Thursday, August 03, 2006

The morality of weasels

I am a mean guy. I shouldn't have quoted scripture the other day in my blog post. I should have just said that governments must do something to stop the ongoing carnage in Lebanon. Simple. Direct. Uncomplicated, and would have sounded more appropriate.

Why, on earth, do I have to bring God into the picture? Gosh. It would only super-spiritualise what is essentially a political matter. Besides, governments are already saddled with huge responsibilities of their own and bludgeoning them with spiritual guilt would be most insensitive on my part. How could I even think along such lines, uh?

But there's a war going on, and lots of people are being killed - including little children - and it's hard to stay mum any longer. I mean, there's a limit to how long one can remain a 'nice guy'. There are times - and this is one of them - when one has to get off the fence and take a stand. Ofcourse, there is the argument that war is politics by other means, but it sounds weak and hollow when we are faced with images of a once beautiful country being bulldozed and flattened by bombs and missiles.

Let's cut the bullshit, for a second, and understand some facts. War involves killing. Pure and simple. And killing, as we know, is a moral issue with spiritual implications. In God's eyes, death of innocent civilians is not collateral damage, it is an act of destruction of something he has created so lovingly. And to make another simplistic comment. Killing is, also, a violation of one of his commandments.

Having said all this, it is reasonable to assume that those political leaders who quote "God" at the drop of a hat would be the first in line to say something about what's going on. But their silence and their inability to call a spade a spade is, rather, disturbing. Their behaviour reminds me of how a puny weasel might adopt a moral stance rather than how a snarling lion might respond to danger at hand.

Until today, the 2nd of August, 850 Lebanese including 290 children have been killed and 9,00,000 Lebanese refugees have been displaced in response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah 22 days ago. The number of Israeli dead in the conflict thus far is 55, including 19 civilians, as Hezbollah continues to target Israel with rockets.


When I read this statistic in the protest statement issued by a group of Indian writers, I realised, it was time to stick one's neck out and make a stand. One cannot remain neutral when people are being killed because, in such situations, silence is not golden, it is wickedly amoral.

Lives are being killed, homes are being levelled, basic infrastructure is being destroyed, cities are being hurled back to the stone age... and the rage we experience at all this wanton destruction has to be de-secularised. We need to bring back the 'fear of God' because we need to recognise that there does exist a higher power in this universe.

Political leaders may have their own reasons for their silence, and perhaps, they feel that they are scoring brownie points with some big money-bags, or that they are practising realpolitik, or that they are following some strategic objective, or... they are just playing shrewd and smart. Who knows?

Thankfully, there is a day of judgement and a day of reckoning, and I hope, there are answers because, to the best of my knowledge, you can't bullshit with God.

1 comment:

Alankrita said...

What God wants too often is interpreted by people pretending to know him....