News & Information From Northeast India

Living beyond the ‘comfort zone’

There’s a gripping uncertainty, despair and anguish that surrounds us all amid these times of crisis. The brunt as usual is born by the lowest sections of society in the social ladder while the privileged express their concerns in the most convenient manner of WhatsApp forwards and stocking up essentials, the irony being that the availability of basic needs such as food grains still remains a farfetched dream for millions in the nation.

The upsurge in the fuel prices and other commodities speak volumes about the inflation and the economic crisis, whose worse is yet to come while our borders face a constant threat from the neighbouring states. The over exploitation of resources, destruction of the wildlife habitats, natural disasters and climate change only add to the tally of issues at hand while the governments across the world are busy bailing out big capitalistic firms.

With schools and colleges still shut, the aspirations of many hang under the radar of scepticism. Provisions of online learning do seem to bring a bleak ray of hope but the question still remains as to how inclusive is this learning, for there are many who cannot afford learning through the internet, and with fee hikes in public funded institutions, is this the end of quality education being a basic right to every individual irrespective of their background? The pandemic has posed a thousand questions on the existing healthcare systems, the model of development and most importantly the ‘rat race’ but there’s definitely a bigger crisis we haven’t thought of.

With rising tensions along the Indo-China border, the probability figures of a nuclear war only grow stronger each day with the issue making headlines of most media houses be it the print or the electronic media. But have we wondered about the kind of devastation that a military war in the 21st century would bring about? The disturbing images and reports from the war torn or conflicted regions only provide us with a mere glimpse of the conditions that prevail but the ground reality still remains an unimaginable affair.

Among the most affected are little children who not only lose their homes and families but are also scarred for life, for if they survive they will have to live the trauma they experienced for the rest of their lives. The idea of a happy childhood seems like a privilege to them, something unachievable in this lifetime. Their eyes witness violence, bloodshed, abuse at a tender age while those ears get accustomed to the sound of bullets. Thousands live in dreadful conditions, trapped in rooms with no windows for even a bleak of sunlight to pass through, and famished to an extent where their bodies have been reduced to living skeletons. They know not what life without discrepancy would be like. Playgrounds have been turned into battlefields, people’s homes burnt down to ashes, the bodies of their loved ones lay lifeless on the ground while their cries for help go unheard and unreported. All that surrounds them are graveyards and barren lands with no sign of civilization for as far as the naked eye could see.

Maybe that’s where we might be heading to if we do not seek better alternatives, if we do not ask the right questions to our representatives, if we do not hold our governments accountable, if we are not willing to look beyond our comfort zones and if we act sheerly based on emotions over rational . If we chose to be the fence sitters by the virtue of the privilege that we hold in the present and do not channelize our anguish by being an active participant in fighting oppression, from the monopoly of education, the discriminatory caste system, gender inequality, racial discrimination, religious persecution to advocating for climate change, it won’t be long until we live under red skies filled with grey smoke with humans killing one another only to quench their thirst for blood and greed of land.


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