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Did you ever think that we all would be locked inside like this at our places? That neither would anyone come to meet us nor would we be allowed to go outside? That too without knowing for how long?

Well, you did listen to this stuff happening in other parts of the world daily but you never thought it could be you who would become a part of this ever! And how did we react to such news?

“Oh that’s sad, may God help them.”

That was it; our condolences to their loss.

But then why are we so desperate for this to end? Why do we not say the same for ourselves and sit and pray?

You know why? It is because only when it falls upon us do we do every possible thing to get out of a bad situation.

Just a few months ago many parts of the world banned azaan on loud speaker (cities that have banned or restricted the use of loudspeakers by mosques include Lagos, Nigeria, some cities in Michigan, US and Egypt. Limitation on call to prayers by muezzins exist in countries including the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, the UK, Austria, Norway, and Belgium). These same areas have now lifted these bans because they think it might lessen their suffering.

No one raised their voice how they should have for the lockdown imposed in Kashmir. But are now bothered by the lockdown which only asks us to stay home without the threat of an armed soldier ordered to kill us on sight outside. We are keeping a close tab on the death toll due to Corona virus but where were our statistics when each day Kashmiris died at the hands of Indian army. Where were our statistics when the American forces killed innocent Iranian children? Where were our statistics when multiple people were raped and assaulted while the culprits roamed around freely? There are many other things as well, the injustices done in the past are countless but we chose to be a silent audience. We were silent because it was not affecting our families and lives. But now that the whole world has become a part of this pandemic the fear has captured every heart and people can feel the dangerous air. And so they ask each other to help each other, by staying home, by being kind, considerate, and most of all, human. It is heartbreaking to know that it took this for us to acknowledge the pain of those suffering, amongst many other places, in Palestine, Kashmir, Somalia, Kenya, China, Sudan and Yemen for many years now.

 “How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”
Bertrand Russell

Now is the time to think about what we have done to this world, what we are doing with humanity, how much more blood we are willing to shed and how many more levels we are willing to cross to quench our thirst for world domination. If we can be united over pandemics, we surely can be united over these global issues as well. Achieving peace is a continuous journey that many of us are on and though it might seem out of reach, putting our problems and struggles into perspective would help us get closer to reaching tranquility. Whether it is peace of mind or peace on Earth that you are after, it all begins with trying to be calmer, kinder and more present.

“Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division.” —John Lewis

This is a guest post by Hajra Hayat