The backspace button on my keyboard saw the most hits today as I sat, trying to put how I felt into words. On one hand, there is the emptiness in the pits of my stomach, petrification swimming through the hollowness. On the other hand, there is pure hatred seething through my veins; hatred against the monsters who deem fit to take lives unflinchingly and term it an act of God. And to top it all, the irony that Life condemns you to: an act of hatred in the City of Love. Not to forget the bombings in Beirut and Baghdad that barely got the media attention that Paris is receiving right now.
How can one not be repulsed by the atrocities that these terrorist groups get away with committing? Why isn’t the world coming together to flush out these cowardly militants? When we can go forward in terms of technology, why should we bear the carnage caused by these gun-wielding, slogan-shouting poltroons? Why can’t the world’s superpowers, knowing to what extent these terrorists can go to, join hands to wipe them off existence? Why are we being subjected to this irrational and inhuman culling time and again? How long before we do something about it instead of just saying that we need to do something about this?
There are a lot of questions that need answers but don’t have answers. All one can do as an individual is pray.
I pray that the families of the victims find the strength to allow their dear ones to move on to their next destinations. I pray that the victims find themselves a peaceful place, wherever they now are. I pray that France soon gets back on its feet from the horrific blow that it has been dealt. I pray that the world does not forget these blows this time. I pray that governments will find it in themselves to forget their stupid rivalries and instead focus on the imminent threat to the world. I pray that these self-styled lawmakers are shut down, once and for all. And above all, I pray that good prevails over every other trouble-causing evil in the world.
Imagine yourself sitting in the comfort of your home and watching the news on TV. Terrified people rushing about, trying to get to safety. Worried family members trying to unsuccessfully trying to contact their loved ones. Hostages posting SOS messages on Twitter. Now imagine yourself in their place. When the mere thought of leaving the world and bereavement brings you to your knees, there’s no understanding the pain which the people are going through.
It is not only the immensity and the gravity of the situation that brings my blood to boil. It is also a million tragic memories that make their way through to the surface, bringing along with them a tide of sympathy and a form of empathy for the people of Paris.
Mumbai, 1993. Indian Parliament, 2001. World Trade Center, 2001. Delhi, 2005. Hyderabad, 2007. Samjhauta Express, 2007. Jaipur, 2008. Mumbai, 2008. Sydney Café Siege, 2014. Peshawar, 2014. Yemen, 2015. Kenya, 2015. There are a lot many other incidents that I have not mentioned, but that does not make them any less serious than this list. Any act that takes lives cannot be an act of God. It simply cannot.
I am sorry that I cannot do anything where I am, except write and express my deepest condolences. I am sorry that the world has come to such thoughtless violence. I am sorry that the superpowers of the world hold no power in bringing out these filthy rats infesting the gold of our civilization. I am sorry that all the good in the world is being overshadowed by the barbaric impulses of a section whose people are self-appointed enforcers of God’s laws. I am sorry for every inhuman incident that ever takes place anywhere. I am sorry if my prayers don’t bring fruit. But yet, I will pray.
Yes, I am an Indian and I will pray for Paris.
And for every other savagery in the world to end.
Be it India, Australia, China, Ghana, Yemen, Argentina or the United States of America. Or any country in the world.
Because in addition to being an Indian, I am also a global citizen.
Because above all, I am human.
I will pray for Paris!