Terrorism: Terror, Trauma, and Scarred Memories
9th September 2001, New York
26th December 2008, Mumbai
16th December 2014, Peshawar
13th November 2015, Paris
Do you know what is common across these events? Massacre and blood bath involving hundreds of innocent people, who wanted to live and see many more beautiful days of their lives. Unfortunately, their dreams were brutally cut short by a few men, who claim to be god’s messengers, and think that killing innocents is their path towards the heavenly abode.
I am not here to depress you. Instead, I want to jolt you awake with my amateur words. This morning, when I woke up to my daily dose of news, what I saw had me paralyzed with horror.
As the words passed before my eyes, it was like a déjà vu happening. The same situation, same killers, a different place. Tears of frustration and helplessness came out of nowhere as I tried to comprehend the horrific events that unfolded in Paris last night.
Do you want to know what is more horrific? When you open your Facebook feed, and instead of seeing posts that condemn terrorism and support the victims, you see people criticizing religions and fighting amongst themselves.
What kind of a world have we come to? Where lost lives are limited to numbers in headlines, and people indulge in name calling instead of unitedly fighting against one cause; terrorism.
As a common person, who has no knowledge of defence mechanisms and political agendas, the only question that comes to my mind is how can a handful of people create so much terror in the mind of the whole world? With all the powers at their disposal, why do our political parties become so helpless when it comes to eradicating terrorism?
Terrorism is one phenomenon which has become like a global plague. It not only claims many lives in the name of god, who doesn’t even approve of all this, but is also pitting people against one religion, Islam.
Every good Muslim in the world is expected to prove his or her loyalty to the nation, victims included. The incident, which should unite us all against the cause, actually divides us, and that is where the loophole lies, which these inhuman elements take advantage of.
Fear and incompetence on our part is what they feed on. These are just a handful of people, who have only two advantages on us; an element of surprise, and a few guns.
The only thing that can defeat them, is the strength of our unity, the strength of us as one against the plague that terrorism is. The good people of all religions and all nations forgetting all the personal woes and boundaries combining all their forces together can once and for all rip it off from the root.
It is time to introspect, and it is time to stop the blame game. These are the bad people, and no matter what religion they belong to, blaming it won’t help. It is upon all of us to unite against this demon of terrorism, and terrorism alone.
Irrespective of religion, irrespective of ethnicity and colour, and irrespective of the boundaries the authorities have created amongst us.
The time for candle marches and mourning is passed. It is time for us, as common citizens, to act, to question our authorities as to why are we so helpless when it comes to terrorism.
We are the targets, we, who are returning from office; we, who are just taking the subway to work; we, who are just going to enjoy a quite musical evening with our loved ones; we, who hope to come back home alive and happy.
We do not have security guards planted outside our homes or every nook and corner that we pass by. The choice is ours. Do we want to live in the world where each step is cautious, and killers have an upper hand, or do we want to live in a free world, where every person is good, and we don’t see every stranger with eyes of suspicion?
As I am writing this, another news flashes across the screens; Islamic State claims responsibility for the Paris attacks. My blood boils and streams through my eyes. Are we going to sit and be helpless, or are we going to question our rights and once and for all finish these monsters, who have the audacity to claim that they do these horrendous deeds in the name of god? Allah, Jesus, Krishna, Hashem; give that one supreme power any name, but they all never strayed from the path of love and peace.
It pains me to see so much hatred just because there are a few people who have distorted the god’s word. It pains me, as an Indian, to see my countrymen trying to justify themselves at every stage, just because some people from their religion turned into monsters. It pains me, as a human, to see such wretched devils walking free with confidence.
My blessings, prayers, and thoughts are with those who lost their lives in the Paris attack or in Beirut and Baghdad, and in all those attacks that have happened in the past, and are still happening where cameras can’t shoot the plight and pens can’t scribble the stories.
As a citizen of one of such countries which have been targeted time and again; I just have one question; Is there no way to stop these devils?
Are we so helpless that we can watch the bloodbath happen before our eyes, and then carry on with our lives the next day?
Is life so cheap now, that it has been reduced to mere numbers to be printed as headlines?
The terrorists have not attacked just Paris, or Syria, or Palestine, or India; they have again attacked our souls, and again walked scot free.