By Pillai Vishnu:
The latest in the long long list of terror attacks was Turkey, and while I write this I hear there is a gun battle taking place in Dhaka. The senseless killing, the lists of innocent people dead, media uproar, tears shed, and then the cycle continues. How long has this cycle been repeating itself? Haven’t you got tired?
Behind those figures of “20 dead” or “40 dead”, we seem to have forgotten to realise that those were actual lives behind those numbers. Actual lives like yours and mine, lives which affected many other lives emotionally and physically. They should never be just numbers because they were dreams, careers, hopes, and futures.
I write this because I am tired of the routine. It’s sad it has become so predictable. A terror attack, some crazy person kills innocents in the name of his/her god, the terrorist is killed, and the media analyse and give us all these figures, plain numbers! Some monuments are lit up in their memory with the flag of the attacked country, je suis this and je suis that, candle marches, and finally the compassionate on social media post “pray” for the country.
You might be thinking by now: what an inconsequential article? What point am I trying to make? What is my problem if some people post “pray” on their Facebook wall? What is there to lose?
I see and understand the compassion behind all those posts, the humanity behind them, and the pain felt (even if it is only momentary) at the loss of lives. But I say it just isn’t enough. That compassion has to be extended in duration and into more concrete action. Your job doesn’t end when you post “pray” or when you sympathise, that’s when it starts.
I see a cycle, and the cycle doesn’t seem to stop. The point I want to make is, we are getting used to this cycle. We are going with the flow, unaffected. The compassion we should show at an individual level, at a human level is being wasted by these posts. One posts one of these “prays” and believes that his or her job is done, the outrage is over, normalcy can resume. He or she has done their part. Then wait for the next attack to do the same.
We should not get used to these attacks, these are not normal. Like we get nauseated with disgust when we hear of the concentration camps of the Nazi era, or the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing, even after all these years. Each of these attacks should make us cringe by their brutality but they do not appear to anymore. We as a society are getting used to it, like we got used to news of rape. There can be nothing more dangerous. If this happens, our fight against terror is half lost when we have just started it.
No leader or government or country alone can eliminate terror because these terrorists aren’t aliens. They are one of us. We create them, we nurture them, then we pay for it. Our inaction is what these weeds of our society thrive on. If we take action, we can control them from within. That is what we should be doing.
New age terrorism uses social media to its advantage. It’s our turn to use it against them. It’s your duty to identify and report posts that try to radicalise people. You have to spread the right values of humanity, so that it drowns out the radicalising content on the web. In short, we have to start taking terror out of social media. It’s time to leave god alone, and start getting our hands dirty.
It is important to report any information of radicalisation of any form to concerned authorities. It is important to give voice to the moderates. It’s because we ignored the voice of this silent majority that we heard the radicals scream, and now it seems these radicals scream for everyone. Silence the radicals once and for all. For that, we should start ignoring their rants. It is important to not let religion and god come in the way of politics. If any leaders resort to it, identify them and expose them.
To end terrorism, you and I have to join hands. The fight would be a long one, we have to stay together however much the radicals try to divide us. It will be a difficult fight. So, I just want to tell everyone that praying on your Facebook wall just wouldn’t be enough.
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