It still reeks of burnt vehicle. I came by for a morning stroll and saw the disturbing sight of debris. Those pieces of junks are still there in the corner of the field, there are half burnt plastic chairs piled up in the middle and few massive trucks around the main stage. They are not disposed yet for some unknown reason, reminding me of those dreadful hours. More than two weeks have passed by and nothing much has changed.
When looked carefully, one could point out the level of the fire and its powerful effect, the vehicles in the corner are all curled up and nothing is left of it. If it were a battlefield, they are the soldiers slaughtered. When a soldier die, the family is left to bear the consequences, similarly the vehicles are destroyed and the owners are left to bear the loss. They say, every sacrifice in a battle never goes in vain as either side always wins. But the question comes, is sacrifice a necessity? Is the loss of the other party to be considered as their fate? Mere soldiers are left to die in the field whereas the main authorities sit there in their throne passing judgments under all the required security.
I couldn’t help but sit and recall everything that happened in the last few weeks. Looking over the rumble from above, as the cold wind blows making me hold on to my thin shawl a little tighter, it made me wonder, how relevant it was to attack the properties of common citizen. What effect it had regarding the ongoing issue? For some people, a car is not just a car but a onetime investment; with money one could buy the exact same car but not the sentiments that have burnt away. Money could provide some aid to the family but never bring back what’s gone forever. The reputation of being such a host will remain a stigma in the history of Arunachal Pradesh. It all happened out of emotional judgment, what we lacked was practical thinking.
The destruction of government properties is the loss of the people; this very idea is neglected and violated in almost every part of the country. And this is exactly what happened as a result of the outburst. How hard it is for the people to understand this fact. Everything that is of the government is of the people and to preserve it is our utmost duty. In the process, large number of people weren’t just physically hurt but mentally in pain as well because directly or indirectly everybody participated in the fight. Mothers, who allowed their sons and daughters to march for what’s right and those who remembered them in their prayers, were all equal participants. It was not a fight of a single community but of the whole citizens of Arunachal Pradesh.
It is funny how the atmosphere here is so peaceful, the only sound I can hear is of the birds chirping, even the butterflies’ mistake me for a part and landed on my shoe. The taunting noise is no more, the feeling of being trapped inside the house, the bullet shots, sounds of breaking glass, the stinking smell that brought tears to the eye and the cries of the mob. Those inside the house holding inside their fear and guessing nothing worse is happening and hoping no bullets pierce through the windows. Is it justified to say that the peace is restored? Yes the issue is solved but did we really win? I guess not, winning is such a complex idea and I don’t find it appropriate to tag it into something so complicated. The lives of those three families will never be the same and that gap could never be filled by any force of this world. In the end ‘We are at loss’. The only lively place in Itanagar, a place where people from all parts comes for a breath of fresh air now sits as a deserted battlefield. If only we had a distinct figure to guide us, giving appropriate directions, someone reliable to feed with relevant facts, if only we haven’t been betrayed by our own, the consequences might have been different, less destructive.
By the exit, the reserved garden caught my attention, especially the rose garden. There were people nourishing the flowers, weeding out the unwanted and helping it grow. These flowers stand untouched by the polluted world, showering beauty to the park and giving a sight of relief to the visitors. There were ladies cleaning up the trash on their way and trimming the nearby trees. Suddenly all my woes disappeared and I couldn’t help but ponder upon my earlier thought. My faith in humanity blossomed; I believe there are people though few in numbers, who are doing everything in their power to help in the making of Arunachal Pradesh a better place. There is a need to find ‘Hope’ even in the worst of the situation. We humans live because we hope for things and holds onto it.
Yes we are at loss but there is hope to revive into something stronger, taking note of what went wrongand working it out. A lesson we have learned and the consequences we have witnessed. Action without a definite goal or a definite goal with correct action, the choice is ours.
Rajiv Gandhi University