Thursday, July 13, 2006

40 seconds of Blindness


The character and the perspective that we possess today is a manifestation of thousands of experiences and interactions that has happened during our lifetime. Ideally, what we really want to be, is shaped by a process of slow evolution of opinions, thoughts, actions, evaluations and inferences on what is right and what is wrong for us.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Most of us have our ‘40 seconds of blindness’ – when we ponder on a thought, which is completely contradicting basic rationale and pure thinking process. Often in a deliberate way, we imbibe some attributes or viewpoints and in later stages mould them in a way, when whatever counter-arguments that crop up in our minds is quashed by our clouding prejudice.

For Muslims in India and in the rest of the world, this 40 seconds of blindness often comes in the form of a man who proclaims a careless remark which suddenly becomes a turning point in their lives. It might be as trivial as statements like “Hindus worship devils” or “Christians are trying to wipe out Islam”. Being brought up as a Muslim, I have heard such statements more than once and it was there in the back of my mind as I grew up, interacted with people, made friends(incidentally, most of them were Hindus) and without myself knowing it, those seemingly innocuous remarks were wiped out from my mind as rubbish. It is important to note that it is not a philosophical evaluation or the need for strong ideals, which results in such a development. It is just basic human nature of choosing what you think is right rather than having to refer to a book or a person who claims to be knowledgeable on distinguishing between the right and wrong.

It is rather unfortunate and disappointing to admit, atleast from my personal experience that, many Muslims do sympathize with Muslim terrorists. It is amazing how the very fact that these people who actually “kill” is overlooked by a less obvious fact that they are Muslims. If McDonalds has managed to appeal to the health-conscious just by putting a few ads of slim and healthy looking people, then we shouldn’t be very surprised on how these cold-blooded criminals were successful in positioning themselves as saviours or martyrs of Islam.

Every man without a purpose in life, with access to weapons and susceptible to the ‘40 seconds of blindness’ is a potential terrorist. Shoot down 10 of them and the 20 who are watching will only take up the cause. I believe, if we take initiatives on providing these people with opportunities and a good cause to live, the chances of them pursuing violence is minimal. And ofcourse, while teaching our children the values of our religion, they should be told that the shock and revulsion that they feel when they see a bleeding man, whichever religion he belongs to, is because killing a person is wrong. No cause can justify that.

5 Comments:

Blogger urbanite82 said...

I couldn't agree with you more, but how do you desocialize (un-teach) and resocialize (re-teach) those who already have been exposed to those 40 seconds of blindness? How do we cut through to their consciuosness and conscience?

4:02 pm  
Blogger Woke said...

Practically impossible I would say. But if enough opportunities are provided to future generations who are living in such conditions and being exposed to the same social upbringing, then the chances of them pursuing such a suicidal life would be minimised.

4:08 pm  
Blogger Doubleletter said...

It pays to remember that terrorists manipulate people just as politicians do: for their own agenda. Modern religious leaders, too, are politicians.

I don't think its realistic to expect everyone to be objective all the time. But the best we _can_ do is to try our best to be objective _ourselves_.

As the man said: Today, I decided to change the world, one person at a time, starting with myself.

9:19 am  
Blogger Abu Safiyah said...

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --George W. Bush, interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

Fair enough. But our sense of history is short lived. We learn our history from CNN or BBC and forget the rest of 100s of decades before.

I do not identify with a grenade thrower or hostage taken in the Moscow theatre, but cannot come to terms that these were subjected to a mere 40 "seconds of blindness".

They msut have been atleast 40 years of open wide eyed atrocities, that fuelled such hatred and yes, blindness!

8:42 am  
Blogger Woke said...

You would think such a long term discrimination and abuse leads to such hatred and violence. But this is not true in most cases. A majority of the people engaged in terrorist activities have only second hand experience or information of discrimination against their community.
If you ask a terrorist what he is fighting for in Iraq, Kashmir or whatever, 9 out of 10 he would have no idea on what is happening in the region or how the violence will solve any problem.

I definitely believe there are these little periods of time when lasting imprints are made on our minds to form a perception which we hold on to for the rest of our lives.

8:57 am  

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