Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Should war be an agenda?

Who bears the brunt of war-mongering? It is the common people who have their homes alongside the Indo-Pak border. These are the people who eye their televisions wanting to know the nitty-gritty of the Indo-Pak relations but instead end up watching war-mongering that is no longer done subtly on National television. But among those people who live in constant fear of shelling and bombings are those who don’t have a TV or a home. There are people who have lost a family member, or their entire family in the unfortunate incidents of tension on the border.

Who has not heard ‘Let there be a war and let these everyday battles have an end once and for all’ been spoken around in conversations whenever talk of India and Pakistan comes up? War is made out to be the only way to end things once and for all. But if even the slightest of border tensions, leaves hundreds of people homeless, handicapped and drenched in fear, then what will an all-out war do? These are the thoughts worth contemplating before sitting at a distance and commenting about the desire for revenge over the enemy nation’s actions.

The people who live in these border areas are often the most ignored. They spend their lives in fear of death and mutilation, reconstructing their homes and shops over and over again, grieving over the loss of the loved ones, expecting some kind of relief from the government but not receiving any.

Tilak Raj, a man who lost his leg in the year 2014 still cries over the compensation of Rs 5000 by ex-CM Omar Abdullah. His wife is agitated over the umbrage of media persons who come to cover his story, click his pictures to depict what war does to people. Having not received any compensation for her home that was destroyed or for the medical treatment of the bread-earner of her family, she still has tears in her eyes when she remembers how she sold all her jewellery and cattle to make sure her husband does not die.

“7 lakh. I invested 7 lakh and none of these leaders who come here to ask for votes has given us a single penny. I sold everything,” she said. All this while, Tilak Raj curses his destiny hoping that he should have died in that bombing instead. Being dependent on his family feels like a burden to him. His story is one of the many that one may find if one wishes to find out the repercussions of war. Peace is not a utopian thought. It is the need of the hour. Everyone who talks about war as if it is theoretical should know that strip it of its imagined glory and war is nothing more than murder. Murder of the same people countries tend to call their own. But somehow during the long speeches and talks of revenge politicians forget that those living on the borders are also their countrymen and deserve a good life as much as the ones living away from the border. Stealing their right to a peaceful life is just as unjust as stealing the fundamental rights of other countrymen. However, their plight is overlooked when it comes to showing rage for the neighbouring country.

We, as a society, as Indians have to decide whether we want our government to take decisions based on rage and revenge or whether we wish to think about war in terms of these people who live on the borders, in terms of a war’s impact on our country’s economy and whether we, as a developing nation should have anything (like war) on our priority list other than development and giving the basic facilities to the population that still lives below the poverty line.

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