Saturday, September 20, 2008

BLASTS IN PAKISTAN

The breaking news this evening is about the blast at Marriott hotel in Pakistan, killing more than 40 people, critically injuring more, and injuring many more. The blasts have been so powerful that the hotel is still burning and it is suspected that the hotel may finally collapse. The crater created by this blast is more than six metres deep. This hotel happens to be in the high security zone of the capital of Pakistan. Before this blast, India has had its own set of blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Gujarat and Delhi. Many blasts have taken place all around the world since the Sep. 11 incidents. Notable amongst these have been the ones in Indonesia, Spain, UK, Philipines. This shows that the extremist elements of society today have the capability to hold the entire human race to ransom. What is it that drives these extremists to commit suicidal attacks and kill other innocents in the process? Who are they fighting against? Ordinary human beings or organised society at large? Is it religion, or religious intolerance? I heard a Pakistani gentleman speaking with a TV reporter. His innocent complaint seemed to be that 'the terrorists have not only killed foreigners, but our own Muslim brothers, kids and women'. Does it imply that it is okay to kill foreigners, but wrong to kill Muslims. Which is this religion that preaches this? As far as I understand it is religion that protects humans, and not the other way around. Every religion teaches one to love and respect God's creation - the God could be called Allah, Jesus, Krishna, Ram or whatever name one can call Him by - The Omniscient, The Omnipresent, The One and Only God who is responsible for this beautiful creation. In that sense we are all inter related - Vasudeva Kutumbam - one big family.
President Bush framed a phrase 'War on Terror' after the Sep. 11, 2001 incidents, and now everyone is using this phrase. In staff college, I was taught that 'wars are fought in the minds', not on the battlefields. Which are these minds that we are fighting this war against - they have been variously described as Islamic fundamentalists, terrorists, extremists etc. Who are these people? These are young people, often with advanced education these days. What is it that is in their minds? Who is responsible to have put such poisonous thoughts in their minds that has led them to destroy themselves, and others - always innocent people. What are they trying to achieve? There are many questions, but hardly any answers. Who has the answers? God only knows. Is He going to show us a way out, before it is too late. When I was young, I was told that God helps those who help themselves. I believe, God gave us a brain and intelligence to discern what is good and what is bad. I believe, what is good for His creation is good. His creation encompasses everything that we see around us. Irrespective of religion we have no right to destroy His creation. Religions are meant to unite, not divide. Intolerance can only beget misery for everyone. Let us all resolve to become tolerant of diverse thoughts and persuasions because that is what was probably our Creators intent.