We have stood up and we have been counted. And despite all the caveats and all the filters, there are still many more non-terrorists than there are terrorists.
So, how do we translate these numbers into the strength we need to STOP TERRORISM NOW?
Isn’t it obvious? We have to recognize each other. Then we have to reach out and hold each other by the hand. We have to project a resolve so impregnable that a terrorist would think many times before he or she would hurl himself or herself against it. And we have to work together to drain the swamps that feed the fevered causes of terrorism in our homes.
All this cannot be done in a day and yet we do not have too many days to lose. We need to begin small and have a plan to get big fast.
Here is the contribution of The South Asian Idea and its virtual partner Mehr-e-Niimroz. We will set up a website to facilitate this process. To begin with, The South Asian Idea will promote three functions: First, to be an ongoing roll of all the individuals who sign up to play a proactive role to end terrorism in the world. We will see our names spilling across pages and draw comfort from the fact that there are many of us, that our numbers are increasing, and that we are united.
Second, to be a vehicle for reaching out and joining hands. We propose to initiate this by twinning educational institutions across South Asia – school with school, college with college, university with university, one pair at a time. We will then ask each pair of institutions to facilitate the linking of individual students with each other. These unions will be the bricks of our defensive wall.
Third, to be a forum where these pairs and unions will begin to open their hearts and minds to each other, to air their best hopes and their worst fears, to talk to each other, to raise the tough issues that need to be raised, to discuss the strategies that need to be implemented, to become friends, to fall in love, to provide the mortar that would make our wall of defense impregnable.
Every individual can do but a little. Together we can do a lot. We invite you to reach out and join hands with us.
Volunteers who wish to join this effort should send an email with suggestions and a description of the skills they can contribute to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A discussion group (South Asians for Peace) has been set up as a first step to facilitate an exchange of ideas about more specific initiatives for the future. Do join and contribute your thoughts.