MASSACRES - Hazards of Being a Minority in Modern India

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Chapter 19
One Victim Too Many

No!

The number of victims does not matter either.

It may be ten.

Or 10,000.

Or just one.

It does not really matter what the number of the victims is.

For, the battle is already lost when we tend to determine the number of the victims before we can denounce the acts of murder, rape or burning alive of human beings.

Anywhere, by anyone.

When we do it to people who we think are different from us.

Whatever the difference.

Faith or religion or creed.

Race or color of skin or complexion.

National or tribal origin or affiliation.

Ethnicity.

Culture.

Something else.

When we do it to people just because they are different from us.

Just because they are Muslims.

Or Jews.

Or Hindus.

Or Christians.

Or something else.

It does not then matter whether the number of those subjected to these atrocities is one, or one thousand, or one million or one hundred million.

The battle was lost, and the horse bolted the barn, when the first human became the victim of these atrocities.

Ever since that first victim, humanity is in retreat.

The perpetrators and spectators alike.

It was at that precise moment that darkness descends. When the human ghoulishness claims its very first victim. Therefore, the numbers don't really matter.

What matters is that even one man lynched...

One woman raped...

One house burned...

One business destroyed...

One school torn down...

One place of worship desecrated...

One baby butchered...

Is one too many.

It is one too many for the killed.

For the killers...

And for the onlookers alike.

It is one too many for that society.

And for the rest of the world.

It is one too many for Muslims...

For Hindus...

For Sikhs...

For Jews...

For Christians...

For Buddhists...

And for members of any other civilized faith.

Not only in India.

But all over the world.

And it is one too many for religion...

For secularism...

For atheism...

For agnostic humanism...

It is just one plain too many for democracy...

And for civilized human society and government everywhere.

It is one too many for the United Nations.

And for the world's many human rights agencies, watch groups, organizations and advocates.

It is one too many for a free, fearless and civilized world press.

A press still wedded to the broad ideals of objectivity and truth, fairness and compassion.

A press still fascinated by the challenge of uncovering a crime.

An atrocity.

Especially a massacre and a pogrom.

Especially one bordering on genocide.

Especially one so close to being a crime against humanity.

A press still tantalized by the lure of human and civil rights.

By the timeless notions of justice and fairness.

A press not entirely sold out, hopefully, to commercial interests or partisan purposes.

It is one too many for human decency, conscience and civilization.

Inside India...

As well as outside.

Simply and bluntly...

It is one too many for you.

The reader.

And for me...

The writer.

And for everyone else.

It is one too many for each and every one of us...

Humans.

Regardless of who we are...

Or where we are...

And regardless of who the victim is...

Or even the perpetrator is...

And regardless of what the color, faith, gender or national origin or identity of the victim or the perpetrator is.

And regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is of our own tribe, nation, gender, race, religion, group or kind, or of a different tribe, nation, gender, race, religion, group or kind.

So long as we are all of the human race.

And so long as we all share, in reality or in metaphor, in religion or in science, a single drop of Adam's blood.

Or a single gene from Lucy.

The oldest human archeological find.

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