In Shadow of Sri Lanka

By The Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

Before I begin discussion on today’s topic, I’d like to extend my prayers and thoughts to the victims of terror attacks on Easter Sunday gatherings in Sri Lanka. It was a cowardly attack on a community that had not wronged the attackers in anyway; in fact they had no share in the tensions between Buddhists and Muslims or in any past conflict in the history of tiny island nation. Any yet they were killed in cold blood. This attack has brought forth some very ugly realities that need to be confronted in our society.

First comes the question of security, this attack was clearly a state failure. Sri Lankan authorities have the intelligence warnings long before the attacks but thanks to their laggard system divided in factions they had no clue how to respond to the crisis tat unfolded. In fact, their bickering was out in the full view when they were supposed to stand together. This question of national security is going to be an influencing factor in the ongoing elections. We can blame Modi government on the questions of jobs and economy but we have to give them credit that there was not a single terrorist attack on civilians on this soil. In UPAs term where bombings of markets and crowded places were common place, NDAs or should I say Modi’s stand on zero tolerance to terror has brought some sense of relief and security to the public. Under Modi government at least there is a clear polity of striking back if attacked rather than offering the second cheek but policies change should the government change and that we will come to know on May 23.

Second the lens of scrutiny is on Muslim community itself. I apologize if my words sound harsh but there has been a sense of mistrust among Non-Muslims in South Asia and wider world towards their Muslim countrymen and with each terrorist attack this gap widens no matter what politicians or media says. The fallout of this mistrust is that peace loving Muslims have to face persecution and social boycott for the wrongs of few. I think Muslim leaders, scholars and religious figures should come out with stronger voice against such lunatics. They should acknowledge that there is something wrong that needs to be addressed. There has to be a wider effort to engage with non-muslims but moderate voices in Islam are shrouded by the extremists. It has almost become a taboo to discuss these topics out of the fear of being labeled a bigot. I think there are good, peace loving Muslims in every community who would want these atrocities to stop that are perpetrated in their name but we don’t know who these Muslims are. This has to change.

Hate is never a way to redemption, this madness has to stop somewhere.

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