I enjoy reading my morning newspaper with a cup of tea, undisturbed. It is like a ritual. Today my paper carried this image on the front page.
It made me weep. There were stories about how the world was shocked and there is outrage about the Syrian migrant plight. It all read too well and fine but it just numbed my brain.
Here in India, we will be celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna tomorrow. For those who don’t know, he is the epitome of a beautiful child- part naughty, part dramatic, part innocent and yet loved by all. We will decorate a cradle, keep his baby form idol in the cradle, sing songs and make sweets. All children in every household are seen as Krishna personified and we will dress our children as Krishna, feed them sweets, enjoy their naughtiness and innocence. It will be a day to celebrate children and the child within. And yet far somewhere on the Turkish beach lay a lifeless form of a toddler. Probably equally naughty , equally cute and innocent. A child who will never smile again.
My heart weeped at the thought. The papers and the news channels spoke about the political ramifications, strategic reasoning, plight of the migrants and many other topics to no end. Some even discussed what the father should have done or were audaciously asking him for interviews. Nobody seemed to stop and think” That man just lost all he loved in an instant.”
All I saw was a small toddler, who should have been in his home safe, with his parents enjoying a typically dull day; was laying dead on a beach. He was that man’s child. The parents must have been happy at his arrival. The elder brother must have been thrilled to see his younger brother. The birth must have been celebrated. This small but probably happy family had to leave their homes, their life and go out into the unknown. Why?
No amount of wealth, political gains, rights, religion or any other reason be bigger than the plight of an innocent. Two children who were too innocent to understand any of it and certainly too young to die had to pay the price.
Have we as human beings lost all sense of morality and righteousness? Being influenced by some extremist views seems so easy. Why don’t such stories and images equally influence and jolt our consciousness? Have we heard of people opting out of extremism and war after seeing the plight of a fellow human being? It happened with King Ashok, but then that seems a part of distant history.
Read somewhere that the evil today resides in us and we need to fight a battle everyday to keep ourselves worthy of being called a human. Are we fighting that battle enough?