Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | May 5, 2009

History of Turmoil

Many of us are so far privileged not to have been caught in the middle of a political turmoil. Increasingly, more and more people are getting trapped in wars of different kinds initiated by their own people in the name of power struggle, and I wonder how far we can be immune from being caught in one.

I feel sad for the people who suffer. I have met many people who have seen riots in India and have been caught in the middle of a war either in Bosnia, in Fiji or in Israel. By talking to them I have seen how significant the impact of a war is on their thought process. I remember a friend telling me once, ‘when children of my age were going to school, playing with their parents, I was in a refugee camp for two years waiting for my father.’ I will always remember the pain reflected in his eyes when he uttered those words.

At times I believe India’s claim of being a non-violent country is a big sham. Our most prominent mythological accounts talk of war (yes it all ends in peace and harmony!) and we are yet to move ahead from the various forms of violence we encounter in our daily lives. In some ways, we are always on the verge of fighting amongst ourselves since many of us reckon that there exists lot of unsettled scores. While various social reformers have come and gone but sometimes I cannot stop wondering why their work could not have an ever lasting impact on our race? There are so many treatises on non-violence and brotherhood that originated in India, but why does it need slightest provocation for us to be up in arms to fight? Is there any other country in the world which on one hand takes pride in its ‘unity in diversity’ and yet have so many forms of rioting. Perhaps as many opinion makers say, it is a ‘trivial’ cost that India pays for its democracy and diversity. However, I wonder whether human lives are ever trivial.

Is it just poverty that makes people to fight amongst each other? Or is it the climate of the place which has made South Asia such a hub of continuous turmoil? I would love to know, just for the sake of enriching my knowledge.

All of India’s neighbouring countries are in a state of pandemonium. Coupled with India’s own internal problems this makes India’s progress all the more difficult. On one hand, we have not managed to resurrect our society and on the other we have wars being fought near our doorsteps. I wonder what lies ahead.



  1. I too talk on similar lines with Amrit. But he insists that we don’t respect fellow Indians. We always have language, food, culture and what not to feel superior and have a contempt for those Indians who speak different language, eat different food and celebrate somewhat different festival. If you really want to know try to live in an Indian hostel. There you will have all the ingredients, education, young, fresh, unpolluted mind and what not but still you will find people of same state sticking with their tribe only. They even form groups and sometimes Profs from the same state also joins the chorus. That is academic scene in India. What to say about half literates and illiterates?

  2. I have often thought why there is so much violence in our daily life. I tend to think that although the human civilization has reached fantastic heights in science and technology and has made good progress in social organization, the individual humans are not much better than their cavemen
    forefathers, who had to kill in order to survive.

    Is it because we are more concerned about our material well-being the state of our mind?

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