Peace – A beautiful concept, a wonderful feeling.
I remember when I was asked, during my first week at IIT Delhi, about what I ‘desired’ from life after IIT Delhi – I answered peace. There were other answers like a beautiful partner, a lucrative job. But I had all of them covered if you had asked me at that time. I didn’t care how peace came, as long I could be peaceful and content, I was good. Peace!
But today, I have taken this time out to talk about peace in a more holistic sense, a much broader domain. I generally don’t write on serious stuff, just isn’t what I like doing. But then many events of late have left me shaken. Shaken enough to finally sit down, stop spitting venom all over my facebook wall and contemplate within myself. For someone born and raised in Jammu during the last decade of 20th century, these events should not be raising alarms, but I guess that’s not how it has turned out.
Why do I talk about Jammu?
Thanks to an amazingly daring neighbour and an equally incompetent bunch dictating terms to the country, I grew up in a city ravaged by Terrorist attacks and bomb blasts. I will give you one example of how much close I have been to ground zero – See the map
The first green circle on the extreme right is the house I have lived 15 years of my life before I left Jammu. Sadly, I am a visitor and a guest there (Kidding). The second dot straight ahead is one of the most beautiful temples of Northern India – The Raghunath Temple. Unfortunately, they serve as the site of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on any religious monument in India. The third green dot, the one above the second is probably one of the most beautiful Shiva temples of the world – The Ranbireshwar temple. At one time it used to be one of the most visited temples for my folks. Now, I don’t even remember when I last visited it with my family. It was the site of a terrorist attack on the same day as the one that rocked Raghunath temple. I won’t trivialise the matter by giving numbers – Every human life is important – Irrespective of whether it is from the West or not!
So, as I was saying, having grown up in Jammu, my first interaction with people outside carries the following set of questions:
- Is your city really that cold?
- Is your city really that beautiful?
- Is it SAFE to visit your city?
- Is it true you see TERRORISTS roaming around?
- Is it PEACEFUL in your city?
See, it is assumed to be a normal thing in India. Normal to the extent that it is considered ok! Well, it is not ok! It never was and it never will be. To live with uncertainty, to have restrictions, to not be able to have the best of facilities despite possessing some of the best potentials is not ok! But when you grow up in such a city, I think everyone expects you to be ok with it!
Anyways, it is neither the nostalgia nor the pains of a haunting past that drive me to write this post. It is the sad recent events that do. For example, see the following list:
The list tells you some of the terrorist attacks that have already taken place in 2016. I am sorry I couldn’t find a better list, but that doesn’t change the idea. The entire world is being ravaged daily, weekly, monthly by these sick attacks. It is just horrible to see where humanity is going! Sadly, I was spitting venom all over facebook some months back, saying all rubbish, trying to attribute the activities of terrorists. It is sad because I was too blinded by all those years of anguish that I was letting myself down by those stupid acts. Thankfully, I have come to realise that either we stop attributing the events, or stand the chance to further alienate people from each other and contribute to the motives of these so called ‘terrorists’.
And this brings me back to where I was, all these years back – What I want from life – Peace! But then, I wish all of us find it and live with it. I hope that slowly people embrace others more, understand that every life is precious in its own unique way. These ‘Organisations’ which have been active for so many years, I don’t trust them. So if we have to bring peace, we have to do it together, without relying on them. And for that we need to start acting, soon.
I wish (and I Pray) for peace, for all of us!