Living a normal, bourgeois life, being unaffected by whatever’s happening, kids like us dying, bleeding, screaming out for someone to help them, kids like us, in their early twenties dying from a bullet wound. Has this all become a staple everyday news headline that the thought of it doesn’t make our blood boil? Was it just after the Paris attacks that we were hurt? Does it not matter if a son of our country has died, along with 17 of his brothers?
The stench of what we have gone through for so many years has led us to a point where we need to find the source of this horrendous miasma that lingers around our existence. Remember the time we said we would stick together when they entered our country like tourists who are here to tap their cameras, just these tourists tapped their triggers in 2008 and laid to waste ever so many people? Was it just for a while, did our congregation last just for a month until the New Year came about and we all partied as if nothing had happened? Does anyone remember what happened on 26/11?
No, we all remember 9/11, though.
I remember being tucked in my bed when it had started, I heard a cry from the other room. It was not a cry for help, it was a cry of horror, a cry that is heard when you see someone dying. I remember jumping out of my bed and going in front of the television, oblivious to the dreadful thing that so many people were facing at that hour in our country. That was the first time when a singular event left such an impact on me and on other people, it made us come together as brothers and we wanted it to stop, we had had enough. We had seen enough bodies of our people dismembered. We had had enough!
Unfortunately, only for a while.
We need to understand that what has happened in the Uri sector is not a joke, it is not something that happens everyday. People who were born to serve our country, people who had joined the army in hopes that they would fight for their motherland were killed, 18 of them. Seeing mothers cry because their sons would never come back and eat Paranthas that she had made. Seeing small little kids cry because their fathers would never come back to play Cricket with them. Seeing young brides cry because their husbands would never come back to kiss them. All these images need to be etched in our hearts and our memories. I don’t know if this time we would remember this tragedy after Diwali. I fail to remember the last time these many serving personnel were killed in a single attack by these propaganda vomiting terrorists.
We need to put aside our internal politics, the bureaucracy that has always left us in the middle of things, neither here nor there, making our country look like a Brinjal in the respective plates of the world. We need to stop looking for support from the Western world, they have their own agendas when they say that they are with us. In 1971, we did not wait for any support from any other nation, we believed in our strengths, we believed in our forces, we believed in our ideologies. But that has long since faded away, we look like scared little babies crying out in front of every other nation, thinking that they would pamper us. The time is not for a juvenile response, where the high-end politicians condemn the attacks, where the head of the state comes around after 20 days to do the same, where the kids on social media start putting the colours of nations as their cover photos. The time is bigger and more challenging than that, we need to come together, in spirit and in belief. We need to push the peace-spewing hippies aside and do something for ourselves, for our safety, we need to be selfish. We need to lay to rest our acid-washed t-shirts, our John Lennon lyrics, for a while. We have been avoiding the questions by shining the light of “solidarity” for a very long time, this, I believe, has made us look like a wet dog looking for its tail and eventually being struck with a metaphorical blow. We need to lash out with our greatest strengths and set aside our fears. The outrage that this incident should have sparked is nowhere near its brim, and it bothers me, it should bother you as well.