Allow me to propose something that might sound radical, maybe
even stupid: All foreigners should stay in India and Pakistan.
Better yet, more of us should move there and stay there.
That's the point, and it makes sense considering the circumstances.
Nuclear war, even the threat of nuclear war, is crazy, and that's
I can hear my detractors now: "What on earth is staying
in a (would-be) war-zone going to accomplish?" Well, for
once, the world might finally take ownership of a problem for
which we are collectively responsible. And, I think anybody
living in a multi-cultural country like Canada should realize
humanity does not exist by one country alone. We should not
abandon something we are intrinsically a part of.
Nonetheless, an increasing number of governments are urging
their citizens in India and Pakistan to leave the region as
soon as possible. I am one of them I have been living in India
for more than nine months. In fact, I'm one of an estimated
3,000 Canadians who have been asked to leave. The reason is
obvious. We're supposed to be taking the precaution of securing
our own safety if war breaks out, especially considering both
sides have nuclear weapons.
There are reports that if a nuclear warhead hit where I am living
in Delhi, which is easily within range from Pakistan, two hundred
thousand people would die in five seconds, the blast would then
destroy everything within a 10-kilometre radius, and severely
injure 300,000 more people -- blinding them, burning them, traumatizing
them for life. This, from one bomb.
Within 10 hours, India says it could retaliate to destroy all
major cities in Pakistan. And a full-scale war could leave up
to 12 and of course, our personal instinct would be to avoid
such a death. Bear in mind though, our instincts are not bydefinition
informed by a sense of justice. It's fight or flight. But if
we can't get past this, then tell me why I want to bother being
a part of the human race. Taking care of yourself, and what
youperceive to be your own community, can only be justified
Eventually you have to admit that you're being a bigot.
As you've perhaps heard, many people are leaving, like I myself
might have to leave. I don't want to be a martyr, and doing
something on my own won't solve anything. But I also don't want
to be a hypocrite by saying my life is valuable but my Indian
brothers and sisters are not.
It's easier for me to say this. I've lived in India, I've made
friends, I've fallen in love with the country and its people,
and the magic that lives here. So perhaps I have a better sense
of people being cheated. Of how this is not a foreign country.
This is part of my home that is in danger.
And it's in danger because we allow our political and military
leaders to play these games, with lives we're expected not to
The only way this is going to end is through a massive gesture
of solidarity. Don't call me a hippie, and shrug this off. There
are no Mahatma Gandhis today, and so no one person can stop
this, especially if the rest of us turn our backs.
shook heads. Inside, the entire room.