Thursday, September 11, 2008

Takes Time to Heal A Wound

It’s been 7 years but the scars remain. Today is September 11th.

We used to read about the world before World War II & after World War II. After September 11th, people talk about the world before 9/11 & post 9/11.

Sympathizing with what Americans suffered on that dark day does not mean sympathizing with America. We know the whole world loves to hate America. Every country has its own reasons – Indians hate America because it is perceived to be a Pakistan ally more than an India ally; the Middle East hates America for religious reasons, the Europeans have their own reason to hate the Americans.

Sympathizing with the loss of the Americans is sympathizing with humanity. Because the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was not only an attack on America, it was also a crime against humanity, where innocent civilians, who might not even have shared the government’s opinion towards Islamic countries, were killed for no fault of their own.

Terrorism is always about Us vs. Them. Let me clarify that by ‘them’ I’m not referring to people of any religion or community. I’m referring to people who think it’s OK, even justified, to take innocent lives to make their voices heard. What they don’t understand is that if the world isn’t listening to them, maybe they don’t have anything substantial to say!

War, in my opinion, can be justified under certain circumstances but terrorism cannot be justified under any. And as Indians, we cannot distance ourselves from what happened to America by saying “It happened to them, how does it matter to us?”

Of course, it matters to us! It SHOULD matter to us. Our country itself is a soft target for terrorism. There are blasts in some city or the other almost every other month. They claim lives but as a nation & as a people, we have become apathetic towards them because we have no value for human life. We condemn the blasts, watch the coverage on news channels for a couple of hours, then go back to worrying about what percentage salary hike we would be getting next year, whether our salary will be 50,000 more or less per year compared to a particular colleague etc. Only when the terrorist attack happens in the city we live in, like it happened in Mumbai on July 11th, 2006 that we get scared.

9/11 was probably one of the darkest days for humanity, the other being August 6th, 1945 when bombs were dropped over Hiroshima & Nagasaki. No country deserves to be attacked so brutally & its citizens punished for views that their government might harbor.

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