I have about 4 event invitations in my inbox for Independence Day. One of them is for a photowalk to capture the ‘theme’ of independence, the others vary from celebrating our independence with some partying to protesting against terrorism with a march or some such thing.
I don’t really have anything against these token marches but with increasing attacks – terrorist, moralist or any other -ist, I’m getting a little annoyed about the purpose of them. While they are an excellent way of proving ones support, too many marches are diluting the value of these things.
Remember Tianmen Square? Or the Dandi March? They held some respect and value, if only for the strong beliefs of the people.
I’ve been to enough protest marches in my time. We stood on roadsides, silently holding up posters protesting atrocities against women; we danced on the streets celebrating gay rights. But certain things cannot be achieved by just a ‘protest march’… like terrorism. Do terrorists really give a damn about a protest march?
What really lies behind the terror attacks? Why do these people volunteer to blow themselves up? These are questions that one rarely asks before condemning everyone involved.
As I read more about terrorism in Kashmir and other parts, I wonder about those little boy who pick up guns, be it in Kashmir or in Somalia. About those people who volunteer to blow themselves up for 1000 bucks a month for their families.
I once argued with a friend that the foot soldier doesn’t know any better. He is economically backward, probably illiterate and picks up the gun for 1000 bucks and month and states religion as his cause because that is what he has been told. He is told that a particular country/person is his enemy, given material that supports that argument and made into a solider.
But as I read more about people from educated, affluent families support terrorist organizations, I begin to believe that I am wrong. But it continues that religion is only a part of the whole picture.
And it also follows that a simple march against terrorism doesn’t hold much value against those who are intent on destroying.