History has shown that children, as innocent as they are, are one of the easiest targets and with one of the highest number of casualties in any clash or war.
For want of fame and power of those up in the ranks, for their greed, a million innocent souls of children have perished across the globe. And yet, their cries fall on deaf ears, and the agony and suffering of innocent children continue. And for many, numbering to millions, their dream of a better tomorrow is shattered. All they see are dust, dark clouds and a gloomy future.
And what is happening here today in Manipur is no different for our children. For no fault of theirs, they have become a part of the ongoing clash, falling victim to it in many ways. Lives have been lost, some separated from their near and dear ones and all deprived of their bright future.
A recent report showed that many have not returned to their schools for classes. Even if provided as relief camps, it would feel the same as being in a school with their friends and peers.
The report of a 14-year-old boy who fainted and died a few minutes later, just after meeting his parents after over 3 months, is still fresh in our minds. For that many months, he was deprived of the joy and happiness of being with his family amidst the ongoing crisis.
And, for that many months or so, imagine what might have been going through his mind – thinking, if he'll ever meet his family again, if he'll ever see his village or friends again. But fate took a twist and took him off this world. May his soul rest in peace.
This is just one reported incident. We cannot deny that there are hundreds of children like him at relief camps, uncertain about the world tomorrow, wondering if they will ever feel that peace and tranquillity which existed before the fateful day of May 3, 2023.
And why should the children of the state be victims to such a barbaric and senseless clash? Should they suffer for the mistakes that the elders have made?
It is a high time that a solution is brought about and peace and normalcy is restored in the state. This is not the time for the warring communities to point fingers and say, they started it. Rather, it's time to come to a table and sort things out. Imagine the minds of the innocent children being polluted and taught to hate the other community even before they know what is really happening today.
Imagine a world they will be brought up with, hate and disgust for the other community, if they are not taught the right way. And this is not possible without peace.
Let us put in our efforts to bring peace, if not for us, for our children. They deserve a better world, a world better than the one we have now. Isn’t our purpose on this planet to create a better world for the next generation? If we can’t do it, then, we have, perhaps, failed.
(The views expressed are personal)