Tag Archives: human rights

Burnt.

In Feruary 2002, just outside the town of Godhra in the western state of Gujaray, 58 Hindus, many of them women and children, were burnt alive as mobs set fire to their train. They had been returning from the town of Ayodhya, the centre of a dispute between Muslims and Hindus over the building of a temple on the site of a demolished Mughal mosque. Dozens of Muslims were arrested and charged; they pleaded that they had been taunted by the Hindus. The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, decreed a day of mourning so that funerals could take place in the state’s largest city, Ahmedabad. Crowds of people, many wearing the saffron scarves and khaki shorts that are the uniform of Hindu nationalism, and armed with swords, explosives and gas cylinders, rampaged in search of vengeance. They poured kerosene down the throats of men, women and children, before setting them alight. As many subsequent investigations have shown, police chiefs and politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) either stood by or helped them in their task, providing them with computer printouts of addresses. More than a thousand people, most of them Muslims, were killed. About 230 mosques and shrines were razed to the ground. When asked to condemn the violence, Modi instead quoted Isaac Newton’s third law: “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Modi has neither apologized nor expressed regret for what happened.

it still puzzled me what humans can do to each other.

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Jim Dowling – nonviolence is the new power

without any information, i (and u as well) would assume these two men as criminals who just came out from the police station or court. or maybe just some hippies (i mean, look at the dreadlocks!). or maybe just some homeless, jobless men wandering on the streets. just nothing good, i assume.

well, now they looked really cute, aint they? one t-shirt says ‘the only solution is love’ with a lovey dove on the side and the other t-shirt shows a man dumping weapons into the bin. indeed, it is rather hippie (maybe its the dreadlocks?), like nobody would treat them seriously. but many things should be not be judged on the cover. the man on the right is Ciaron O’Reilly and the left is Jim Dowling, both are nonviolent activists in human rights and anti-war issues. and no, it is not ad-hoc; they devote their lives for such a cause.

that was Jim getting caught for blocking a major military access road to the Talisman Sabre 09 exercises being held at Shoalwater, central Queensland, Australia. getting caught and attending court is common, but the attitude should remained positive (like him). it is exactly such optimism that keeps the opponent off-guard. for example, he was in a blockade where activists locked their arms in a line, which the police threatened the use of force had they fail to disperse. however, the police didn’t use their batons and did the otherwise; they have to carry the activists away from the road (gently). that, is the power of nonviolence.

of course, this post is not to ask the readers to think about nonviolent protests but to be aware of it. nonviolence is a strategy to achieve positive ends with positive means. if u r (or going to be) a police, think when you are ordered to disperse civil resistance groups. if u r teacher, think whether you should encourage free speech and creativity in your students. if u r an adventure-seeker, think whether u should be sourcing for challenges in your life when there are existing challenges in the social structure in the world.

peace.