Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who are the terrorists?

On July 13, serial bombs went off in Mumbai. Like they have before. I
called the brat up from play, hugged him hard and kept him at home for
the evening. Call me selfish. The serial train blasts in 2006 had him
a babe in arms. The terrorist attacks in 2008 had had him see the
telecast on the television, he had seen me sitting transfixed in front
of the screen, with tears pouring down my eyes, but he was too young
to realise what was happening. Now he is older. He understands things.
He asks questions.
What happinned?
There were some bomb blasts in town, I replied. Dat's far from our
hauz? Yes it is, I reassured him. Dey wont come here? I hastened to
reassure him that they wouldnt come home. He settled down to his
dinner and his hour of cartoon watching.
While nodding off he asked me, Wai dey pud the bombs? I don't know
baby, I replied honestly. Dey don like us? I don't think so. Wai?
I had no answer.
The next day he returned from school, yes, his school was open and we
sent him to school and I will slap the next person who says "Mumbai
Spirit."
Mamma, he said as we trotted out from school, all d terroridst are Muslims.
Dey wantu kill us because we are Hindus.
My blood froze in my veins. Why, son, what makes you say that? L's
parents tole him and he tole me.
I looked at my one fourth Muslim mongrel and despaired. How could I
explain to him that not all Muslims were terrorists and that terrorism
had no religion except hate.

9 comments:

  1. they are from amongst us , thats who they are , some misguided people who have been brain washed and made to beleive otherwise ..

    You are right not all muslims are bad, my first friend when i landed in uk was a muslim and he still is and we are like family ..

    Its jsut a pity that most of the activities done are by people who follow the muslim faith.. they are spoiling and putting the religion in bad name otherwise No religion teaches killing of a innocent .. NOne

    I hope the little one doesnot grow up with this image.. and loves and cares for all fellow human beings..

    I wish this hatred goes away ..

    Bikram's

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  2. How do we tell our kids about such generalization being not true? They get influenced by the societal biases, isn't it Kiran?

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  3. It only gets worse as they grow up, since no matter what we teach them at home, they listen to all sorts of things at school from their friends.... the last time, he was just worried that people were killed... this time, he comes home the next day and tells me "the pakistanis are muslims, so they are all bad.they want to kill all of us!" God! I had a horrible time trying to get that out of him... and He alone knows how far i have succeeded! this is more of a nightmare than the blasts themselves!

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  4. They're far to young to understand the politics of hate and all i want to do is preserve the innocence for as long as possible. But it doesn't help if other adults who should be responsible tell their kids crap. Talking with them is the only thing that will help. its better for us to sow the seeds of tolerance before someone from outside sows the seeds of discord in minds too young to understand or process what they've heard.

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  5. I shudder reading such episodes that is poisoning our innocent kids minds. And I so agree with you on feeling like slapping the next person who calls it "Mumbai Spirit". Such BS!

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  6. I wish parents would think before they make such statements... do they even believe this to be true themselves?

    I talked to my kids after they told me that it was okay to expect all 'outsiders' to learn Marathi if they wanted to live in Bombay or Pune. I made sure I explain these things as simply as possible.

    Recently when my son was at a Yoga camp and the Gita lesson turned into a communal lesson he told me how many people refused to allow the teacher to continue "With all due respect..." he was told this sort of prejudice was unacceptable. I was proud that he could not be brainwashed to even listen politely to such dangerous talk.

    The majority in India does not support such thinking but doesn't bother asking those who do to stop spreading communal hatred. I think we should.

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  7. Bikramjit: I hope so too. I would hate to think my son negated the religion my father followed.

    Anu: Absolutely. It is a struggle to get these concepts out of their heads, because theyre put there by their friends, and they tend to believe what friends say.

    GyspyGirl: One can keep trying and keep showing by example. That's all one can do.

    DIvs: This is the foundation our next gen will grow up with.

    IHM: Absolutely. Very valid point. More than no listening to the hatred they spread, we should ask them to stop.

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  8. The vitriol in the aftermath of each attack is as terrifying, if not more so, than the attacks themselves.

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  9. Every parent get such situations where he cant answer kids questions.sometimes there is no escape.We can do nothing about it except smiling.

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