Nothing is as condemnable as brutish sadism and cruelty. In Manipur, the base human instincts and vices have been on full display for the past three months. It is often difficult to view video clips of such barbaric atrocities and killings that went viral on WhatsApp. On May 4th, the modesty of two women was violated. They were paraded naked, fondled, and thrashed in full view of the public. It clearly shows that humans have lost all sense of compassion and fellow-feeling. A visit to a wild life sanctuary would rather reveal heart-warming scenes of animals “coexisting harmoniously”, exemplifying their innate compassion and civilized behaviour. Humans, on the other hand, have proven to be the cruellest creatures.
Here, the main question is: what are the reasons for this continued and unabated violence leading to the heartless killing of the innocent, including children and women? One clear reason is “hatred.” The hatred for their fellow brethren is the root cause. Why do we need to hate those with whom we should live together? Should we not again find out the causes of that hatred? Unless we pinpoint the causes of the hatred, we will not resolve the Manipur issue permanently. Peace and the idea of co-existence will continue to elude us. The police forces and paramilitary patrolling are only a quick-fix solution. Hatred surging from within cannot be shot down with the bullets of guns and pistols.
Incidentally, the increasing areas of illicit “poppy cultivation” in Manipur and the ambition of a section of people to earn quick bucks have further aggravated the situation with the systemic arrests of drug traffickers and cultivators made by the police of Narcotics and Affairs of the Border (NAB). The existing government had taken decisive steps to check the pernicious poppy cultivation and its consequent rampant drug abuse in Manipur. The government’s action was in response to the rise in the number of families destroyed by drug addiction and other related criminal activity.
Of course, for true peace and to foster love, we should turn to religion, not to opium and its addiction. They are a ray of hope and spiritual solace. Spiritual practices alone teach us why we need to love our neighbours and serve their needs, regardless of their creeds, ethnicity, or economic status. Religions are also believed to be the main vehicles that take us up to the doorway of the Almighty.
However, one absolutely doubts if the “way and style” we have been practicing our sacred religions will ever take us to the creator. The hatred we harbor against others for “various reasons” has completely numbed our humane sensitivity. Therefore, we see our fellow brethren approaching God a little differently than our archenemy. We have taken up arms to hurt them because they call Him by different names and hum in different tones!
If violence and cruelty can lead us to God, religion has been wrongly understood. Many of us have also been using our “religion as a license” to unleash our inner demons. Were sacred religious places not the first casualties of the Manipur outrage? How does the desecration and destruction of religious sites delight God in Heaven? I think we have been thoroughly misled in every respect. We utterly failed to understand that hurting humanity would hurt God the most.
[An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ that has earned worldwide appreciation. Translated into thirteen languages, his book has been prefaced by a NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA. Gewali is also a member of the International Human Rights Commission, Zürich, Switzerland.]