Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I don't understand, Paatti

The past two weeks have been terrible for the world. First suicide bombers attacked the Ayodhya complex and were foiled. Then, there were the dastardly bomb blasts in Kashmir. At about the same time, London faced the devastating attack in the metro. Soon after, the resort in Egypt was blown away. Today, I read that the frightening Babbar Khalsa is alive and kicking, and serendipity averted what could have been tragic.

I was speaking to my eighty-something grandma, my Paatti, a couple of days ago on the telephone. She, in her own innocent way said she'd been watching the news recently, and was shocked by these tragedies.

"Iva yellarum ippidi yen pannara yenaku puriyave matengarathu", she said.

("I just cannot understand why these people are doing such things").

I tried to explain things to her. After all, I read news reports from experts and analysts, I hear "hardline" views on how this menace should be countered by force, "liberal" views on why most terrorists are just misguided, I read expert opinions of reasons and root causes for terrorism. I hear politicians, academics, scholars, religious leaders, the police, the general public, and Imran Khan give us reasons for and solutions to terrorism.

But, Paati, even after all this, I just cannot understand why these people are doing such things.


pippala leaf said...

"yukti heena prakasha samjna maaya" - Those matters that do not have reasonable explanations are known as maya.

Iyer the Great said...

Precisely the attitude we must not take Madhu.

Sunil.. you forget to mention the spate of attacks in Iraq or those in Israel/Palestine. Unfortunately, we seem to accept these attacks are they are "commonplace" or they have a "valid" reason.

Though we cannot explain it, we must try to understand it. The only people who will die, I believe, are those who do not have anything to live for. The many farmers who commited suicide last year in Andhra and Tamil Nadu were potential suicide bombers - they had nothing to live for. Throw in a couple of guys who can instigate hatred in them, turn them against the government, give them a chance not only to die, which they were going to do anyway, but die as heros and help leave the world a "better" place and there you have your candidates.

Thus there are two main ways we can help reduce these - ensure society is all-inclusive and stop the preachers of hatred, or counter these preachers for all humans are predisposed to be swayed reasoning.

Sorry for the long comment - but this is something I feel very strongly about. Violence in the name of religion should stop and we are not doing enough.

Anonymous said...

Sunil, paatis have this knack for saying aloud things we all just think. and have no answers for. yean pannara - no answer. I was in Punjab recently and I am stil trying to digest the way people there talk about and live with terrorism as a way of life...

Anonymous said...

I agree with madhu nair. This matter is absolutely beyond (my)comprehension. Why on earth do people do this!
As far as experts and analysts go, I agree there is a need for analysis (after all , any problem deserves some analysis and thought in order to get to a reasonable solution), but how long can you only analyze?? ...But i guess that is all we CAN do right now. After all this matter is beyond anyones comprehension.

gawker said...

Theres a difference between not understanding something and attributing it to "maya". The best way to try to understand something is putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
I would have been tempted to say "They did not have you for a Paatti".

Sunil said...

I've tried putting myself in their place, thinking from "their" angle.....and have failed.

no matter what the provocation....I cannot imagine how anyone can take the lives of struggling innocent civilians, how ever marginalized they feel.

Michael.......indeed.......they "couldn't have had you for a paatti".

gawker said...

I guess what I was saying is violence begets violence.People on all sides need to understand nothing is solved by violence.

Sunil said...

Indeed, gawker, indeed.