– A Child’s Perspective Of 26/11
Over the past three days of chaos and confusion, citizens all over India as well as the world sat glued in front of their TV sets. Those with satellite TV were lucky: the channels they needed were all in one place. The others not so lucky, since the only channels they wanted to watch were in a thousand different places. In my house, for example, the past three days has been devoid of TV soap operas, reality shows and other aspects of normal Malayali TV watching. All that saw spotlight was current affairs. Every five minutes more news. More gory pictures. More anger and bloodlust and monstrous acts that defy humanity.
I think we have all had enough of “Are our politicians sleeping?” and “Is India really an emerging power?” Through the voices of many passionate and devoted journalists we have heard countless million reports and opinions. Through this article, I hope to bring forth what we, as young adults and children, feel about the recent Mumbai terror.
This is what bothered me as one in the category of children and teens: the past three days has actually seen a deterioration of cartoon watching in households across India with kids in the age group of 5-18. And when I say “deterioration”, boy am I making an understatement! My cartoon-addicted brother has been keenly watching every news report available on TV. Every breaking news is picked up by his ears. Every disgruntled opinions are recorded in his mind.
And all too innocently, many children are asking : ‘Didi, how come they [the terrorists] have cooler weapons than us?’ Looks true, although it may not be so. I’m hardly an expert on guns and ammunition. What bothers me is the fact that the kids seem to fear that we [India] is not capable of dealing with a handful of terrorists.
’20 terrorists only? How come no one’s killing them off already? We have so many men!’
‘How come government is not doing anything, already?’
‘How could terrorists come by boat? Didn’t anyone see them?’
These are not made up questions, but questions I have been asked by children younger to me.
‘What if someone comes and attacks Trivandrum? Will the NSG get here in time?’
‘Thank God we live here and not in Mumbai. Do you think we would have been dead if we had been living there?’
The last one by a five year old.
We really have to ask ourselves. How many children must have been scarred by now? We saw Gabriel and Rivka Holzberg’s little girl on TV. ‘Poor baby! Does she know her parents died?’ asked my younger brother. ‘What will she do?!’
So many children left homeless.
So many children at home watching their unfortunate counterparts, putting themselves in their place.
So many children afraid to let parents go out to work.
How is it that politicians can “sleep” knowing their negligence, if so, is scarring tiny little scions of the future? How is it that none seem to realize that such early exposure to terror and indecisive tactics may affect their mental and patriotic growth? How is it that no one realizes that so much violence, angst and gore would shape their minds to accept violence too?
‘Why do terrorists kill people?’
A simple question. Why, indeed? Religious causes? Frustration at the world?
Why the bloodlust then? Why the incessant ruthless, merciless slaughter?!
On Thursday, topic at lunch break in school shifted from the usual ‘Who’s better, SRK or Aamir?’ ‘Did you see what Priyanka Chopra was wearing?’ to ‘Why do they have to kill people who never meant anyone any harm? Which “God” would command anything to be done this way? How come they don’t realize that they are killing people who have every right to live? People with a family, an infant child maybe, an ailing parent…people who are the housekeeping mother or the breadwinner father…how is it that they do not realize this?’ Then, of course, someone makes an angry suggestion. ‘They cause so much bloodshed in our country, in our towns. Why do we not do the same?’
Adults can go on about keeping peace and choosing the non-violent path but expecting little children to understand that being a sitting duck is the best for the non-violation of international peace is like trying to make an astrophysicist believe that the moon is made of cheese.
We need someone to tell us that action will be taken. We need someone to tell us why so much violence has been allowed to scar young children who are the hopes of the future. We need someone to tell us that this will not ever, ever happen again. That the people we look up to, the people who we think of as our leaders will not sit back and let fate run its bloody course as it did in Mumbai.
I light a candle for every brave warrior who laid down his life for lighting the flame of hope in our hearts.
I light a million for every child, man and woman atrociously shot to death in the Taj, The Oberoi- Trident , Victoria Terminus and Nariman House.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly personal and are not expressed for inciting or offending any party concerned.
© 2008. Varsha Dinesh.