Facebook Badge

Navigation Menu



William Shakespeare
Act 3, Scene 1, Page 3

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute—and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Whenever there is an uproar about religious or divisive issues, I am reminded of the above by Shakespeare. Those words are self-explanatory, and, therefore, I think it would be prudent to move onto the subject that is on everyone’s lips – the terrorists and terrorism. 

The world would wrangle and slay, it would incite and troll, and drown the voices of reason, because reason is not something that a frenzied mind can fathom, and the world today, at large, is quite in a frenzied disarray. It does not take a scholar, a political analyst, or warrant profound philosophical musings to comprehend the fact that this is nothing but a war of wealth, and power and wealth would not be yielded under ‘any’ circumstances.

What we are observing lately is that the war, besides being one for authority and affluence, has turned into a full-fledged war between human hearts. It is here that I am unable to understand how the educated are being swayed by the ones who are demolishing, by discord, the very land they claim they are protecting. How one can hoodwink the masses in the garb of improvement, when its populace are being distanced by meticulously doctored mediums of polarisation. One cannot assume, based on a caste basis alone, that the superior caste that one has been born into would be enough to pilot the land forward. Common knowledge has demonstrated that collectively, and with unity, can we each hope towards building a developed and prosperous country. Just this morning I read what somebody had posted on Facebook – ‘To forgive the terrorists is up to God, but to send them to see God is my duty.’ The chap who had posted that atrocious view had appended a footnote, “Let us send every Muslim to God!” And I thought to myself, how much more abhorring can human beings get? Don’t they realise that by harbouring hatred they are causing themselves more harm than anyone else, and that such resentment not only burns them, but burns everybody around them too. Moreover, for somebody to profess publicly that he/she has the power of God to take lives, is pretty incorrect at the very outset. Then again, who is to make the misinformed understand that an un-contained mob would not see whom it is destroying. That it just tears whatever comes in its path.  

“I am proud to be a citizen of one the most philanthropist countries – Pakistan, where people changed their profile pictures and put up statuses for what happened in Paris.

Surprisingly, many of us never changed our DPs for any other Muslim/Brown-skinned nation, not even for their own country, when we had casualties, many times more than Paris… Wow!!! This is called immense empathy. I appreciate you for being so global and being so sensitive… (But does this sensitivity only validate for developed/Western countries).

We condemn the attack from the core of our hearts, rather who can empathise the pain better than us, but at the same time, I feel terrible when no one from any part of the globe changes their DP to green and white when we lose 1000s of innocents in a day in bomb blasts and target killing. I feel terrible when I don’t see, “Pakistan” in the list of countries where they deliver online goods. Web pages where they have online subscriptions, universities where they offer scholarships, where they make online sign-in to many mail/web accounts, where they even offer verification to social media and apps – even they don’t offer medical support to Pakistan online...(there are endless examples, these are just to name a few).

We have been offering thousands of lives in the name of war against terrorism over decades, and still we are labelled as a terrorist nation/the most dangerous place on earth. The West rather hates us, or doesn’t even know who we are, and where we exist on the globe.

My heart bleeds for every innocent killed anywhere, but does their heart feel the same when our people are killed each day on the streets?

I don’t mind profile pictures being dipped in the French flag, but I wish the West also treats us equally, and feels our pain as well when our bodies bleed, because WE BLEED THE SAME COLOUR.”

That was penned by Imran Abbas; an architect, a poet and an actor. If you hear him carefully, you know that it is not just about Pakistan that he is voicing his concern. It is about humanity at large. At how insensitive we have become; how drenched in disgust. In Imran’s words one can clearly establish the call for equality, for inclusion, and the repugnance the society feels when being alienated, not out of pity, but out of respect. Radicalism was not born out of thin air; it has been a result of centuries of ridicule and repression. Of being derided and disrespected. Of being made to face unnecessary hurdles in spheres of daily existence: at home, with neighbours, at work, with friends, and under such stifled situations, what does one do? One either retaliates, or allows it to pile upon them, layer-by-layer, and then in a vulnerable moment tilt towards those who are presenting them some light at the end of the tunnel. This is exactly what is triggering Muslims to do what they are doing; embrace violence, and regrettably, each one of YOU is hand in glove in pressing them against the wall. 

So who are these so called terror outfits? Well, most of us know the answer to that, and for those who do not, the Internet has enough and more to educate them on the same. I can only state that some of these groups were initiated, sponsored and nurtured by some of the most muscular empires of the world. I would like to share what somebody forwarded me on WhatsApp the day the Paris attacks took place – 
“If the terrorists are behind the Paris attacks, then who are behind the terrorists? Simply put, they are entirely created, funded and directed by the United States, Britain, France and other NATO countries. The Anglo-American Intelligence apparatus has coordinated its actions for geopolitical purposes all across the world both at home and abroad. The attacks on Paris are the trademark of their handiwork. So now, the media reporting of the Islamic fanatics against the Christian West really doesn’t hold much water. Because if you step back and look at it logically, if the government was responsible for creating these people and these people shot the citizens, then it is the government who is responsible for targeting its own people. It is no longer an ‘us against them’ scenario, it is more of a ‘them against them’ or an ‘us against us’ situation, depending on who is looking at it.”

Not that I am underplaying it, but I think people are relatively riled at the continuous accounts of death, division, destruction being torpedoed the entire time on media. They are fed up of political leaders over exaggerating the terrorist mania for their benefit. They have reached a point where it does not matter who is provoking whom; what they want is calm and an amiable co-existence. Gwynne Dyer, who has a PhD in military and Middle Eastern history explains, “Well, we lost two people in the last year to terrorism and we lost about 250 a month on the roads. You know, the Americans lost 3,000 people on 9/11, but they also lost 3,000 people on the roads and another 3,000 to gunshot wounds, mostly delivered by their nearest and dearest. “The scale of the terrorism is tiny compared to its presence in the media,” Dyer continued. “Really, we should, as much as possible, ignore it. We certainly don’t need to overreact by sending troops to the Middle East or aircraft to do God knows what in terms of useful activity. It’s just dumb.” In fact, according to Dyer, if Western countries expand their bombing campaigns against ISIS into Syria, it will only make the Islamic State stronger. And that’s because it will reinforce ISIS’s message that Western infidels are attacking and killing Muslims. Dyer said that this provides a perfect recruiting tool to attract more desperate people to join their cause. He further explains, “You poke the bear, and the bear comes down and attacks not just you, but everybody around you and people you’ve never met—and drives some of those people into the revolutionaries’ arms.”

Tempers are running high. More than at war with the terrorists, we are at war with ourselves, and to expect a voice of reason might be expecting too much as I mentioned earlier, but we have to understand that the hatred that we have sown has begotten hatred. The highhandedness that one has borne for hundreds of years is ricocheting now, and one of the probable ways to beat it is by providing people uplifting alternatives in comparison to the bleak prospects just so that they do not find themselves, once again, inclined towards brutality. We must keep in mind that we cannot win hearts and influence minds by being nasty, dropping bombs on their dwellings or ruining their livelihood. We must strive to help build the bruised society by building schools and hospitals. By encouraging learning, and keeping them engaged in something productive by tapping into their skills. Like they say, the idle mind is a devil’s workshop. These are times when the poor and the rich are, for once, on the same boat. Both are desperate for help, and if we can help them see the brightness in the darkness, then they might be less inclined to be persuaded by any sort of destructive propaganda. 

Whatever the fate of this world hundred years from now, my best friend and business partner Rahul Karnani's words echo, “It has nothing to do with religion,” he expresses coolly, “people will find religion irrelevant if they know you can be of some use to them, because, at the end of the day it is only about economics.”

I do not intend to dive into the debate of why one is killing one because we have been there before, but, yes, it would be virtuous if those who are driving those to take up to bloodshed stop their histrionics and fool people any further. They should know that people know the very ones who are promising solutions are the very ones who are responsible for the plight the world finds itself in. How can these people let people kill their own people and pretend to play saviour. Killing is inexcusable. Assassins have no place on earth, and no place anywhere else, if anywhere else really does exist, but the manipulators aren’t any innocent either, they are equally responsible, and have blood on their hands as well. Like Imran articulates, it is not about a particular skin colour losing lives for the world to sit up and take notice. Every life is precious. Every. Respect that. Learn to at least.

I would like to acquaint you with the lyrics of the video Urainge Uss Aasmaan Mein, conceived, produced, written, composed, arranged, mixed and sung by Ali Zafar, with Danyal Zafar on acoustic guitar. This was done in support of the one forty one people killed, including one thirty two schoolchildren. Be forewarned, Ali Zafar is not somebody who broaches his philanthropic dealings in public, simply because he follows the doctrine of maintaining silence when giving back to the society what it has given him in abundance. But this only time he made an exception, and why, you shall figure yourself, once you have glimpsed through the lyrics and allowed the words from his heart engrave themselves on your own hearts. 

The Lyrics 

Haan thode se bikhre huey hain haare nahi hum
Ye bereham zulmat ki tere maare nahi hum

Yes, we are a little broken, we haven’t lost. 
We aren’t bound by this merciless injustice.

Haan zinda hain hum chaahe aankhein hai num
Sahenge nahin hum koi sitam
Jahaan ko dikha denge kaun hai hum
Humein maaon ke aansuon ki kasam..

Yes, we are alive, even if our eyes are numb.
We will not stand any such pain.
We will show the world who we are. 
To us the tears of mothers are sworn upon.

Urainge uss aasmaan mein
Rahenge aise jahaan mein
Jahaan dard ka koi maara na ho
Akela na ho be-sahara na ho
Koi maa se bichhda dulaara na ho
Siva ishq ke koi chara na ho…

We will fly in such a sky
Live in such a world
Where no one quivers in pain
Where no one is lonely or left alone
No mother is stranded from her child
Where there is no option but to love. 

Urainge uss aasmaan mein
Rahenge aise jahaan mein..

We will fly in such a sky,
Live in such a world. 

Khili si wahaan nikli ho dhoop
Nikhra hua har su ho roop
Gum ho jaayein taariqiyaan
Aao chale milkar wahaan

There the sun will rise with more light, 
Every being and soul will shine, 
Darkness (wickedness and evil) will be vanished away...
Come. Let us all go there together. 

Urainge uss aasmaan mein
Rahenge aise jahaan mein..

We will fly in such a sky,
Live in such a world. 

Jahaan dard ka koi maara na ho
Akela na ho be-sahara na ho
Koi maa se bichhda dulaara na ho
Siva ishq ke koi chara na ho…

Where no one quivers in pain,
Where no one is lonely or left alone,
No mother is stranded from her child,
Where there is no option but to love. 

Urainge uss aasmaan mein..
Rahenge aise jahaan mein.. (x2)

We will fly in such a sky,
Live in such a world. (x2)

What one misses in these trying times are the soothing vocals of A R Rahman. They are like a balm on the tear of time, a temporary catharsis. But, A R too has had, most recently, to suffer the wrath of unnecessary controversies, and I reckon that has consciously kept him away from communicating his feelings via his melody and compositions. 

My plea to you is to set aside politics, as this is not a piece on the politics of religion, or the variances between borders. Such differences rest purely in the hands of those who crave in keeping the public on the edge, while the hearts of the people, in any of the countries, anywhere in the world, speak the same: they detest division, and are longing for nothing else but the love of each other. 

This is my modest endeavour to highlight the luminescence that people I know are sprinkling on earth in order to eradicate the animosity and earn some semblance of harmony in this world. If we cannot support such a cause, let us not sabotage the sincerity of those who have faith in an ending of the war. 

Stay blessed.

Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.