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Sunday, September 19, 2021

The New Taliban Brats With Brand New Arsenals!

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While I was in college I used to be awake till late at night studying, I had a thermos filled with tea to keep sleep away. My room had a window facing the main road and exactly at 1.30 in the night our patrol gurkha Sri. Bikram Tamang ji would come blowing his whistle. We would have steaming tea together and chat for some time. I was fascinated looking at the Khukuri (Gurkha Curved Knife) he had with him. I had asked him to get me one when he went to his native in Nepal. Though he would nod his head he would forget that very next minute.

During our Third year engineering we had an All India Tour organised and Nainital was one of the destinations. There in a shop I found this Khukuri and I purchased it (I think my friends would remember it now). Back home I decorated it on the hall wall and it was a major attraction. While the youngsters in my family were excited to look at the collection, elders told me that keeping weapons which would cause harm was not a good idea. I do not know why but the Talwar, Khukuri Umri, Bhagnakha, Khanda, Pichangatti, Adya Kathi and so fascinated me in those times. I wondered why the elders were against keeping them in the house. Later on while reading Ramayana I understood the reason.

While on exile Sitadevi asks Shri Rama what was the necessity for Him to carry bow and arrow with him, now that He is living a life of hermit. She feels that when He has to live a life of a sage in the forest He could indulge in cruelty without enmity because of the weapons He carried. To establish her stance she tells the story of a Sage who lived in the forest amidst animals that live to move around him. He never harmed any and that was his nature. As if to challenge his nature, Indra, the leader of Devas came to him and gave him a sword for safekeeping until he returned. The Sage agreed and started to guard that sword. As promised he would not leave the sword he carried it wherever he went.

Without knowledge the faculty of the weapon comes to stick to the carrier of that weapon and hence anger, fury and ultimately inclination to use the weapon set in. The Sage was driven by such faculties as a result of that, he who was gentle being turned violent. Further Sitadevi says that all this happened owing to the reason of associating with a weapon constantly, and the sequel of constant association with weapon is as good as constant association with fire. Sitadevi feels that carrying a weapon was unnecessary and deadly.

Next is how Shri Rama talks to His beloved and convinces her by saying that as a Kshatriya He was entitled to carry a weapon. It was perfectly justified to kill wild animals and demons. Though He was not in the forest to wage war, it was His responsibility to protect Sitadevi and brother Lakshmana. It was His Apad Dharma (Duty at Distress) to carry a weapon.

Look at the present situation the Taliban is said to have 64,300 machine guns, 358,530 assault rifles, more than 22,170 Humvee and 8,000 trucks according to data shared by the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) and the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Moreover, SIGAR shared the Islamist movement controlling over 109 various types of helicopters. Is the U.S.A playing the role of Indra as in the story told by Sitadevi, though definitely the Taliban doesn’t seem to be like the Sage in that story……

We do need weapons, not to terrorise but to defend. Also the weapon is the same even in the hand of a soldier or a terrorist but the intentions behind the use of it makes the difference.

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