These days,the first question my students ask, sir, ladai hogi ya nahi (would there be a war or not) ?
I feel myself in a perplexed situation. The answer could have been easy if I could have been a politician or a news anchor. alas ! I am a teacher. I can’t say yes or no.I don’t have the freedom of an intellectual, who may choose to remain silent on such issues. I have to speak.
What do I tell them?
What is the objective of the war? Are we going to settle something? We have tried it 4 times, isn’t that enough? We have won all the wars. What have we achieved?
What about our soldiers who sacrificed their life?
Yes, the war would ultimately kill more soldiers. Perhaps the numbers would not match. Perhaps,We would lose our 1000 soldiers, they may lose some 2000? What else?
Who are they?……………………….
A line drawn by Radcliffe in 1947, made them ENEMY. Aren’t they look like us? Don’t we speak the same language and share the same culture? Every rational human being understands that Boundary Line has been changed several times in the history. Napoleon changed the boundaries in Europe, after his defeat in 1815, the boundary was changed again. The story is same everywhere in the world. How can a dead boundary line have the power to make people enemy of one another ? This is perhaps, the height of absurdity in human thinking.
People,whom we see speaking against India, do they represent their country?
Yes, if we are represented by our extremist leaders…………..
There are common people on either side of the boundary, they don’t have time to talk about the war. They are busy in managing a square meal a day. They are still waiting for their turn to send their kids to English medium school. They are still dreaming for a 24 x 7 electricity. They have no space in the private hospital of the cities. They see their dear one dying in the government hospitals. They don’t have access to clean drinking water.
If you want war go and ask these people, collect the data and then form the opinion. Give them the option to choose between WAR and SCHOOL, between WAR and HOSPITAL.
What about the death of 1.5 lakh people on our road every year? Isn’t the life of common people also important? Life is so fragile, there are many diseases killing our people. Please don’t add more reasons of death. It takes years and years to protect the human life. Remember those days and nights which people have spent with their infants to protect them. Is that life worth of a BULLET?
We are the inhabitant of this planet. We may look different, our languages may be different, but we all are human. We share several characteristics of human being. It’s our collective responsibility to make this planet, a better place to live. We have not chosen the place of our birth. The animosity based on the place of birth is worthless.We have done enough experiment with the war in the history, it has never been a solution. Dialogue is the only way of conflict resolution.
The concept of the nation-state is becoming irrelevant now. We are the part of a global world. Our mobility has increased tremendously in last few decades. Advanced means of transport and communication have eroded the importance of physical boundaries between the nations. This also seems to be the natural growth of humankind.There can be only two groups of people, one who are against the humanity and one who are in support of humanity.
I leave my students with these few words, and without any concrete answers on WAR or no WAR