing seems to have changed. Seriously, why do we fight in the name of religion? And territories? Why are we fighting about Masjids and Ram Mandirs? Don't we realise we are strangling the life out of Kashmir by fighting over it? Why is there a constant clash of the castes in my state? It seems such a pity that blood is shed all over our nation (and all over the world) over things that don't even matter anymore.

We keep fooling ourselves that things are getting better. India sent a rocket to the moon. That's great news. We are advancing scientifically, but why do we stop with that? We boast about a unity that doesn't seem to exist.

Maybe that unity does exist. We saw during the Gujarat earthquake, the 2004 tsunami and other such disasters. The world united to help recover from these natural disasters. Maybe there does.

Major Attacks in India since 2005

Nov. 26, 2008:
Series of shooting and grenade attacks, including two on luxury hotels, kill at least 78 people and wound 100 in Mumbai, India's main commercial city.
Sept. 13, 2008:
At least five explosions in crowded shopping areas kill 21 and wound 100 in New Delhi, national capital.
July 26, 2008:
Some 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad, killing 45.
July 25, 2008:
Seven small bombs kill two in Bangalore, hub of India's technology industry.
May 13, 2008:
Seven bombs hit crowded markets and streets outside Hindu temples in Jaipur, killing 80.
Nov. 24, 2007:
Nearly simultaneous explosions rip courthouse complexes in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, killing 16.
Aug. 25, 2007:
Forty-three people killed by three explosions at park and street-side food stall in Hyderabad.
May 18, 2007:
Bomb during Friday prayers at historic mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 worshippers. Police later fatally shoot five people during clashes with Muslims protesting attack.
Feb. 19, 2007:
Train heading from India to Pakistan torn apart by two bombs, sparking fire that kills 68.
July 11, 2006:
Seven blasts rip through rail stations and commuter trains in Mumbai, killing 187.March 7, 2006:
Three explosions rock Hindu temple and train station in Hindu holy city of Varanasi, killing 20.
Oct. 29, 2005:
Sixty-two people killed by three blasts at markets in New Delhi ahead of Hindu holiday of Diwali.


How am I supposed to believe in unity in the light of this nonsense.

Cancer and AIDS are the least of our problems. Somehow it just seems that after all these years, all these decades and all these centuries, after all the loved ones we have lost at war, after all the dreams we shattered trying to build a new one, after all our sacrifices, after depleting half of our natural resources in war, after everything we have been through...

We still remain divided.

5 comments:

Clueless said...

I swear, I will never get the point of war. Of fighting over an opinion, or over land. I won't. I don't know if that makes me naive, or if I'm foolish to think we CAN exist in a peaceful world, but the more we see of this, the more meaningless it seems. And everyone seems to be protesting against this sort of behaviour. Does it show? Not really. Like your list shows, we're no closer to that "world peace" we're all trying to attain. And this is just one country. Put together all the countries in the world, and we're just perpetually at battle. It all seems pretty pointless, but unfortunately, from where we stand right now, it also looks to be never-ending. :(

Narayan said...

It's the first time I am actually posting on your blog. It's quite a good one lemme assure you.

But the point remains- we will always remain a divided nation. There are wounds that run very deep, and customs that remain ingrained in the minds of the ordinary Indian( and by that I mean people in villages and the "slum" areas of the city and so on). It's only when something like this happens that we forget about all those petty differences- It has always been the case. Unity exists only when the overall "Indian" identity (whatever that means) is hurt.

Mark my words, the media will bleat about this for sometime and then forget about it all and they'll move on to Amir Khan's new haircut or something like that, till the next riot or bomb blast or natural disaster occurs.

And world peace is not attainable. It is completely imaginary. It just is not possible. We have history lessons because the world has never been a peaceful place :/

Cheerio!

Zav said...

MG,

whatever Narayan said is true, People never stopped fighting, Even our gods fought (Lord Ram, Lord Krishna). peace is simply not attainable. A few months back i was reading Anne Franks "Diary of A little Girl" the world never seems to learn form the past " History repeats itself " .once i used to yell about all these things, but i learnt that i cant do anything. enjoy your life ! Never bother about the world !!

Shubhada said...

It is true that world peace cannot be attained. There always have been wars, atrocities committed towards the less powerful people. Like Swami Vivekananda said the world is like a dog's tail. You can never straighten it. That is because there are different types of people in the world. Some of these young people who are turning into terrorists may have gone through unjust in their life either due to poverty or other reasons. Then there are people who take advantage of these kids' situation and brain wash them. We may not be able to do anything directly to stop them. But we have to definitely do our share. That is do not hate someone belonging to other religion or community or country. Even if someone does not behave with us properly, do not hate the person and return the feeling. That person's behavior will deifinitely change over time. And help people who need help in whatever way we can. That is the way to make difference in world, eventhough it is small. Don't give up upon world or people. Remember when Krishna told Geetha to Arjuna who was not ready to fight because all the people on other side were his friends and relatives? Krishna showed him his Vishwa Darshan where people were going in and out of his mouths (thousands of them). This was to show that He does all. We are here just to do our part. Only make sure that we get a good part. To do well is in our hands and that is what we should do in spite of the situation we are in or the situation around.

doublehead said...

There is only one solution and that is to realise the meaning of the following verse. (without any bias of religion, language, race or such things).

Om saha naav avatu, saha nau bhunaktu,

Saha veeryam karavaavahai,

Tejasvinaa avadheetam astu maa vidvishaavahai,

Om shaanti shaanti shaantih.

Meaning:
OM let both of us protect each other together, may both of us enjoy together, may both of us work together, let our study become radiant, let there be no hatred between us, OM Peace, Peace, Peace.

I am sure this principle exists in every culture, every religion and every human civilization and in every language. But humans in general do not bother to understand.