By Dr. Mike Ghouse, who is an India American and is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His new book, the “American Muslim Agenda” is about everything you wanted to know about Muslims. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kindle. Mike is a public speaker, author, interfaith wedding officiant, a newsmaker and the executive director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC.
The bile of revenge among “some Indians” but not “all Indians” was raging when the terrorist killed 44 of the army personnel in Pulwama. Now the same revenge bile is raging among “some Pakistanis” but not all.
India claimed that it destroyed the training camp of Jaishe Muhammad, (Muhammad’s Sena is like the Yuva Sena, Shiv Sena and many Senas like their counterparts Lashkars in Pakistan) a terrorist camp with 300 dead in 19 minutes, and Pakistan claims it was a resort and no one is dead. Of course, the truth will come out of BBC, as both India and Pakistan are known to manufacture the facts for political purposes during their conflict.
Jayshree Shukla, my Facebook friend, described her wish very well, which is the wish of the ordinary people of both nations. No one wants to be a terrorist individual or their nation to terrorize the other.
“Those who are smarting that Pakistan denies any causalities in the airstrike, it is in everyone’s interest they do so. Even ours. Can you imagine the repercussions if they were to state that they suffered casualties, that say a 100 people died? The pressure to retaliate would mount. I am not interested in the veracity of either claim. I do not want war or anyone dead. However, if Pakistan admits to casualties, they will be forced to inflict more casualties on India. I hope it is true that no one got hurt. Moreover, either which way, it is the only way to de-escalate. So good if no one got hurt. Now can we put away the weapons and get back to talking? Praying for sanity to return.”
Nature has created two forms of life; humans and animals. Animals evolved (or created) to have a defense mechanism built into them to resolve their conflicts; they have fangs, jaws, and paws to kill or chase the other out. Humans, on the other hand, were given the intelligence to survive, or they evolved with the ability to dialogue instead of killing each other. I urge the people on both sides of the divide to be humans and not let their animal get to them. (adapted from the book).
Revenge by either side causes more deaths of the very soldiers we are mourning. The ones who want revenge should go on the front-line telling bye to their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers and their male relatives. If an Indian or a Pakistani clamor for revenge, we all should say – come to your senses man, you go to the border and get killed but don’t talk about creating widows of our soldiers.
What we need to do is call for a conference and put this behind once for all. Wars don’t bring food to your belly, do not put new clothes on you or get you a job, then why do all this? Would you hold a mini-conference in your town? It will be a success if you invite people opposing your point of view, let all opinions be heard however painful they are, peace is difficult, but once we have it, we will be glad we did it.
We urge the government of India to hold a conference and invite the extremists from all groups and have a dialogue. The government needs to guarantee the safety of the participants. Let everyone put all their grievances on the table and let’s find solutions. Can the Civil society do it?
As a civilized society, our goal is to bring the uncivilized among us into civility, and it requires us to shed the attitudes that aggravate the conflicts. I urge all people who want harmony and peaceful societies to take the first step and drop their ill-will and hatred towards each other. If you hate them, then their hate towards you is justified.
I am glad the Muslim voices are focused on conflict mitigation and nurturing of goodwill, a practice of Prophet Muhammad (full information in the book, American Muslim Agenda, available at Amazon).