Calling out the archaic game of terror

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When senses are overloaded with multitude news and views
And information travels in & out of body, faster than the old-world oxygen & carbon
When movements are getting limited to moving fingers on key board
And public opinion is shaped by online petitions & Facebook likes…
When media is full of overwhelming stories of fear, violence, hatred
And the restless city life provides little anchor in self or community

In such a fragmented, frenzied and fragile social fabric—
How do we differentiate between our actions and the act that we are part of?
How do we see the script that has been written & directed for millions of years?

Animal world hunter or predators knew this game well—
First, find a herd busy in feeding their individual selves, oblivious to the ecosystem
Take them by surprise, so they run helter-skelter to save their lives
Give overwhelming dose of fear so they don’t get to reflect and organise
Create a scene that disconnects them from their own power— personal or collective
Then find a scapegoat. Slay it. And feed on it in presence of others.
Let the fear go down their genes.
Let the whole herd, ingrain in their DNA, that they are alone, fragmented, powerless.
Help them tweet, post, make it a big deal, so that it becomes a collective memory.

Old world dictators and aristocrats also knew it well—
They were threatened by a new breed of soulful warriors
Who refused to be part of the fearful herd and turned back to fight
These warriors could replace collective animal fear with hope
These warriors could expose the corruption of the powerful
So the the aristocrats invented the gladiators
And forced these best of soulful warriors to play a death game
While rest of the population watched public killing with great uproar, in exchange of little bread
Their own warrior and their own soul was brutally murdered
And in midst of those celebrations, fear prevailed…
Leaving each of the audience, fragmented, powerless, fragile…

In the new world, the game became more sophisticated
Industries & governments were the new power centres who send their best to armed wars
Or created conditions for informal, ideological civil wars and named in terrorism
Or incorporated global companies that led insidious exploitation of all resources, including human

Either ways, the game continued and served the powerful
Took the masses by surprise, fragmented them, exploited them, scapegoat some
and celebrated death to induce more fear and powerlessness.

The democratic mind demanded choice
And got satisfied too soon, between the two—
Either you go to war with our army or theirs!
Logos will help you justify that your side has the moral right to kill

Yet, what we all missed is that we were still on war—
Away from Kingdom. Away from fields. Away from families and children
Away from our own soul and longing
Away from the riches that our wars and sacrifices generated for the powerful.

Predator strategies have not changed
Dictators have not disappeared
Fear remains a valuable currency of power
Our degrees and bank balance has not given us any better sense
Patterns repeat and will do so…

Unless we, the herd of deers, or audience of gladiators, or social media aggregators,
decide to stop…

To stop our frenzied, fragmented, fearful run
And look at the hidden, old patterns of power
Refuse to participate in the scapegoating celebrations
Refuse to go to war from either side
Refuse to get drunk on the scared righteousness story
Refuse to play the old script of “us vs them”
Refuse to run for life…

And choose to live for love
Choose to look straight in the eye of fear
Join shoulders, paw the ground with forefeet, and dirt flying backward…
And get ready to fight together

No lion worth its salt will dare exploit a herd that stands its ground together
No dictator however brutal can thrive on fear if the audience stands with gladiator and calls the game over
No act of terrorism can sustain if we refuse to feed on its core values of fear and fragmentation

When the victim drops his costume of fear,
The prosecutor is also liberated from his spell of violence
A warrior who has found his inner king and anchor
Wins without lifting the sword

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— manish srivastava

(from the sacred well…)
pic sources: warrior, gladiator
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