Rearview: Pulwama Attack & the Difficulty of Being an Amol Palekar in a World of Arnabs

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Rearview: Pulwama Attack & the Difficulty of Being an Amol Palekar in a World of Arnabs

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

t’s difficult not to take a disaster like Pulwama personally. This is not to force-identify with the 44 CRPF soldiers who died when a Kashmiri teen associated with the Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed an explosives-laden SUV into their convoy. Or to somehow conflate the momentary grief we’re feeling with the permanent bereavement of the families who will have to live on with their loss. Yet, even though it is not our bodies that the wounds have been inflicted upon, India will have to live with the scars of this tragedy.    

How do we react to Pulwama? Some of us are facing a paucity of imagination, but many of us – disappointingly – have followed an expected script, the way it has been with other disasters. We’ve responded with the kind of extreme bigotry we reserve for anything Pakistan. We’ve responded with hatred, but not just toward the terror organisations that carried out the attack – we’ve responded with hatred toward our own people.

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