The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

INHUMAN HUMANITY

When Binayak Sen was released on May 25, it was a day to celebrate. The brilliant doctor of CMC and human rights harbinger had just won a fight that is going to be symbolic in a struggle marked by dogged attitude of establishment to suppress voices of conscious dissent. But the breather was dampened by what we can say the biggest humanitarian crises in the history of the humankind-millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan and Srilanka, living in totally inhuman conditions with reports of multiple thousand of casualties.

Human rights abuses are to be found across the world but onflicts in South Asian countries like Pakistan, Srilanka and Nepal have made it the current hotbed for debasement of human dignity. Add it to the perennial ethnic problems in Afghanistan, internal and external militancy in India, Junta’s excesses in Myanmar, and we come across a bottleneck that is grim and intimidating. When we talk of war, victory makes everything else secondary.

Irony is while the establishment tries to justify it by saying that they are fighting to bring law and order back in order to have a humane and organized society, the terrorists or the separatists too say they are fighting to bring a positive change. But they can’t see that in quest of the so-called humane element, they succumb to gross inhuman practices.

A newspapers report quoted a representative of IDPs in Pakistan saying if they don’t get food, they will commit suicide. The government which is advancing to second generation of nukes, and is being supported by US and other countries in its fight against Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency cannot provide food to refugees living in camps. Similarly, Srilanka did not allow external aid to IDPs and placed such measures for an international agency to function that the International Red Cross had to suspend its activities in Srilanka. Thousands have lost their lives in Lankan government’s triumph over LTTE, either by a bullet of Srilankan Army or by atrocities of LTTE. A recent Times Online investigation has pegged the death toll of civilians in Srilanka at 20,000 terming it as an outright massacre.

War always kills, be it human lives, or human rights. Making civilians shield in conflicts and wars is outright denial of basic principles of any civilization, which envisages a society of parity. We have instances of humans being used as shields in different civilizations at times in the evolution. But securing an identity in the name of a fight or a cause at stake of someone else’s life is magnified now. It’s massive enough to kill thousands. It has become a potent tool in hands of rapidly organizing terrorist groups as shown by the Taliban factions in Pakistan or LTTE in Srilanka.

Worrying aspects of this crisis is the attitude adopted by the Establishment, the State, and the Government. The way the Lankan government took an anti-humanitarian approach throughout the final leg of its war on LTTE, is unprecedented. It bothered least about loss of lives of innocent Tamilians, sandwiched between their so-called liberators, Prabhakaran and the team and the Srilankan government. Pakistani government has also been insensitive though not atrocious towards rehabilitation of IDPs. Nepal was torn between by a civil war between Maoists and its monarchy and government for years. Many died. But the democracy won was flawed as political stability could not be won. Now the fear is looming large again with Maoists out of the government. They are very vocal about reviving their armed struggle.

But it is not war that is killing only in the region. Oppressive measures of Establishment were in full swing when Myanmar denied external aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis last year. Reportedly around 1,30,000 lost their lives. Many could’ve been saved provided the Junta would have acted a little sensitively to accept the external humanitarian aid. Violations at macro levels like this only supplement abuses at micro levels.

Every time when there is a conflict at any level, humanistic values and human rights are subject to abuse. All the principles are pushed somewhere to the periphery. It is cliché to say the challenges are greater today. Challenges have always been there, with a scale that has taken cyclic rounds to abate or amplify.

We need to adopt a methodic approach to speak out. Some work has been done but much more is needed to be done. As the atrocities continue, the voices of conscious dissent would continue too. Dr Sen’s release is an indicator that if one resolute person can convert his fight for right and righteousness into a mass fight, the hope is still there. Yes, we need to be there, always, in search of humane humanity.

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