By Vijay Darda | 17-07-2017
More than one crore people of Syria became refugees; after Aleppo, Mosul city also fell into ruin
First the story of Iraq..! Just three years ago, a man from the Islamic State Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi declared himself the Khalifah of the world from Mosul city of Iraq. Earlier, he occupied a large part of Iraq and Syria, and the Iraqi army did not have the strength to drive Baghdadi to Mosul. Baghdadi has turned the area under his occupation into slaughterhouse. Nobody knows how many people have been killed by him, but it is feared that lakhs of people were killed. That reign of terror is now being revealed from the discovery of mass graves. Baghdadi’s monsters raped thousands of women and dismembered them. Earlier we used to hear about the evil deeds of Idi Amin but I think that if Idi Amin were alive today, he too would have been shaken by the wickedness of the deeds.
Last year, the Iraqi army and Kurdish fighters attacked the Islamic State in collaboration with the US military. After nearly 9 months of fierce fighting, the Iraqi army achieved the victory over Mosul but nothing was left in that city. Since Mosul was a densely populated city, a large number of people were killed and lakhs of people were displaced in the battle between the army and the Islamic State. There flies the Iraqi army’s flag instead of the Islamic State over the ruined city, but who celebrates the victory? Millions of people have been displaced from Mosul and are living in camps or have gone to other countries seeking shelter.
Now the story of Syria..! A civil war is going on in Syria. There is a government of Bashar al-Assad. The rebellion against Assad began around 6 years back. Gradually, it became the battleground of the great powers. The US wants to dethrone Assad. Russia wants Assad to remain in the saddle. Just these two contrasting positions have ruined Syria. The US is supporting all the rebels who want to dislodge the Assad. They include Islamic State which has played an important role in destroying Iraq. Russia is bombing areas which is a stronghold of rebels supported by the US. In a way, there is an indirect war between Russia and the US. In these 6 years, Syria has been almost devastated. Aleppo, an important Syrian city captured by the rebels, was freed by the government forces, but there was nothing left there. The city has fallen into ruin!
International institutions believe that at least 1 crore 10 lakh people out of Syria’s 2 crore 30 lakh people have left Syria and mostly have been sheltered in different countries of Europe as refugees. Around 2.5 lakh refugees arrived in Europe in 2014 alone. In the subsequent years, this number continued to increase. Think how hard it is to leave your homeland and the tragic thing is how difficult it is to settle in another country as a refugee. You will be surprised to know that many people could not even become refugees. They became slaves. Many people lost their lives trying to reach Europe via the sea. Of those who decided to go to Italy via Libya, many of them were enslaved by Libyan rebel groups i.e. terrorists. Efforts are still being made to find out how many of them are there and where they are.
Many people tried to go to Austria, Sweden and Germany via Hungary, but Hungary blocked the route. As a result, people decided to go via Croatia route, but on that path mines were laid in the 680 km range. These mines were laid during the Balkan War in 1990. Thousands of people died due to mine explosion! There is neither any discussion of these deaths anywhere nor is it being discussed whether the international community will make any effort to make the displaced people ever return to their place of origin. Statistics show that more than 6.5 crore people are living the life of refugees worldwide. A decade back, the number was only 3 crore. After the war in the Middle East, the number is gradually mounting. I would like to refer to the second aspect of this crisis. So many refugees are reaching Europe that there is the real danger of the entire demographic picture undergoing a drastic change. Some countries may lose their civilization and may become Muslim-dominant. There is one more aspect that after the inflow of refugees the crime rate has increased. The incidents of robbery, especially the snatching of bags of tourists have grown. Many of those close to me have become victims. During my visit to Europe, my friends there alerted me that I should take special care of my baggage while travelling. Actually, the refugees have no means of livelihood and therefore, the people are indulging in these types of incidents.
To make life easier for these refugees, United Nations has offered some help and the efforts are continuing, but the question is how can the pain of losing their own homeland be alleviated? As the things stand in the Middle East, there is no likelihood that these refugees will ever return to their homeland. The worst case is that of the children who have been the victims of this war. Their childhood is lost and their future is also bleak. Bana al-Abed, a child born in Aleppo city of Syria and now living in Turkey, described the children’s pain in front of the world through her Twitter account. People from around the world were distressed by her story but nobody could save Aleppo. al-Abed was fortunate enough to find a place where she has continued her studies but just think of the children who have no place called school. What will be the future of those children? Just think of the children who have lost their families in the war and are now staying as orphans in camps or have been adopted by unknown families! I would like to refer to the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel where he especially met the boy Moshe who had lost his parents during the terror attack in Mumbai. This gesture of Modiji is very praiseworthy because this is the culture and civilization of India. We give priority to human values but other countries of the world are not that fortunate as to make humanity part of their culture.
As far as the war is concerned, it is not confined to the Middle East alone. There is warlike situation in many smaller African countries as well. Boko Haram in Nigeria has destroyed the entire country. For reference, I would like to tell you that Boko Haram means book is prohibited. If this is the thinking of the organisation, just imagine the condition of the people under it? Some years ago, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 schoolgirls and handed them over to the terrorists. The world kept watching! The girls’ parents were left in deep agony!
The truth is that the wars spread all over the world have ruined everyone. Childhood has been destroyed. The life of youth has been turned into hell. All this is happening in the name of caste and religion. Fanaticism and cruelty have harmed religion most. Religion stands condemned and defamed. In this era of science and technology, humanity is on the wane. I am reminded of an old song… “Dekh tere sansaar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwan… kitna badal gaya Insaan”. The world has to understand that only devastation comes out of war; nothing good is ever achieved! War only spreads hatred and thirst for blood.
Before I conclude…
In Japan there is an island called Okinoshima. There is a temple of Goddess of the sea there, but it is surprising that women are not allowed to go there. That means the regressive thoughts are not just here in our country! In scientifically advanced countries such as Japan too, there are such regressive thoughts. It is imperative to ask the question that when the temple is of Goddess why women are being prevented from going there? But where is the space for scientific questions in the realm of blind faith?