Just when I think my rage has abated, I hear or see an image which again brings me full circle. This time around it was a set of colour photographs. They show two grievously injured men, who later succumbed, lying after being shot down. I cannot get them out of my head, two men with wives, and small children, with mothers and sisters smote down for nothing! This is what gives birth to my savage anger…to die for nothing. A life which could have been so much more, hacked away merely because an animal in the garb of a man thought of destruction. We are all questioning that how could only 10 men wreak such havoc. One man can do so! Is it difficult to open fire on an unarmed multitude going about its business? To kill is so easy…I wonder at the mentality that can destroy and not build, that can kill this murderously but not debate, that considers all fair game….and it leaves me with just one thought.
We cannot forgive and move on, till we resolve this state of matters we just cannot proceed. It is WRONG to carry on…we owe the dead. There is a time when the most undecided of us will have to take a stand…a time when we will no longer question and just act. And I know the time is now. If this does not raise our hackles and make us congregate in the open with war cries, I can assure you, nothing ever will.
Tomorrow they will mow down school kids and we will go about our business because we would have been inoculated against horror and pain! They will kill grannies and we will reason that the old have to die! They will be driven to more and more outrageous acts because that is the sole principle of terrorism…to generate such mayhem that the living give up!
We cannot surrender, we cannot say that darkness will envelop us and we have no way out. History has shown that endurance brings no victory…we cannot build fortresses and hide away from so determined and ruthless a foe! Life is all about decisions….and however much we want to believe that the meek will rule, that is not going to happen! The weak and meek become extinct! THAT is the truth behind evolution too. All forms that cannot compete die out! We have all studied history and the life sciences…law too states that it is within our basic rights to retaliate with a proportionate force to the danger perceived…which means that if one is being mugged, one can stick a knife in the lawbreaker’s arm or leg and if a fellow comes after us with murder in his heart, we can pre-empt him and kill him first and we are not only blameless but protected by law! Religion too tells us to fight when running away is no longer an option. Why have all the avatars been born in warrior forms? Why does the samurai generate such reverence? Why has literature sung about the defenders, the fighters in such glorious prose? Why do poets deify the soldier? Because sometimes it is the greatest dharma to engage in battle! He who cannot protect himself and his home will never have poems composed in his honour…he will be forgotten even while he is alive. Sometimes pride is all we have and that unbending, unforgiving pride can sustain us when the going is tough!
Remember Rana Pratap….a king with such fierce pride that he did not give up when all the rest had and, lived to see his son eat chappatis made of grass, he never won but he lived free and died free and still is a symbol of glory and honour! A king who lived the hard life a soldier and became immortal. Even his steed gained a place in history…who has not heard of Chetak, the worthy horse of a worthy king! Maharashtra gave birth to Shivaji, the mighty Maratha who fought and hid, and fought and hid…played hide and seek with an enemy that out numbered him by far, and never gave up. These warriors with an iron will never won the war but they could never be tamed…and their feats have become legend! They were Indians…somewhere within us we must have the same fearless braveheart…we too have breathed the same air and shared the same earth. Time to bring him out…and to bring out an ancient pride! A centuries old sense of honour and do or die spirit! The fire of a soldier who battles for what he believes is right! The righteous wrath of the wronged!