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Shaadaab S. Bakht: Another December, another prayer for peace
December 29, 2017
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It plays in the wilderness of my thoughts. It plays all the time. But there are moments when it comes to the fore. And it comes with the power of a gale-force wind, with the aggressiveness of a rogue elephant, with the cruelty of a trooper’s boot. What’s it? Why are human beings — men, women and children — exploited and not allowed to live ever in peace?

The annual ritual of praying for peace in the New Year is being observed everywhere, but when will peace finally arrive?

Bodies of children are washing up on shores after their boats are being left to capsize by human traffickers. Images of children waiting in serpentine queues for food are emerging on a daily basis from the Middle East, African countries and Asian nations.

Painful photos of women negotiating barren muddy tracts in search of safe places fill up our newspapers, online news sites and TV screens.

Men, being pushed away by border guards, look like caged prisoners. Clips showing them depress us no end. Because the majority of them are innocent.

The list of the suffering humanity also includes the waiter, who can’t eat the food he serves, and can’t sit at the table he cleans with his sweat. The platter that he carries year after year is never ever offered to him. And we say slavery is abolished. Garbage.

The platter that he carries year after year is never ever offered to him. And we say slavery is abolished. Garbage
The list also includes the farmer, who often sacks whatever he grows, so that sorrows can’t buy him off. At times poor harvest drives such farmers to suicide. And reporting about them becomes big business. TV clips of such tragedies are regularly interspersed with colourful advertisements of deodorants. And that stinks, gentlemen. By the way it is not only the TV, all media products do the same.

Whom do we blame for our problems? Ourselves.

In my humble opinion, which may not be your learned opinion, there are three reasons behind conflicts and exploitation.

First, human beings are natural oppressors because, like animals, they come in different shapes and sizes. The tall guy feels it’s his birthright to bully the short. The looker feels it is her natal privilege to make the world dance to her tune. And, of course, the rich man feels he is well within his right to make the poor feed his whims.

Secondly, the entire universal system is rigged against the weak. We don’t know when that exactly happened because at the beginning everything was fine.

Lastly, we all are born greedy. The richest among us war for more. Some openly, some secretly. Our politicians are that greed’s common face. They are never satisfied. When they manage victories, they wage bloody wars to maintain that lead. When they succeed in doing that, they worry about passing the baton to someone they love. Their never-ending thirst to retain the sceptre’s glitter is responsible for a million woes.

Well, two days from now the New Year will come and it will be followed by yet another December and we will once again be seen praying for peace and the equitable distribution of bliss.

Cynical, right? So be it.

Happy New Year.
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