26 March 2011

Stalemate in Afghanistan

I normally do not come to work on Saturday, today was an exception. The days objective have been achieved and I was in a pretty good mood till I stumbled upon this recent post from one of my favorite photographers Steve Mccurry's Stalemate in Afghanistan
Steve is obviously a world renowned photographer who shot the Afgan Girl, Sharbat Gula  on National Geographic cover. He continues to provide us with amazing photographs from the sub continent and I follow him quiet diligently on his blog. 

His photographs on the recent post are so gruesome, shocking that they would make any reasonable human being wretched, wretched for being part of this society who cares nothing of the tragedy that they have bestowed for decades to the children, woman and men of Afghanistan. The geo-political wars have no end or reasons, firstly the Russians come in and Americans support the tribes to fight them with help from neighborers, then after the Russians are ousted, they fight these tribes in the name of terrorism. The justification remains in the name of Al Qaeda and war against terror which will never be won but will continue to sacrifice thousands of young innocent men, women and children. Children who would loose limbs and become crippled when they should be playing and running on the streets. 

As a photographer (atleast an amateur one), I look carefully at all photographs, trying to de-construct them, trying to learn what makes them work. Today I couldn't - I could not keep my gaze on them, so shocking they were. I wonder why the world doesn't notice these. The media fills up our idiot box and senses with images of natural tragedy but chooses to ignore this one created by mankind. 

It would be fair to say that I feel very little and insignificant today. I complain about poor infrastructure in my city and here are fellow beings whose shelters are being wiped out by bombs. I complain of corruption in my country and here are fellow beings who have to fight to just survive. I complain of being overworked by my employer and here are men and women who have no means to earn bread. How insignificant is all my problems, when compared to the inhuman tragedy that we fail to notice. I wish Steve's efforts do not go in vain - that his images wake us up and that powers that matter recognize that there is no end to this war, that there will be no winners and that its time to leave Afghans alone and let them be. 

To sign off with hope, here are some words by poet Sahib Tabrizi picked from Khalid Hossieni's Book - A land of Thousand Suns , a must read for those who wish to understand Afghanistan travails. These words which were sung in praise of beautiful Kabul.

"...One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls"
Let me know your views, comments and hope you would in your own way share the link to Steves photographs, our 2 cents worth of contribution to this cause.


mayankpandey said...

this world is unfair. i tell you.

Zephyr said...

Came back from Steve's blog shell-shocked at the images. Truly, it is pathetic that we choose to ignore such tragedy, even justifying it as necessary to keep peace. Isn't it laughable? Thanks for sharing the link.