Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Editorial:The death that changed the face of refugees forever

Editorial in Port Wings, September 16,2015:
Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The image of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, along with his mother and brother while trying to escape their country’s civil war last week has not only shocked the entire globe, but also forced the rich European countries to do some soul-search on what lies ahead on the impending humanitarian crisis.
As anticipated, social media, which usually reflects the daily developments with varied perspective, erupted in one voice and hashtag like #Humanitywashedashore and #Aylankurdi recorded flow of lakhs of messages symbolizing the urgent need for action on growing refugee crisis.
Well, Aylan Kurdi is not alone in reaching the heaven through watery grave while setting out on a perilous journey to avoid internal conflicts back in their homelands.
Since Aylan Kurdi’s death has been well documented due to technological advancements in the field of visual and social media platforms, it created the anticipated ripple globally and forced the common people and international policy makers to watch his tiny washed up body as the face of Syrian refugee crisis.
The phenomena of escaping their motherland through boats to reach any shore that could see them first as humans than troublemakers is not new to the modern world. For decades, Tamils from Sri Lanka and Karens from Burma used these modes to escape from tyranny and oppression in their motherlands and settled in neighbouring countries.
And during Eelam War in the island nation Sri Lanka, there were many such boats with oppressed Tamils set out from the island and barring a few, which reached its intended destinations across the Indian Ocean, many met watery grave in the deep ocean.
And more recently, many families affected in civil war in Iraq, Libya and other African countries made their perilous journey into Mediterranean countries on the European side seeking refuge there. Here too, there were many Aylan Kurdis who lost their lives during such journeys.
Well, one have to see the fundamental reason for why people to set out on such arduous journeys, which most of the time ends up in watery grave than reaching the shores. The answer is very simple. In the absence of peace and tranquility in their motherlands, these people take such enormous risks to save them first to secure a minimum dignified life as human than anything else.
The outrage on Aylan Kurdi is more or less nailed a spot in our hearts and minds that we miserably failed in saving that tiny boy, who deserved a decent life in any part of the globe.
Instead of dwelling around the moral obligation to accept refugees in wealthy countries, the world would be a better place for all of its citizens, if the civil wars are stopped once and everyone gets chance to live peacefully.
Aylan Kurdi has sent out his strong message on humanity in strongest possible way to the world. It is time to take it wholeheartedly.

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