By M.C. Linthoingambee
Going by the constant readiness for a flare up between nations, it is scary to think of a large scale war in today’s time. This, even after we are yet to come to terms with the scale of loss, pain and trauma in the two earlier world wars. Currently, constant airstrike and a plane crash that has been attributed to missile firing in a conflict zone has led to loss of lives, human rights violations, child massacre and the leading increase of traumatized people. People live in constant fear hoping that they might have one more day to add to their existence. Has the Right to Life already flown out of the window? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights for example has played a major role in guaranteeing a number of rights to people including Life. Who would have thought that living might give more scars than we can imagine? If we look at the bigger picture, the earth has no boundaries but it is the people who has developed those ideals in the first place. We are all constantly against the idea of war in the hope of achieving freedom and better lives. But what’s happening currently in Gaza has led to the loss of lives of many women, men and children with other human rights violations increasing in sight even confirmed by UN officials.
Taking away of a human life is a condemned cause by many but it still goes unnoticed in so many occasions. International Human Rights Law has termed the life of an individual as more sacrosanct rather than exercising arbitrary powers of taking over a personal space. The use of death penalty could be said to be one of the examples of depriving an individual’s right to life although law does not merely prohibit the cause as a punishment for crimes but does encourage its abolition and limit its use. Although one might object and say serving the capital punishment might justify for rapist or people who are responsible for war crimes. Killing is permitted at times of war save for the murder of civilians and prisoners of war. Human rights law thus tries to respond to the myriad of ethical dilemmas raised by the right to life by establishing a range of prohibitions and exhortations.
What’s really at stake here is the fact that every human being has the right to life which must be protected by law. International law does not outlaw all kinds of warfare and violence. The right to life in such situations is not absolute. International humanitarian law seeks to impose restrictions on the way violence can be used at times of conflict. Living is not merely an act of living for the sake of breathing but rather a general availability of food, clothing and shelter. What happens in times of war does not define the above but a constant opposite of reckless idiocracy of one person or power trying to prove their ranks by using the means of war. Can’t we stand to adjunct the halt of war and the use of war-fare? The recent fall out of Malaysian Aircraft MH17 that had resulted in a loss that is immeasurable could prove to be one of those effects of the volatile want of power. Nearly 1 child dies every hour in Gaza and it is an increasing rampage as if we were in the killing spree of mosquitoes. If human lives have come down to the significance of being merely mosquitoes, then are we really being humane. Certain categories of persons, civilians or combatants, who have laid down their arms or are injured, are considered protected. The right to life of these categories is upheld and can be violated for example, by indiscriminate shelling or deliberate execution or denial of access to water, food or medicine.
Why should we even better of something happening miles away? We could put up a series of questions to that effect but at the end of the day, we all belong to the same world. When it comes to surviving war, there are no ranks and even the social elites become equal to the commoners; soldiers become sons or brothers or a father to civilians. This is not the kind of world we want to leave for our children one day. Someday we will all be parents – a mother, a father and if we are unsure of today how are we expected to bring our children in a world filled with absence of humanity. There are more people in the world who are ready to help, more who wishes to stop war, and more who wishes to bring smiles, more who work to benefit the underprivileged. The untold gesture of being real in a lost paradise is not what we were raised to believe in for it not today, when do we start being real to ourselves?
Yesterday, there were less representation of rights and we still had wars, today we have more representation of rights but we are still having wars. And several years down the line, one country’s war may become another country’s war and it may expand like the big bang that has once been believed to have happened. It took a little girl to bring courage into picture like the existing diaries of Anne Frank who lives on till today. Maybe history repeats itself but are we really willing to do it at the cause of more young lives?