Sunday, November 13, 2005

India's Wall of Sorrow

India has been suffering from terrorism for a long time. The victims of terrorist violence are one long blur of statistics, their reality somehow diminished in being converted to numbers. After the Delhi blasts of October 29, I felt that there should at least be names attached to the victims, and possibly more information, if available. To avoid any association with my political views, I started an anonymous blog, India's Wall of Sorrow.

It has been more difficult than I expected. The violence is daily, scanning the newspapers is profoundly depressing. Very little information is available about the victims; the newspapers do not connect the dots. E.g., Abdul Ahad Chopan was killed a few days ago; the very same newspaper reported on the killing of Ghulam Mohammad Chopan, son of Abdul Ahad Chopan, in 2001. Are these related? The newspaper does not say. Chopan appears to be a common surname of people from a particular district, so it is impossible to say. Chopan Sr. was a cook for a police battalion, and it seems possible to me that the terrorists killed his son, and then him for "collaborating" with India. What might Chopan's story be? Did he spend the last few years of his life constantly looking over his shoulder? Was he merely an ordinary person seeking to make a living? Was he something more, say, an undercover agent?

Then how right is it to intrude into other people's grief? I believe people often most want privacy when dealing with tragedy.