Friday, January 27, 2006

After The Vote

Today, very interestingly, every single British Newspaper, I mean the kinds you see people reading on the tube or train, have pushed their usual diet of sob stories or scandals to Page 3 and beyond – and screamed ‘Guys with the bomb win the ballot’!

Well, Hamas winning the Palestinian election has shaken up everyone a bit, not just the government ministers. I am surprised that they are surprised. Remember, I have no first hand knowledge of the Middle East politics, but knew just what the same newspapers were feeding me.

So I knew that Palenstinian Authority under Fatah was corrupt, ineffective, a bunch of politicians who are completely out of touch and unashamed money-grabbers. I knew that Israel send tanks to West Bank and Gaza whenever they want, or bomb whoever they don’t like. Also, from the same newspapers, I learnt that Hamas is a social organisation in Gaza, running schools and hospitals – and from my knowledge of other ideologue parties elsewhere in the world, I guessed while they might be regimented, but they were usually honest and even efficient.

I never thought it is very convenient or pleasing to have a few bombs dropped next door – it is not a very exact business, and so far, for all the mythology, intelligence agents were never as good as Frederick Forsyth and Tom Cruise made them look. So, if I was living in Palestine, I would have been aggrieved, not to mention the feelings of being robbed, neglected and forgotten at the same time! And, then, suddenly, I am told to vote – with two choices, one inefficient, ineffective, corrupt and tyrannical party whose goons roam with guns and rob me and my country, and the other, a regimented sort, but who are fighting the people who bomb my house every other day, run the schools and at least doing a few things correct.

So, what would I have done under the circumstances?

I am sorry – I would not have voted for Mr. Bush! He was not on the ballot.

And, yes, I would have expected Mr. Bush and rest of the world to be fair about it – not say, 'uh! nah! we can not talk to these guys'.

Hamas now stands for Palestinian people. We got to accept that and talk to them. We have learnt by now – we can not wish palestinians away.

Think, we thought they don’t exist and gave the land away to some other people we were guilty about. But they refused to disperse and take flight - like another community had done 2000 years ago, and kept telling us that we must hear them out.

They are still trying their best to tell us that they exist, and they want to be treated on fair, equal and humane terms [exactly like the other community that tried for 2000 years!]. It is better that we listen now. I would have really expected a headline – at least one newspaper – pleading, “Come On! Now Hear Them Out!”

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