BHAMY V. SHENOY writes: The attacks on two cities, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, in the space of two days, July 25 and July 26, is comparable to 9/11, if not in scale, at least in the manner in which they have pierced the conscience of an entire nation.
How should “We the People” react?
Should we follow in the footsteps of our political parties and leaders who have already begun playing their favourite sport of pointing fingers at each other, or at their chosen targets? Or should we join hands and stick together to show the fear-mongers that nothing can drive a wedge between one Indian and another?
I believe we should desist from the unfortunate example of “an eye for an eye” set by President George W. Bush. We should, instead, follow the high ideals of Mahatma Gandhi in trying to find a solution to a global problem.
By trying to take revenge on a supposed enemy, Bush has unleashed thousands of Osama bin Ladens whereas by adapting the path of satyagraha and fasting to do introspection, the Mahatma succeeded in stopping the killings during Partition.
What would Gandhiji have done today had he been alive? He would have urged all of us to go on a fast, to show our solidarity and to do introspection rather than find faults with groups or individuals.
That is precisely what we should do to prevent more cities from being added to the list of Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur….
By finding faults with our brothers and sisters, most of whom are also victims of the terrorism that is laid at their door, and many have whom have been led to terrorism by our acts of omission and commission, we will not even begin to solve the problem.
We will only be helping trigger a chain reaction, an endless spiral of more killings as we have seen in Indonesia, Britain, Spain, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan since 9/11.
So, why don’t we do what the Mahatma would have done?
Why don’t we embark on a symbolic fast on Independence Day, August 15, from 8 am to 8 pm?
Let us all—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, everybody—let us all join hands, publicly and privately, and not partake of food and water for 12 hours on that day.
Let us send a strong message and an even stronger image to future terrorists that their cowardice doesn’t scare us, that their dastardly designs will not work.
Let us not follow leaders like Stalin, Hitler and Mao who used terror to gain power. Let us follow Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela who used the lesson of love taught by all the religions to put it down.
Let’s go hungry on August 15 to starve the terrorists of their oxygen.
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