There are no words for the dead of those who had yet to live
Bikram Vohra | December 17, 2014
There are black days in history. Opaque and beyond the pale of human understanding. We know it is not a perfect world and we are imperfect people and, therefore, we do imperfect things. But these black days are not about imperfection. They fall so deep into the dark of the abyss within us and without that they take us back to the days of savagery and tell us that though the years and centuries may have passed there are enough of us to connect the unspeakable to the grotesque and turn humans into beasts.
There are no words for the dead of those who had yet to live. There is no sermon, no requiem, no cause to comprehend this manmade disaster in everything we hold dear. What saving grace can anyone find in something so without precedent that even the silent screams of the casualties cannot pierce our brains. The overload short circuits.
These were children. Kids. In a place of learning which, in itself, is a sacred ground. They were not combatants nor were they conscripted in whatever twisted conflict compels mankind to become so devilishly unkind and unthinking. There is no language, no spike of rage, no cold calculated response that can provide even a sliver of relief.
We sit here is different parts of the world unable to grasp the frightening enormity of this deed and the indifference to the children. Right through history part of the honour code is to leave women and children alone.
This code has extended even to guerrilla outfits and even to mercenaries. Even when collateral damage is expected, this factor is always a matter of consideration.
Therefore, to actually target schoolchildren and kill them at random breeds the chilling reality that there is nothing left, nothing that we can fall back on and seek salvation. What else can we do to show our complete lack of feeling. Kill the elderly, shoot the infirm, murder the sick?
Everyone is gutted. This is so gross we cannot even absorb it. The mind fails to acknowledge such mayhem because it lessens us all as humans and makes a mockery of our civilization in this century.
This is not a time for words. It is a time to register a cruel fact. The sun has gone down and the night has ridden in. We are a world groping in the dark with no map to show us where the light is. We will continue to grope until the world comes together as one, cuts across boundaries and understands that everyone bleeds red and children are our most precious commodity, yet how do we even begin to seek retribution.
Does the Indian economy now need a fiscal stimulus?