From the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, if I have learned anything at all it’s this: it’s heroic to take up arms and fight till you vanquish them or they vanquish you. It’s not ‘a civil talk’ that will save the world, there’s no dialogue between a knife and the throat it wants to slit; it is the courage to stand up and defend your homeland against the occupation. The world does not care if there’s one country less on the map, your life is already dispensable if you surrender before the first siren goes off.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has changed the dynamic of the West completely and left the world wondering about the third great war. The world coming together for Ukraine – praying, protesting, and speaking up – has awakened all the sleeping souls of the civilized world that had transcended to the sky in a slumber of salvation. The language of fighting back has roared again in parts of the world where the jargon had dried up of Third World words like siege, invasion, homeland, resistance, and occupation – primarily because the sense of security is so naturally inherited that it never occurred, even by chance, that someone somewhere could be born without it.
Not even once do I condone what’s happening in Ukraine, but neither do I not resent the coverage that has failed Palestine, Kashmir, Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and all other countries that I have no idea about because they were never important enough for the civilized ears and eyes to be heard or seen – or has only covered the round-table meetings offering more round-table meetings for peace, stones pelted, resources wasted away, a child shying away from the camera in the heart of mountains, or a bombing aimed at neutralizing the destroyers of peace and perceived terrorists.
This war has starkly reaffirmed the hypocrisy of the current world order; what lies beneath the silk of civilization is crude racism, a deep-rooted sense of superiority, and years of confidence that come with unchecked power. In the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, there have been other wars going on for decades now – wars of colour which are fought on the eastern soil, wars waged by the civilized world itself or at least prolonged by it.
The guardians of the West take the highest ‘relatively civilized’ seats while decrying whataboutism when the other wars are talked about – least worried about years of war crimes, starvation, and army aggression that have been taking place in the tens of countries, more worried about how such discourses could feed into the hands of Russia. 40 days of this war have resulted in more sanctions and actions than decades of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and multiple wars – implying the superiority of the Western soil over any other, the sanctity of the Western blood over the Eastern blood.
All that I have said so far is known to most people, has been debated, and is, in the least, dispassionate. However, the apathy that has lingered towards the East and its ever-deteriorating sense of security has erupted to stir the world if not its order – the common and the mundane if not the rulers and the elites. If not defiance and resistance, what remains of survival for those already alienated by the world? The Russia-Ukraine war has started passionate discussions on “occupied peoples’ right to armed resistance”; there have been rounds of applause for making Molotov cocktails; there are now heroes born out of ordinary people who defend their soil. It’s bravery when you hurl petrol bombs at one of the world’s mightiest army giants. You stand against the oppressor; the world stands with you. Our terrorism is your courage when you have blue eyes and blonde hair.
Taizeem Bilal is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Anzal Khan
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.