02 December 2008
Famed author and thinker Sixpack Chopstix, also known as Deepak Chopra, has been featured on a number of television shows (including CNN and Larry King) saying that the attacks in Mumbai are the product of America's war on terror. To this I politely offer to Mr. Chopra, you are out of your mind. The tension between India's minority Muslims and their Hindu cohabitants has been simmering since prior to America's existence. This greatest divide crystallized in the separation of Pakistan and India and the battle over Kashmir. The brutal attacks were not against American interests, only icons of Indian prosperity. Hotels, train stations, a hospital and other "quality of life" targets. These are classic soft targets easily placed at risk by even the smallest group of attackers. Think about how American schools "lock down" every time there is an armed crime in their vicinity.
Truth is, I like Deepak. I like his philosophy and his beautiful ability to convey complex ideas. I have heard him speak in person several times and own a couple of his books, even getting a few autographed. Most of what he offers is "quantum flapdoodle", a coined phrase courtesy of Richard Feynman. But I take it metaphorically. Deepak may believe in all the things he says and writes, but I view his work as a message that we are all interdependent in this world. Connected in our lives here on spaceship Earth.
The assault on Mumbai is a perfect example. This was an attack by the ignorant and hateful on all that humanity hopes to achieve. India may still be a terrifically poor nation, but it has a spirit and vitality to it unmatched on the planet. It is a nation struggling to get better. The terrorism of the past few days was designed to throw it back to a darker period of caste segregation, religious persecution and intolerance. For those readers who subscribe to a post-modernist, relativist view of our world, I ask this question. What, exactly, was the grievance of these attackers? They left no note, no manifesto of concerns and to date no one has claimed responsibility. Even the Muslim Council of India has asked that their bodies not be buried - in recognition of their heinous crime.
There is evil in the world. It is bred in fear, ignorance and intolerance. It feeds upon hateful ideology and is spread by gullible people willing to carry a satchel charge into a hospital or an automatic weapon into a train station. It must be met with defiance and determination. It can be co-opted but it must be crushed.