Sunday, November 15, 2015

Friday the Thirteenth

It was a Black Friday for Paris indeed. On the morning of the Saturday, the 14th of November 2015, the world woke up to the shocking news of terrorist attacks carried out on one of the most vibrant cities on earth. What should have been a gay and enjoyable weekend for many Parisians turned out be a nightmare, as scores of innocent people were killed and injured by terrorists who planned and executed the attack with lethal precision.

As an Indian who has witnessed similar attacks on home soil, my heart goes out to those affected.
If I knew better, I would say this was an incident waiting to happen. Our Prime Minister, Mr. 
Narendra Modi rightly said that the attacks mirror those carried out on 26th November 2008 in Mumbai. India long ago stated that terrorists have used India as a staging ground for carrying out attacks on a worldwide scale. While we suffered, the world joined hands in condemning the heinous acts of terrorism but failed to heed our warning and realize the real repercussions. If the Mumbai attacks are not proof enough, take the 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar, Afghanistan. What followed on the 11th of September 2001 in New York needs no elaboration.

It’s high time we all woke up and acted. Condolence messages might have the best of intent, but to those who have been directly and indirectly affected by such acts, these messages will sound hollow and meaningless, just like the fire brigade arriving after the house has been totally gutted. Terrorism has long since ceased to be a problem for just one nation. As is evident from the events in Paris, even the most powerful and developed nations now find themselves victims of anti-social elements who can wreak havoc at will without prior warning. We have to recognize terrorism as a global problem and come together to crush those responsible. Until we do, attacks like these will become more regular. What is more frightening is not the fact that these attacks will continue, but the fact that we will become immune to them (as we have to many other atrocities nowadays), which will only serve to encourage the perpetrators. We have to join hands and eliminate terrorism from the core. Until then, none of us is going to be safe and sound.

(Apologies if my blog sounds like some clich├ęd political diatribe)

But then again, there are always two sides to the same coin.    

While an infamous terrorist organization has already claimed responsibility for the heinous act, France has declared this incident as an act of war. French President Hollande has vowed to punish those responsible for this incident and has promised to act ‘ruthlessly’ to crush all enemies of state. This could just be the beginning of what could be a vicious circle and a dark chapter in French history. How France brings to book those responsible for this act is yet to be seen. It won’t take much to figure out that members of a particular religion will be targeted and persecuted. For the actions of a guilty few, many innocents must suffer the trauma of suspicion and hate. This in turn will lead to more dissension and hatred among those affected. This will lead to further repercussions. Need I say more?

This does not mean letting the perpetrators go off the hook. Go after them by all means but watch out for collateral damage. To the French Government I humbly request: if you see the guilty hiding behind a number of innocents, do not attack them or mow them down ruthlessly just to reach the guilty. Instead, move quietly till you trap and isolate the guilty party and then ruthlessly tear them apart. Ensure that no innocent gets harmed in the process. That’s easier said than done of course.
To those responsible for this dastardly act I say only this: What were you hoping to achieve? Have you come any closer to your objectives? Do you think you have redeemed yourself in the eyes of your maker? Are you still under this deluded belief that these kind of acts will guarantee you a spot in heaven?   

Hatred breeds only hatred. As Ben Kingsley stated in the film 'Gandhi', ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.

When will this end, if ever?

I appeal to all:

Let there be Sanity, let there be love. Let no innocent suffer.


Above all, let there be everlasting peace.     
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