Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Against War/Terror 05-11-13

Take a Stand against War and Terrorism

Mirza A. Beg
Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Tuscaloosa News Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Al -Jazeerah on Line, Friday November 11, 2005

Milli Gazette, Friday November 11, 2005

When volcanoes erupt or earthquakes shake continents by the continual adjustments of tectonic plates, or when the benign winds turn into hurricanes and tornadoes, inadvertently rearranging the terrain, we are awe-inspired by the power of nature. Unfortunately we usually take notice only when they wreck lives.

Scientists study the forces of nature to learn to minimize the destructive effects in future. Some grasp the precariousness of human existence and find fulfillment in helping those in need. Yet some tag the victims with the wrath of God and try to promote their concept of right and wrong.

People devoid of humanity have done and continue to do much more harm to the civilization through wars of hubris and terrorism than nature has ever done. The sublime beauty of religious spirituality is ravished at the altar of religious bigotry and supremacy.

The wars for land, resources and control of others, usually couched in the name of nationalism or religion go on unabated. Nation states keep on inventing more powerful and more sophisticated weapons to subdue the legitimate grievances of those considered "the others". In time the more militant among the aggrieved stealthily adopt the weapons of their tormentors. It brings on more oppression and draconian measures by the powerful and power blinded, leading to indiscriminate violence.With the punch and counter-punch even principled rebellions degenerate in to murderous rebellions, facilitating the rise of unscrupulous leaders advocating indiscriminate violence. A downward spiral into the abyss of inhumanity ensues. Where nothing is sacred, no revenge is too cruel and the most heinous methods acquire currency.

On October 29, Delhi was rocked by four serial blasts that killed 67 innocent people and wounded scores more. Unfortunately the problems that are nurtured for baser purposes of the nation states and the resultant downward spiral into the abyss of inhumanity can not be solved by knee jerk reactions, as is evident from the contemporary wars. Fortunately, to their credit the government and people of India realized that treachery and terror do not achieve anything noble and shunned a flailing, immediate and irrational response.

In our busy lives, we take notice of horrible events, are shocked and condemn them, then go on with the arduous task of living, to be shocked again by another event almost with the regularity of seasons.It feels as if we are on a fast moving train of time, with scenes of benign normal pastoral uneventful lives rushing past our window. Every so often with the regularity of dark nights, horrible scenes of carnage suddenly come into view. We want to avert our eyes but can not. We want to help but feel bound to the train. The scene passes; leaving a lingering sadness that dissipates into the next scene.We want to help abolish violence and exploitation, but feel helpless. But we are not as helpless as we think. The train does have brakes. Two of my dear friends Dr. Tripathi and Dr. Ansari from different religious traditions organized a one-day fast on November 12, at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation memorial in Delhi. It was an expression of grief for the carnage, but much more than that, it was raising of consciousness against the killing of innocent civilians caught in the web of spiraling calculated violence. It drew many to the cause of sanity who thought they were alone and there is no one to raise a voice for decency and sanity.

It was not just a feel good exercise. When we take time from our busy schedules, we take an important step away from apathy. Let us take time to fast on our own, reflect and try to influence just a few more towards the idea of being engaged. Send money to whatever organization we think would feed the hungry and shelter the exposed. The following couplet is my rendition of an Urdu poem:

The journey was lonely, the quest was long;
One by one they joined, behold it is a caravan.

One person alone is a voice in wilderness, when others join, it becomes a movement and the voice of the people. Let us take up the fast started by our friends in the name of voiceless victims of inhumanity and ask a friend to join.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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