#PulwamaRevenge – ‘War Isn't An Option’

I am away from home in a faraway country. There are times I get homesick and I long to be home.  This itch to be home really reaches a pinnacle, during incidents like the Pulwama attack. The moment the news came up on my Facebook feed, I felt a sudden wave of anger and shock, but when it subsided after a few minutes, I began to join the dots together as an aware youngster, who has a mind of his own. And I began to wonder how a slip-up of this level could take place from our intelligence agencies. The security system in Delhi (even in Delhi Metro or the markets is so tight), how could things have gone unnoticed in Kashmir, where metaphorically speaking, perhaps even a bird can’t flap its wings without permission?

Questions are being raised about this massive intelligence failure and the government is answerable to all the people, who are asking these questions. I did a follow-up of all the Pulwama-related news. I was glued to the news websites and stayed away from news channels.  

The next thing I knew, India had conducted a ‘surgical strike’ at Balakot in Pakistan. Though, it might have come across as a decisive step, I have also begun to notice some chinks in BJP’s armour. I feel that they often advertise more than what they actually do at the ground-level, and that might be the undoing of the party. But the janta watches everything. Even though some are not so vocal about their opinion as others, you cannot fool everyone all the ever time.

Over the years, I have understood that war is not the solution. We need mass sensitization of people at ground level. We need genuine engagement with all parties involved in the Kashmir issue, otherwise it might be the end of us all. It is time to end power-games from both sides (India and Pakistan) and genuinely think about solving the issue. We, who were born in the 90s, have no memory of the Kargil War. But we do have memories of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and I believe we really need to put all our energies in finding a solution.

Yes, I do feel important issues have been side-lined in the wake of what happened after Pulwama. People are so busy with the idea of war that they forget the repercussions of a war. But before all the war mongering and calling war a ‘decisive action’ — just picture the bloodied face of Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman or think about the people who have lost their lives. A war between two nuclear powers spells doom for all.

The government needs to address other important issues. It seriously needs to work on job creation, or the youth will become directionless, which is not a good thing for any country. I have come to Canada in the hope of a better future, but I want to go back to India and contribute to the strengthening of its infrastructure (I am pursuing an MBA in Construction Management). We need to strengthen our home so much that no one can dare touch it. And for that, all of us need to individually contribute with our skills.

I haven’t been able to vote so far and sadly this time also it looks improbable because I have just come to Canada and can’t go back home to vote. But if I could, I would still choose to go with Modi, just because I see no other alternative. Here, I interact with people from Pakistan regularly and I must say the world is a better place with love and understanding in it. Hope the Opposition in our country can channelise the power of love and stand up strong and give us alternatives to vote for.

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#PulwamaRevenge – ‘Give Peace A Chance’

Losing 44 men in a matter of a few minutes and seeing their bodies and belongings blown to smithereens was too much to process the day it happened. From that day onwards, I made it a point that I wouldn’t watch television to get news updates on the Pulwama attack, I decided to rely on news websites.

If at 18, an individual gets voting rights, it means his/her intellect regarding a matter should be trusted. My gut feeling is that it was impossible to believe that an attack of this scale could have been planned and executed without anyone sensing anything. As far as the ‘surgical strike’ at Balakot goes, I am quite skeptical about that also:  if not the act per se, then at least about its impact. However, when I saw Wg Cdr Abhinandan in captivity, it hurt. It just showed how futile wars are. We need to plan and strategize better as a nation to tackle terrorism. War is not the solution, you cannot douse fire with fire.

I was amused, when I saw a group of people burn an effigy of Pakistan. They did not even wait for the effigy to burn completely, they simply walked off as if their share of patriotism ended with a few matchsticks and loud slogans. It was as if everyone wanted to show ‘ke dekho bhaiya humne bhi desh prem ki  formality poori kar li.’ Love for the nation isn’t a formality, it is a beautiful feeling that brings about a sense of belonging within you. You don’t need to wear it on your sleeves and show it off on the streets. I think this makes quite clear what I think of candlelight vigils for peace. Each individual needs to take responsibility to maintain peace around him/her and it is enough most of the times.

Many of my friends gave me gyan about which television channel to watch, what line of thought I should follow, but I stood my ground and refrained from television.  I am glad I didn’t get swayed easily. I am proud that I always use my power of discernment to assess a situation as a responsible citizen of the country.

Important issues are being sidelined, because of all this war mongering. We youngsters especially need to keep track of the development work, of employment opportunities, for it is our generation’s future at stake. The next five years will be the most crucial phase of our lives. The building blocks of our future will be laid. It is therefore, important for us to make sure that the government we bring into power ensures equitable and sustainable development.  

Recently I personally witnessed how nearly thousands of post-graduates and PhDs were applying for Category ‘D’ government jobs. If this is the condition of the well educated, degree-holders, what job opportunities are left for those, who could not avail of better education facilities in the first place? On the other hand, I also feel many youngsters lack courage. If you really have passion for any particular activity or art form, one is bound to make a name for themselves.

But that doesn’t mean that the government can be let off the hook. There are many people, whose family conditions don’t allow them the luxury of following their passions. The government needs to answer on all fronts, ours is a democracy. I have so far voted only once during Vidhan Sabha elections and this would be the first time I would vote during Lok Sabha elections. I would like to make an informed decision, right before the elections so that I have a clearer picture regarding important issues.

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