By Nikunj Gupta
Edited by Nandita Singh, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
It is incidents like these that make us question and redefine the definition of what is considered to be human. This incident has violated the very roots of our moral foundation, ethics and what is called a sense of judgment and guilt. There have been several debates on the topic as to why some human beings resort to violence and seek the destruction of others, while some help others and strive to make those around them happy. Several philosophers and psychologists have been researching for time immemorial in order to find out as to what drives the human mind, what variables combine to make us who we are, and what makes a person choose the path on which he is travelling today.
The massacre started when six terrorists entered the school premises by leaping over the wall, and the events that followed were nothing short of horrific. The incident left about 141 dead, out of which 132 were children and rest were faculty members. Even imagining such a thing happening in the world sends a chill down our spine. The incident has left not only the families of the victims devastated, but everyone who heard about it as well. The incident has received immense attention from around the world. Millions are praying for the well being of the affected families.
People have expressed explicit views about the missing humanity of terrorists and how morally damaged they really are. The question we face is, what is the extreme reason that drives these terrorists to commit such cruel crimes?
We as people, tend to absorb and reflect back whatever is thrown at us, be it love, affection, hatred, anger etc. Almost everyone today is arguing that those six people were mentally sick and needed to be at least partly inhuman in order to heartlessly kill children. However, society needs to approach this matter with a more holistic perspective.
These terrorists do not lead a normal life like us. From the time of their birth, these children reside in terrorist colonies and are groomed into becoming terrorists from the start. These terrorist colonies are located in shady and uninhabited places, and the children brought up in them are denied the right to a normal life. From the very beginning, they are taught about how society has been unfair to them and how they have to take revenge through terrorist activities. Childhood is the most delicate and impressionable period of a person’s life, and if a child is fed the values of hatred, revenge and destruction everyday, it is only natural that his heart will become full of evil and cruelty.
These people are made to believe what they are taught by their parents and the leaders of these terrorist cells, and thus, they have a very wrong and different image of how the real world is like.
The six terrorists wore bomb vests and many of them died in the explosion in order to exact their motive. It takes immense determination to sacrifice your own life in the pursuit of you goal, albeit however misguide it may be, and this very fact shows how deeply hatred is entrenched in their minds.
Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who caused the 2008 Mumbai massacre, was imprisoned until he was hung early this year. During his six year term in prison, it was pointed out that Kasab had shown immense improvement due to the counseling sessions and recreational initiatives. Terrorists like Kasab have their mind flooded with hatred and revenge, so much so that they cannot even comprehend the gravity of their actions. Their conscience is as good as dead in this state, since they have never been allowed to use it and are blindly made to follow the commands of the terrorist leaders. After spending time in prison, Kasab realized the seriousness of the situation, and how horrible his actions had been, and in my opinion, achieving this realization with even one terrorist is much more valuable than killing 100 of such terrorists.
Who is to say that the mind of those six terrorists had not been corrupted by these terrorist cells? It’s even possible that they were not even aware of what they were doing, just like Kasab.
These terrorists definitely deserve punishment for their actions and no punishment can make them realize the pain that these 141 families have faced, but we also need to consider the question regarding what makes these people do such horrible things.
When such an incident occurs, people unite together in shock and grief, hoping to help themselves, as well as others, to recover. Everyone prays that this will be the last act of such terrorism that they ever have to witness, but what we need to realize is if we need terrorism to end, we need to look at the phenomenon with a more comprehensive light.
A terrorist is like an angry child, who is angry because his wish was not fulfilled, and like a child, he does not care about the fairness of any decision, but rather, just about the fact that something was denied to him. If only there was a way that these people could be incorporated into society so that their delusions could be cleared, and they could realize that their notions have been wrong all along.
We must remember that we are all God’s children, and must try and help each other back onto the path of a moral and righteous life. When those that have strayed find their way back to the right path, they will answer for their wrong doings, and this will have a great impact on not only today’s world, but also the future. There would be no bloodshed, no killings, no murders and no massacres. It might seem like a distant future, but we will only start moving closer towards it, if we start working for it.
If we manage to do this as a globally united community, then these horrible incidents like the Peshawar school massacre won’t take place, and we could save millions of innocent lives.
I pray for the peace of the lives lost in this horrible tragedy and I also pray for the well being and strong heart of the affected families.
Nikunj Gupta is First year student pursuing economic honors at St. Stephens College with an ardent desire to pursue Masters in economics at post graduate level and make a career in corporate sector afterwards. He loves listening to music no matter what the time of day is or the place is. Being a foodie and a couch potato, he loves to cook, eat and watch sitcoms. He has a keen interest in studying more about finance and stock markets. He devotes the rest of the time to photography and playing sports like badminton.