Agonies and Dreams…

Hope and despair always go hand in hand. One marks the end of the other in life. We pin our lives on hopes, towering, lofty or miniscule events or issues; all have the rope of hope attached and entwined around them. Every one of us have our share of joys and sorrows; but the epitome of the unending vicious cycle of hopes and despair can be found in the battered lives of an already disturbed nation –Afghanistan.

For three decades now, continuing and protracting since forever, the Afghan refugee crisis has been one of the most severe. News about the crisis has been haunting all of us across the globe. The strongest and the most crushing of the prevailing conditions in Afghanistan compels the citizens to leave their hometowns and literally flee to the neighbouring nations overnight to the countries and lands to which they are nowhere related to, but ironically have to accept it as their new ‘homes’.

War, hunger, anarchy, oppression, despotism, military regime and its uncouth and unfair measures forced millions of people with their families to abandon their nation and flee to Pakistan or Iran in the hope of finding a life, on a land which if not their own, can still give them the reassurance of a life of dignity and equality.

A military regime, republican government, foreign intervention- all have, in their disparate forms, tried to assure equality, peace and justice; but all still have somehow eluded reality. The oppression meted out in the name of religion, is nothing but sheer fundamentalism garbed in different faces. In fact, the extremely mortifying and degradingly partial rule of ‘mehrams’ – a man always accompanying women, in public still persists in the Afghan society. This law clearly is an open defiance to the basic right to live with freedom and is the cornerstone to perpetually reminding humiliation .What else can be the more daunting proof of constantly denied egalitarian justice to the people?

Ravaged by war; whereby emotional attachment to kinsmen survives on a precarious slippery edge of a muddy embankment which is just trying to guard itself from the high tides; but is fully aware of that sooner or later the diffident and self-assuring ground of hopes will be shattered with the wrath of bitter reality. Families are denudated in numbers , in one go; being hit by some fighter plane dropping an annihilating air-bomb; which just sucks life akin to a leach, perhaps drawing blood out of the body.

The harrowing pain of losing your beloved who perhaps went this morning to fetch some food for the hungry stomach is incredulous to even empathise. How can the heart-wrenchingly unforgiving laws of a nation ever bring back the innocence of the people who have undergone all the barbarous animosity of some power-hungry souls?

Rape, inhuman flogging and beating, domestic violence and crimes of the like; effectively poison the dreams, the hopes and the little expectations that every person has from life! Sheltered in the protected, warm lap of the mother and father; a baby never understands the implication of the unending deafening sound of bombs in the sky. These are just a few other graphics with bewildering light works to him; which shudder him with their impact but are pleasing to look at.

The highest exodus of the refugees was reported as a whooping eight million at one point of time; which is now settled at two million a year with Pakistan receiving the maximum of the inflow. Such sheer imbalance is actually leading unto nowhere. Every human emotion is trampled as the giant paws of an elephant ruthlessly tramples the dried and the dead autumn leaves. How do the foresighted nation builders expect to breed love, affection and humanity when every kid witnessed their fathers lashing at their mothers for petty affairs? How can a child learn the values of fidelity to values, ethics of patriotism when even before being conscious of the meaning of the nation he is exhausted emotionally?

But despite the sheer helplessness and the ever pervading tyranny, life continues on and optimism becomes the life sustenance source.

Arpita Chakraborty

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