May The Devil Take The Hindmost!
In a snapshot, an old man is seen bowing down in front of Lord Jesus inside a church for one last time before leaving the country. This image of the northern Ukrainian city of Irpin has shocked the world, and also reminded the global community of an eternal truth, which is Those, who suffer the most during a war, have nothing to do with it.
War usually claims those lives, whose daily requirements do not match with that of the statesmen with vested interests. The recent Russian military operation has destroyed nearly 202 schools, 94 hospitals, 1,500 houses in Ukraine, as people in hundreds of villages have been without water and electricity. They are not directly related to the Kremlin or NATO.
The Russians, too, have no control over the policy-makers of their country. They are feeling the terrible economic and political consequences of the war. While some of them have left the country, others are staging protests against their President. They have realised that the war would gradually change their daily lives, and it would be difficult for them to return to normal life.
During the International Book Fair (February 28 – March 13) in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, Russian space journalist Anna Moreva apologised to her Ukrainian friends, saying that the loss of innocent lives and properties due to international political conflict was most unfortunate. She also reminded the people of India about the Partition of the Indian Sub-continent (in 1947), stressing that the inhabitants of South Asia, too, had become citizens of two different countries overnight. Moreva added that the people in the Sub-continent had witnessed clashes and massacres, apart from experiencing refugee crises. “All these happened because of petty politics, which made the lives of hundreds of thousands of people a misery,” insisted the Cultural Ambassador from Moscow. Similarly, the centuries-old cultural relations between Russia and Ukraine are facing a political confrontation, stressed Moreva. “Unfortunately, politics shall determine the future relations of the two countries, and common Russian and Ukrainian people would have to accept that,” she told the Indian media. For his part, Russian painter Konstantin Poliakov said: “International conflicts take place from time to time, but cultural connections live on.”
War usually damages the morale of the people. The people of the invading country, in particular, feel guilty most of the time, although they are hardly instrumental in starting the war. One may recall how propaganda had become active in justifying horrific attacks during the Second World War in Nazi Germany. It is quite natural for the people of a country, which drops bombs on its neighbours and gradually separates itself from the rest of the world, to feel guilty. The State Apparatus has to suppress the fact in order to wage the war.
War is basically a confrontation between Humanity and Politics, and it becomes embodied in the tension between the State and its People. It is evident in Moreva’s views, and also in various activities of the Russians.
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