16 December, 2012.
Two years ago, India was shook by the Nirbhaya rape case. The brutal nature of the attack had struck a nerve. And in thousands, Indian citizens– both men and women–took to the streets in protest.
16 December, 2014.
Two years later, what transpired in Peshawar has shaken Pakistan more than an earthquake or a war could have.
Irrespective of the country or the date, the world mourned two years ago and the world mourns now for the 141 lives that have been extinguished.
The militants did not enter the school to take hostage or to negotiate with the government. They came to kill.
The principal of the school was burnt alive in front of the children to fill them with terror. The children were duped and asked how many of them belonged to army families and were shot. Those cowering under desks and chairs were pulled and dragged and killed.
Eight hours. Eight hours of defenceless children without the protective cover of their mothers or fathers.
Why was the school targeted? Because it was a symbol of everything the Taliban was against.
I do not write to make suggestions. I know not why I write this piece. Right now, as I write, my hands shiver and eyes tear up.
Bruised and bleeding, gone are the children.
Forever gone. Dreams destroyed.
Imagine the lives of those who survived! Their precious innocence shattered. Life will never be the same for them.
This heartrending incident has unsettled and disturbed me more than the Nirbhaya case had. The faces of those innocent angels haunt me.
And yet, I find around me, people who read the facts, utter words of sympathy and proceed to movies and shopping and dates.
With time, apathy and forgetfulness will take over.
Humanity will fall, once again, into the depths of slumber.
Until another tragedy hits. Then we’ll hold candle light vigils again.
Perhaps we’ll make a movie on this and give it an Oscar.
Maybe I am not strong enough. Maybe I’m weak. I write to get the pain out. I write because my heart cries in aguish.
I write to reveal that–
Evolution is a myth. People are still animals.