If 100 random people were to be asked the most important incident of the last decade they remember, I bet we’ll have more than ninety 9/11s for an answer. None of us can forget the news flash on our televisions of the collapsing World Trade Centers, one of the worst examples of terrorism ever seen. Seven years later, it was India’s turn to lose lives to terrorism. The 107-year-old Taj stood burning in front of our eyes.
Our world hasn’t given us a decade with many positive things to remember. The Iraq war, the battle of Tora Bora, the Israeli-Palistinian conflict that refuses to cease, the second Congo war, the Darfur civil war-- every decade promises to have its share of bloodshed. There was even the bizarre Virginia Tech massacre. With man going on such rampage, nature was not to be left far behind. It fought back with the gigantic tsunami.The last 10 years had their share of high-profile deaths too. Banazir bhutto’s assassination, Saddam Hussain’s fall, Yasser Arafat’s death, Ronald Reagan’s demise and the death of Pope John Paul II.
Then there were major changes in the news. We bid farewell to Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Bill Clinton, and welcomed Ban-Ki-moon, Gordon Brown, Sarkozy and George Bush. Then the U.S. got its first African-American president. The Taliban government fell in Afghanistan, Sarah Palin became the first Republican woman vice-president and Hillary Clinton is the woman closest to U.S. presidency. Well, speaking of women, there were some in the news for different reasons—read Monica Lewinsky and Camilla Parker.
But there is one thing that refuses to change about the world— our lack of insensitivity that makes the poor of a country poorer, our greed for wealth that destroys natural resources and our quest for power that leads to lost lives. Do the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan indicate impending doom? How many more examples do we need to be convinced that conflicts and subsequent wars have taken more innocent lives than the lives of the powerful and the power-hungry? Rulers change but ruling seldom does. Countries behave like separate eco-systems. The world today refuses to share anything and ends up sharing a common problem—a growing number of people being denied the right to live. No government whether it’s democracy, capitalism or dictatorship has the right to let a human being suffer.
The World Trade Center is being rebuilt, the Taj continues to stand in all its magnificence. But lost lives don’t come back. We want to redraw borders, acquire resources and conquer the world. And the stains of the blood of those who pay the price in this power-race, get washed away to make way for more in the next conflict.