I happened to catch an interesting CCN-IBN special news report this evening, discussing the aftermath of the bombings in Malegon three days ago, where a Muslim cemetary was attacked during Friday prayers. We were shown footage of a Hindu man returing to buy groceries from a stall opposite the blast site. Unafraid to visit the vicinity of the attack, and unwilling to disrupt his routine, he made a point of taking his eleven-year-old son along with him. There were also scenes of Hindus queuing to give blood, to help the Muslim victims of the blast.
Whatever the religion of the interviewees, the message was unianimous: “They are trying to divide us, and we won’t let them.”
On the fifth anniversary of the atrocities on the World Trade Centre, we will ask ourselves again: “What was the aim of the hijackers when they did this? What was Osama Bin Laden’s purpose?” The attacks on the world trade centre ignited a global conflict that has polarised world opinion, and ostracised an entire race of people. Sure, we didn’t start the conflict… but I cannot help thinking that we rose to the bait. When, on 14th September 2001, George W Bush named the ‘War on Terror’, it was seen as the beginning of the Fight Back. But it was also endorsement of the enemy’s terms of reference. That was the real defeat, and it happened after only three days.