Us and them

The amount of hatred and bitterness that exists in this world never fails to shock me. Just this week, there circulated a video of Indian BSF Forces inhumanely treating a Bangladeshi villager.. Abuses were hurled, he was stripped down, and beaten. What struck me the most were how these men were laughing and relishing the torture of this poor man who just lay on the ground begging for mercy. It was heartbreaking and infuriating to say the least.

let there be peace on earth (imphal, april 2011)
And what also shocked me was the response that this video got on Youtube. Yes, the forces were Indian. Yes, the victim was from Bangladesh. But does that really mean that every Indian condones this act of sadistic violence and thinks less of all their neighbours. Does it mean every Hindu is out there looking to insult or kill Muslims or vice versa.

As an Indian, I am ashamed of the violence perpetuated upon others by my countrymen. And yet I am also defensive of the criticisms that is aimed at them. India is by no means a fair country. Coming from the North east, and living in a state perennially hearing of terrible tales of violence on the part of the Indian armed forces, I am under no illusion of the niceties of the armed forces.

However it bothers me when people see these videos or read about such incidences and immediately launch an attack on India or the Hindus (or any other country or religion for that matter). Just because we happen to be born in the same country does not mean we believe in the same values and principles.

Blame us not as one nation who attacks on you. Do not round all of us and call us a collective 'them'.

Yes, some of us could be frowned at for staying silent. It is our fault that we as a nation remain silent when our people are out there meddling in the businesses of weaker communities and other countries and bossing them around.

It is also partially our fault that we have let it get this far to the point that 'they' think it is alright to crush the helpless under the soles of their boots and roam the surface of the earth flashing their AK47s and threatening any who point a finger at them.

We must also have some role to play in how aggressive these forces turned out and how uneducated they are to not realise the responsibility that comes with their badges and guns, and which causes them to act worse than animals.  The anger and bitterness they hold inside them, which they vent through violence also must have come from something we did wrong in our system, something that is faulty in our institutions that these people come to the fore to be our 'protectors'.

But by no means, count me not as one of them. Think me not as an enemy. Some of us, we are like you. We are on your side, if at all there are sides.


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