HUMAN COST OF SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

On March 15 this year, Syrian civil war completed its sixth year, and going by the state of affairs now, even after the first ever direct US missile attack on a Syrian regime airbase, no end looks in sight.

The result is the human cost – the biggest human crisis since the World War II.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, around 5,00,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war, some 7,00,000 are trapped in various conflict theatres and over 6 million are internally displaced.

To cap it is the number of Syrian refugees. According to the UN, at the end of March 2017, the number of registered Syrian refugees, scattered in different countries, stood at 5.1 million. It is more than ten times the count of Syrian refugees in 2012. And the actual number may be even higher. Unofficial figures quote over 7 million Syrian refugees and over 12 million internally displaced.

Dependent and helpless, children are the biggest losers in any civil war. According to UNICEF, 23 million Syrian children had to flee the country while another 3 million are living in conflict theatres and cut-off regions and they need immediate help. According to the website http://www.iamsyria.org, the Syrian civil has killed around over 50,000 children.

12 million human lives, including millions of children, dead, trapped in conflict theatres, forced to flee their homes and even their country, that is the human cost the Syrian civil war and it is still unfolding.

According to a report from the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the ongoing Syrian civil war has wiped 11.5 per cent of the Syrian population.

Thousands have died in their desperate rush to cross the Mediterranean Sea to find refuge in Europe, 5000 of them alone in 2016.

Thousands of them have been killed in chemical attacks. Though under international pressure, in 2013, Syria signed the Convention on Chemical Weapons that bans production, storage, use and transportation of chemical weapons, it has been alleged that Syria never disclosed its full chemical arsenal for international inspection and destruction.

And these allegations are not baseless. A recent ABC News report, quoting the White House, speaks about at least over a dozen chemical attacks in Syria since 2012. These include the chemical attack of August 2013 in Aleppo which killed around 1500 people and left thousands others crippled with symptoms of nerve gas attack. There was an international hue and cry but the responsibility could not be affixed.

Yesterday’s US missile attack on a Syrian airbase was in response to a chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib city which killed over 100. It was the first direct US military attack on Syria and was targeted at a Syrian airbase that was reportedly used to launch the Idlib chemical attack. Syria has denied its hands and its ally Russia has strongly defended it. On the contrary, it has blamed the Syrian rebels for the attack, like it does every time.

The never ending Syrian crisis has forced the biggest migration of people since the Second World War – a wave that countries, especially the European ones are feeling too difficult a crisis to handle. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in the ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

©SantoshChaubey

FROM AYLAN KURDI TO OMRAN DAQNEESH: SYRIAN CRISIS HAS ONLY GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE!

Five years ago, in 2011, when the Syrian revolution had begun, the US administration led by President Barack Obama had asserted that ‘Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered’. Hillary Clinton, then the US Secretary of State and now the Democratic Presidential nominee, had reiterated this ‘version’ in 2012. It had given the Syrian people, those opposing Assad and the Syrian rebels, hope then that the Arab Spring would soon see a successful rebellion in the country.

Five years down the line, Syria has become the worst humanitarian crisis since the days of the Second World War. The images coming from the country are horrible. They leave you choked, sometimes in tears. And some of them become the global rallying points – like last year, when images of a three year old dead Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish coast while trying to cross the Mediterranean to get into Europe – or last week this year, when the images of a five year old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, stained with blood and rubble – became the global expression of outrage.

These two images symbolize what Syrians are going through. They have nowhere to call home – not in Syria – not outside Syria. Omran Daqneesh’s image is from Aleppo, a Syrian town that is considered rebels’ stronghold. Alylan Kurdi was found dead on a European coast. The five years of the Syrian civil war has effectively obliterated the past, the present and the future of the millions of Syrians.

Aylan-Omran

Image Courtesy: Reuters

When the Aylan Kurdi’s image had hit the world headlines in September 2015, some 13 million Syrians needed immediate humanitarian support. The figures from an Amnesty International report say that by September 2015, the Syrian civil war had left 220,000 dead, over 4 million refugees and 50 percent of its leftover population internally displaced (some 10 million).

From September 2015 to August 2016, the Syrian crisis has only gone from bad to worse. Now there are over 6.5 million Syrian refugees scattered in different countries. The civil war death toll now stands at around 500,000. If we draw a plausible line according to the figures available from the Syrian rebel factions and as per the increased hostilities aided by the Russian bombings, the internally displaced population now stands at around 12 million.

Yet the world community does nothing more than counting the Syrian dead while the number of victims is rapidly going up.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support, is slaying his countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons. Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions. They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they don’t know if they will see the next dawn.

This ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Barring few, almost all countries are its members.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen. Afghanistan invasion could have been a spontaneous response to the 9/11 attacks in the US but the flimsy grounds on which the Iraq offensive had been launched has always been in questions. The latest British public inquiry report into the Iraq war, the Chilcot Report, which was submitted on July 6, 2016, states that Saddam Hussein didn’t pose imminent threat and that the war should have been averted.

In this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. According to reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population.

The never ending Syrian crisis has forced the biggest migration of people since the Second World War – a wave that the European countries are feeling too difficult a crisis to handle. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in the ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

The countless images coming out of Syria – of Omran Daqneesh, of Aylan Kurdi, of Syrians dying in chemical and explosive attacks, and of ghost towns with ravaged buildings – sum up the horror tens of thousands of human-beings are forced to live day in, day out, seeking the shore to fix their lives, a shore that is increasingly becoming elusive.

Yes, we live in a world that has always been plagued with ‘humanity killing developments’ like wars, crusades, religious wars, ethnic cleansings and the Holocaust, yet images like these, again and again, leave us thoughtless, speechless, soulless and lifeless. They say all. Their backdrop becomes hauntingly clear just by a mere look. Images like these make our lives beyond redemption. They put us all, the combined human masses of the world, in the dock over a crime that humanity can never get rid of. They rightly negate our claims of being the citizens of a civilized world.

©SantoshChaubey

SYRIAN HOLOCAUST

On June 28, an offensive against the Islamic State led by the US backed Syrian rebels who were trained by the Pentagon miserably failed as the US fighter jets failed to provide the most important strategic element – the air cover. They instead chose to divert the planes to another target in Iraq. The result – the rebels had to retreat incurring heavy loss – along with the fear psychosis that the US may now abandon them mid way in future operations. Okay, that may be like stretching it too far as the US has justified its move, but when we see the human crisis in Syria – when we see the biggest human travesty since the Second World War – it gives enough room to question the intentions of the world community – and the US decision to divert its fighter jets is just symptomatic of that.

After the Holocaust, Syria is the biggest horror humanity has seen and to make the matters even worse, it is still ongoing with no end in sight.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support (courtesy another dictator), is slaying his own countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons.

Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions.

They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they don’t know if they will see the next dawn.

This ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Almost the whole globe is member of the UN.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen. Afghanistan invasion could have been the spontaneous response to the 9/11 attacks in the US but the flimsy grounds on which the Iraq offensive had been launched had always been in questions. The latest British public inquiry report into the Iraq war, the Chilcot Report, which was submitted on July 6, states that Saddam Hussein didn’t pose imminent threat and that the war should have been averted.

In this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in the ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

The never-ending Syrian crisis has forced the biggest migration of people since the Second World War – a wave that the European countries are feeling too difficult a crisis to handle. Last year, in 2015, there were more 1.3 million migrants seeking asylum in Europe and the pack was led by Syria.

According to reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population. From this assessment, if the pre-conflict Syrian population in 2010 was 21.5 million, it should be around 19 million now. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the five years of Syrian civil war has killed some 470,000 Syrians while some 480,000 are forced to live under siege.

But when we count in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe or the Syrian refugee crisis in totality, the inland Syrian population looks even thinner. Some 5 to 6 million Syrians are in different refugee camps – in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and in many European countries.

This – the population decline – has not been seen even in the war-torn nations and the crisis hotbeds like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Now compare this to the other major ongoing war theatres in the world – Iraq and Afghanistan.

A study report by some universities including the University of Washington in 2013 stated that over 5,00,000 people were killed in the ongoing Iraq war since its beginning in 2003. Iraq Body Count, a Britain based organisation that collects its information from media reports, puts the count to around 2,50,000.

An MIT report (Iraq: The Human Cost) says the ongoing Iraq war has displaced around 3.5 million to 5 million people. But the figure includes both internal and external refugees. Here we need to keep in mind that the external Iraqi refugees were basically in the camps of Jordan and Syria. So it is a double blow for them – first they had to leave their home for Syria. And then even Syria!

In Afghanistan, the ongoing war since the US led invasion in 2001 had killed around 1,00,000 by December 2014 as per a Brown University report. The same report puts the Afghan refugee count to around 2.7 million whereas the war has displaced over 7,00,000 internally.

The Afghan war has been ongoing since the last 15 years – and the Iraq war since the last 13. Yet, the Syrian war has overshadowed both of them in terms of the human cost of the war – in a span of just six years – in terms of human lives lost – and in terms of humans lives displaced. To make things worse, unlike the Afghani and Iraqi migrants, who basically migrate to the countries sharing land borders, the Syrian refugees are forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea which killed around 4000 of them in 2015.

And there is no end in sight. The dictator, the rebels, the lynchpin and the “occasional vigilantes’ (the police nations of the world) – all are out there – frozen on their respective poles – even if it means half a million killed – half a million internally displaced – and six million in refugee camps.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died. Hundreds of thousands are in danger zones, facing imminent threat to their lives. Hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Millions in refugee camps are stuck not knowing what to do with their lives. Majority of schools and hospitals in Syria are gone, ruined or annihilated in the ongoing war.

It is the next Holocaust the world has created – like it had done with Adolf Hitler. The first Holocaust was in making much before the organised pogrom began on a large scale in 1940 but the world refused to intervene – something that finally ended up killed around 10 million including the six million Jews.

Where the Syrian Holocaust would end?

©SantoshChaubey

THE SYRIAN HOLOCAUST

After the Holocaust, Syria is the biggest horror humanity has seen and to make the matters even worse, it is still ongoing with no end in sight.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support (courtesy another dictator), is slaying his own countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons.

Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions.

They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they can see the dawn of next day.

And this ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Almost the whole globe is member of the UN.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen.

As a result, in this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

According to the reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population. From this assessment, if the pre-conflict Syrian population, in 2010, was 21.5 million, it should be around 19 million now. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the five years of Syrian civil war has killed some 470,000 Syrians while some 480,000 are forced to live under siege.

But when we count in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe or the Syrian refugee crisis in totality, the inland Syrian population looks even thinner. Some 5 to 6 million Syrians are in different refugee camps – in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and in many European countries.

This – the population decline – has not been seen even in the war-torn nations and the crisis hotbeds like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died. Hundreds of thousands are in danger zones, facing imminent threat to their lives. Hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Millions in refugee camps are stuck with their lives. Majority of schools and hospitals in Syria are gone, ruined or annihilated in the ongoing war.

And we, in the larger world community, are to blame for it. We are letting the Syrian Holocaust happen.

©SantoshChaubey

WASHING, KISSING FEET OF MUSLIM MIGRANTS: SYMBOLISM OF POPE FRANCIS’S GESTURE

It is one of those rare images that make profound policy statements – yet, will it change anything?

What Pope Francis did today could not have been better than it – and could not have come at a more opportune time than this.

The Pope chose the Holy Thursday rite to convey the message that we all so desperately need – that we all are same – in joy – in pain – that we all are brothers – be it the European residents – or the migrants from Asia and Africa that have created the biggest human crisis in the Europe since the World War II.

When he washed and kissed the feet of refugees, including Muslims, Christians and even Hindus, it was a strong counter-statement to those who are out there to exploit the xenophobic mindsets to score political mileage.

Remember the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany – who exploited the nationalist sentiments of Germans after the loss and humiliation of Germany in the World War I to create his brand of ultra-nationalism that ultimately gave the world the World War II and the Holocaust and millions dead across the continents!

Yes, it is not going to be the World War III – but again, human lives are at stake – and millions of them.

Thousands have been killed in the ongoing war theatres in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon and many other Asian, African and Central American countries.

And the war-torn nation states have left millions of displaced – desperate to find some shelter – desperate to find the next day of their lives.

And the exodus is coming mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We talk of universal nature and values of the human rights.

We have a world body for it – the United Nations.

We have a global agency dedicated to look after the affairs of the refugees – the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

We have an International Criminal Court – we have an international police organization (Interpol) – and we have many strategic and trade bodies panning across the globe.

That directly tells we all are global citizens with similar rights to live and grow.

Now, when there are domestic war theaters forcing people out of their homes, of their cities, of their countries – isn’t it the responsibility of everyone – including those in Europe – to give them shelter – to give them a place to live – to preserve their right to live and grow?

Yes, these are utopian propositions – but have always been true – and will always be – even if the ground realities are starkly different.

When Pope Francis delivered his message of ‘brotherhood’ by embracing the Muslim refugees, he just did that.

It was a humane attempt to convey the message of seeing the God in everyone, be it a Christian or a Muslim, in the times of war rhetoric and increasing anti-migrant voices in the European establishments after the spate of terror attacks in European nations, especially France and Belgium.

Let’s hope sense prevails – because the millions – displaced from their houses – and trying to pick the thread of their existences in Europe – need it desperately.

RV14378_Articolo

Image Courtesy: Vatican Radio’s Facebook Page (see the video here – https://www.facebook.com/VaticanRadioEnglish)

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

REFUGEE CRISIS: EUROPE, AND ITS PEOPLE, NEED TO GIVE THEM THAT ‘LIFE’..

Trains and the Holocaust were inseparable – and the images will haunt humanity forever.

Hitler’s Germany killed scores by stuffing them like cattle in trains and on roads in harsh weather conditions.

Trains were the final component of Nazi Party’s ‘final solution’ to ‘free humankind of ‘Jews and other unwanted races’ – as Hitler and his collaborators saw them.

Trains – that make a significant part of every Holocaust narrative – of books, of memoirs, of autobiographies, of documentaries, of movies – the Holocaust trains.

For millions who lost their lives and for millions who somehow survived – trains were the last nail in their coffin – beginning a ride to hell – ending in concentration camps.

Yes, it is nothing like that today.

The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the second biggest mass migration since the World War II (or since the days of the ‘final solution’) to the world’s wealthiest continent (and in the wealthiest continent) is not even remotely indicative of the inhuman ways of the Holocaust.

Except the images showing migrants being loaded into trains to stop them from entering a European nation (or European nations) – with rough treatments by Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Croatia!

And now, the ‘welcoming’ Germany too, has started showing regressive signs with closing its border and demanding ‘fair distribution’ of refugees’.

Yes, we can say the incidents were and are an aberration and the European leaders will find some solution – either in their meeting tomorrow – if they can build consensus – or in a follow-up meeting based on the outcome of the meeting tomorrow.

Yes, the images are not suggestive of those frightening years seven decades back, but they reveal, once again, a primeval mindset every human being has – that we are so easily swayed to the extent that we start disregarding the other human life as if it is non-existent.

Had it not been so, we would never have something called the Holocaust or other reasons behind assassinations and massacres.

The primeval mindset – that so easily makes us to act selfishly to the extent that we start thinking that those who are running from certain death – would start sharing some of the space shared by us – even if it doesn’t affect us in real terms – something that is happening in many countries of Europe.

Europe’s wealth can easily take care of some one million migrants including refugee from the worst humanitarian crisis hotbeds like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, the countries need to sit and resolve nagging and divisive issues – and they must do it soon – possibly in the meeting tomorrow.

The world has already seen many bad images from a Europe that is peaceful for decades and has tried to send a message of harmony to the world by creating a unified documentation free travel zone of over 25 countries.

People, in search of life, are looking to a peaceful and financially well to do Europe to seek a passage to be able to remain alive – something that is ‘basic’ to every human civilization – and fundamental for us to remain humans.

And Europe, and its people – need to give them that ‘life’.

And yes, it is not just the responsibility of Europe. We all, in every part of the globe, must extend helping hands.

We all need to be ‘fair’ in distributing our responsibilities.

Keeping in mind the reality that we cannot do anything about partisan, irrational and selfish ways of geopolitics on international issues!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

HUMANITY HAS SURVIVED THROUGH THRESHOLDS OF HUMAN DEBASEMENT

What is the limit to one’s debasement?

What is the threshold of one’s deliberate insensitivity to hurt someone’s sensitivities?

No limit!

No threshold!

Humanity, with all its civilizations, extinct or extant, has been the aggregated reflection of individual viewpoints, morphed, modified or aligned – with changing times.

The viewpoints have been human. And there are the viewpoints that have been anti-human.

And civilizations are stories of struggles between these two types – pushed by their carriers – embodied in human beings.

Humanity has survived all along – through the thresholds of the debasement of this anti-human block that has manifested itself in varied ways since the dawn of the human civilizations – weathering direct and targeted assaults.

Surviving the fangs that know nothing but the crude blow of crushing everything to pieces.

Civilizations have seen, all along their existence, mass acts of barbarism, acts of ethnic cleansing, imperial wars, religious crusades, violent sectarian movements, terrorism and what not.

Humanity has suffered them all. And humanity will survive them all.

Though it will continue to bleed, as it has always bled!

Because human debasement has no threshold. It can mercilessly push a three year old child in an ocean to die or it can kill thousands of them in gas chambers or it can have scores of them shot in one go in the name of ‘race superiority’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES NEED TO REMOVE FENCES XENOPHOBIC SENTIMENTS

‘Europe’s Fascination with Fences’ is an interesting title for an article on refugee crisis spilling over in Europe now. The article especially pulled my attention by its title, like of many others, when I saw it in the list of chosen articles on Magzter.

Irrespective of ‘what, why and how’ in the article, the world, yes the world now, is looking at the crisis in a different light after the image of the body of a Syrian toddler washed out on a beach in Turkey went viral. The boy was from a family of four from Syria trying to migrate to Europe through Greece – the second most popular route as the article says.

Barack Obama just declared that the US will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees this year. Germany is leading the access in Europe and the toddler’s image has forced countries so far reluctant like the United Kingdom to come forward. The day the image got out David Cameron said Britain would accept 20,000 more refugees.

Before it, Britain was in a state of ‘xenophobia’ on intensifying refugee crisis.

The image has drawn global attention and outrage over the way European countries have been handling the biggest refugee crisis since the World War II.

Because the world ‘rightly’ doesn’t expect anything of that sort from rich Arab and Middle-East monarchies.

People from the war torn countries of Middle-East and Africa are increasingly joining the way out to save their lives. Somehow escaping the guns in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and other countries, people are heading to the countries in Europe or other nearby countries in ever increasing numbers as the war in Syria rages and as the Islamic State continues with its barbarity in Iraq and Syria – finding allies in Boko Haram in Nigeria or Al-Shabab in Somalia and so on.

It is true that there would be some economic migrants but the majority is from the lot displaced from their homes, localities, cities and countries and it is the responsibility of the humanity to open its doors for the them. After all, some one million (or even two million) cannot put strain on the wealthiest continent on Earth with around 750 million people.

They, in fact, can prove quite useful for the European countries which are facing crisis of manpower to serve their populace. Migrants (or refugees in this case), by the their ‘disconnectedness from the roots’ have noting more to lose and they, in fact, prove out to be industrious and better managed when given opportunities. Prosperous Jews are its most common example.

Fences may be a practical requirement to check illegal crossings but the European population and countries need to remove the fences that xenophobic sentiments can create/are creating in this humanitarian crisis. And as, the refugees, are responsibility of all of us, we all must reach out to them with helping hands – as the US has decided to do.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

#KIYIYAVURANINSANLIK: I DID NOT WANT TO SHARE THIS BUT..

AK-Reuters
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Yes, this one is a photograph that ‘humanity’ or the human-beings left with the conscience of ‘being human’ would desperately wish would not be there – with the reason behind it.

Yes, this one is a photograph that left me in great dilemma before I decided to share it on my website – trying to find the one with a frame composition that would look less offensive to our identities but I can say I failed in doing so.

Photographs like this deafen our souls, incinerate our whole existences and devastate the whole civilizational journey of humanity – just with a mere look at them.

We live in a world that has always been plagued with ‘humanity killing developments’ like wars, crusades, religious wars, ethnic cleansings and the Holocaust, yet this image, once again, has left us thoughtless, speechless, soulless and lifeless.

The photograph says all. Its backdrop becomes hauntingly clear just by a look at it. The photograph makes our lives beyond redemption. It puts us all, the combined human masses of the world, in the dock over a crime, once again, that humanity can never get rid of.

It rightly negates our claims of being the citizens of a civilized world.

I faced extremely troubled moments while looking at this photograph. I had to make serious efforts with my soul to draw some courage to look at it. But I knew I had to look at it. In fact, all of us need to look at it, and other images that remind us of human depravity – that how debased we have become.

European leaders say the ongoing refugee crisis is threatening the ‘idea of Europe’ but can they deflect the questions that this photograph raises?

The photograph, or the different frames of it or the video of it, is so shocking and depressing that it takes the courage of a lifetime to compose yourself to look at it – and compose yourself again after you have looked at it.

I am sharing it here because it would remind me – again and again – that it spite of all our civilized claims, multitudes of us still reek of raw animal instincts – when it comes to treating people who are not from our family – from our locality – from our community – from our region – or from our country.

I am crying and I want to cry. It is not that humanity died its first death today – but the horror that this image forces us to face cannot be explained in words.

Yes, the world, unfortunately, has layers of refugee crisis problems – in North Korea, in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, in Myanmar – in many other countries scattered across the different continents. People from these crisis hotbeds are forced to risk their lives to buy a safe life for their families.

The image sums up the horrifying situation tens of thousands of human-beings are forced to be in, seeking the shore to fix their lives, a shore that is increasingly becoming elusive.

Reports say ‘Turkish coastguards have rescued some 50000 people in Aegean Sea’, the asylum seekers in Europe, this year alone. Reports say ‘Europe is facing the biggest migrant crisis since the World War II’.

Here is an image of the three year old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi with his elder brother Ghalip shared by their aunt, Tima Kurdi, on her Facebook page. Tima is settled in Canada for long and Aylan’s family, too, was trying to move there. Aylan, Ghalip and their mother, a family from the strife-torn town Kobane in Syria, were among the 12 people who lost their lives while trying to migrate to Greece through sea-route. Later, Aylan Kurdi’s was found lifeless, lying face down, on a Turkish beach. Migrants arriving in Turkey from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and many others try to cross the Mediterranean to reach Greece that serves as the gateway for them to the European Union countries.

AK-G-TK FB
Image Courtesy: Tima Kurdi’s Facebook Page

©SantoshChaubey