It is the 25th of December. First and foremost, Merry Christmas to all my friends, near and far. Hope you are having a wondeful holiday!
This is an important winter for me for many reasons. This year, i.e. 2006, major religious celebrations of Christmas (Christianity), Hanukkah (Judaism) and Eid Al Adha (islam) are all falling very close to each other. How nice to be able to send wishes to friends from so many religions! That coupled with the celebration of the birth of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Dec 25), my mother’s b-day (Dec 31st), new years celebrations, and my wedding celebrations in Amman (Dec 28) and Karachi (Jan 4) make this a pretty busy year for me.
But in the midst of all this, I hope to also find some time to think and reflect. After all, I am away from work and there is less other intellectually motivating stuff happening around me to keep my mind occupied. I am thinking of a lot of things: my own personal business and career strategy in an increasingly globalized world, the Israel-Palestine conflict (read the new Jimmy Carter book on the Apartheid in Palestine), and the India-Pakistan relations.
It is the context of the last item in the list above that I viewed an online video that sent shiver down my spine. In 2002, a massacre took place in the province of Gujrat, India. Thousands of muslims were killed in retaliation for the murder of 58 Hindus, and hundreds of thousands were made refugees. Children were made orphans and women were left without husbands. Old and feeble fathers left their sons, and grand mothers were left to take care of children whose parents were brutally slaughtered. This massacre will always be remembered as a shameful moment in the history of the largest democracy of the world, and even more shameful for the muslim countries around the world who did absolutely nothing to interfere and somehow protect the lives of their fellow brethren. I have written about it before in an op-ed in the MIT Newspaper (read here).
Anyways, I really cannot say anything more about the event. This movie says it all. The movie, and my message, is not meant to incite further hatred or anger. It is supposed to teach all of us about the evil that can take residence within us, and how in the blindness that plagues us in anger, animosity, and hatred, we can turn into brutal savages. The movie is dedicated to the countless dead and those who survived. I dedicate it further to those who have since then stood up and fought the legal, social, and moral battles to bring justice to the sufferers.