Thursday, May 18, 2006

While Darfur is Burning

Last week there appeared a glimmer of hope, with encouraging news from Darfur. I was waiting to learn what followed it. Then, over the weekend media outlets were swamped with a series of significant, news worthy events that dwarfed any report from the godforsaken African villages. Jessica Simpson is madly in love with an unidentified 43 year old. Justin Timberlake is rumored to have skeletons in his closet. An American Idol wannabe was sent home prematurely for alleged skirmishes with Paula Abdul. Investigative journalists discovered that Paul McCartney was going through an expensive and ugly divorce. And to top it all, there were gallop poles after gallop poles on President Bush’s prime time address to the nation on illegal immigration. The dying civilians of Darfur appear to have been ‘put on the backburner’.

It is only a decade since the Rwandan genocide shamed the world; its bitter memories still haunting us. Twelve years later, history is repeating itself. Yet the world is playing fiddle while Darfur is burning. This lack of attention and intervention exposes the discriminating and stigmatizing attitude of the rich and powerful towards the poor and powerless. Everyday hundreds of innocent civilians are being killed. Government backed militia is on a killing spree, wiping out villages after villages by planned starvation, poisoning wells, torching huts, and kidnapping, raping and mutilating young girls - number of those affected are staggering. UN estimates that half a million has died so far. The situation continues with no end in sight.

United Nations and the developed world seem stoic and detached. They have their own problems to blame. There is the war in Iraq. Crazy dudes like Kim Jiao Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are making nuclear bombs. Millions of Illegal aliens are invading America. Israel is killing Palestinians and the courteous Palestinians are returning favor. India and Pakistan are playing cold war. Scientists and economists are worried about global warming and oil prices. Britney Spears seems to be having an identity crisis.

Although inundated with the abovementioned issues, United Nations officials are ‘working on Darfur’. African specialists are in the process of doing a cost-benefit analysis. UN linguists are researching if ‘Genocide’ is the right word to describe this madness. Kofi Annan is trimming his sparse yet stubborn mustache for the next media appearance. Media is busy courting Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. All these, while innocent civilians are being butchered like cattle everyday in Darfur.

Few years from now Kofi Annan will make a grandiloquent speech aptly titled ‘in retrospect’, uncontrollably dispensing his finest bosch and lomb tears. Hollywood will make a movie by name Hotel Darfur to be nominated for Oscars. They will sit around tables, sipping wine and nibbling on fruits and cake and chicken satay and crab dip watching images of burned villages and dead children. It is a shame for humanity that history is allowed to repeat itself again and again and again like an energizer bunny.


Blogger Vinod/Kakka said...

We are very civilized now, and are only interested in furthuring our "civilization".
Sometime back, someone in U.N. or some NGO had this idea of stopping arms sales to Africa. Nobody supported that.

9:00 AM  
Blogger idolfan987 said...

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12:13 AM  
Anonymous Syju JS said...

This less heard Nation is no doubt having the ugliest civil war. Be it Darfur Rwanda, Somalia or Ethoipia, why will the UN and the self proclaimed World Police - the US bother? Afterall what is there in Darfur which is of their intrest, to bother? Gold mines? Diamond mines? Oil? Forest resources? or is it Educated Human resources that these poor nations can boast of? Iraq and Iran have oil. So do Kuwait. Afghanistan was a strategic point other than Saudi Arabia, for the US to have their troops in West Asia. So give me one reason why the UN or US show some intrest on this tiny Nation!!
So does the media. They sell their dalies and airtime on the emotions of people. When I say people, I mean not just Human Beings, but Human beings that matter... to them as well as their readers/ viewers!!!
Somebody please tell the media that there is something called "social responsibility" in journalism and the civiliaans of Darfur are also children of the same GOD!!

8:45 AM  
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12:32 PM  

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