Thursday May 12, 2022

It hurts badly

It hurts badly

A woman sees off her husband for a combat duty as war between Russia and Ukraine drags on.

The Ukraine war continues to rage on. Civilians and soldiers are dying. Many citizens are trapped in homes. Others are escaping the war as refugees to various countries. The plight of refugees is always very grim. They suffer the loss of some family members or separation from them. Many are reduced to penniless paupers.  The refugee influx reminds me of the time when my parents were also reduced to migrants, when they had to flee their homes, lands and business in 1947, after the bloody partition of British India into India and Pakistan. Our world which was stable for many decades had collapsed in just one night.

We had no money to buy food, clothes or even rent a room. We were stranded and depressed. All our homes, offices, fields in Kalarwala, Harappa, Tandalianwala were blown away in the ferocious winds of human rage and brutality gusting along the borders. We were penniless paupers. We registered as refugees in Amritsar.

 We were in Ludhiana on India’s second birthday on 15 August 1948. The town overflowed with refugees who had suffered immensely during partition. There were no celebrations or illuminations. We were yet grieving the loss of parents, brothers, sisters and children. I was struggling to find a livelihood to feed the family. Nevertheless, we were determined to make a new beginning. A new saga had commenced.”  The global press provides statistics of the number of refugees pouring out of Ukraine. Every refugee is reduced to a number, a digit. However, refugees are human beings, with fears and uncertain futures. The world must unite to end the Ukraine war, to prevent more refugees leading tough lives in foreign lands.

Rajendra Aneja,
Mumbai

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