I can still see the reflection on the inside lip of the automatic weapons. They looked like M-16s, but I am clearly not an expert, especially when they are pointing at me. My eye’s memory still frozen by the center darkness hiding potential destruction and horror that is ringed by the shining mirror and hard reality of steel glistening in the sun. The fear took a few days to embed itself into my mind; almost two weeks later, it is still there.
Everyone seemed to have a weapon. The carriers obviously included police, special police, regular army, and commandoes, in uniform and out. I wondered about the people I could not see, terrorists hiding in civilian clothing. What were they carrying? Was I an innocent bystander waiting for a crossfire bullet?
I wondered aloud about the issues. Was the government a victim or the accused? The answers have changed over time. What began as a victims fighting for justice has become bullies fighting for easy money. It is power versus greed with innocent mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters as victims.
“God hates…hands that murder the innocent.” (Proverbs 6.16,17)
There are no excuses the world as known by the people in Imphal. Streetlights stand unlit. Home lighting occurs without using normal bulbs and sockets. Gasoline is only available in tea stalls where they know your face. Roads are single lanes twisting around dusty craters within the wide boulevards that span the city. Potable water is a luxury unknown by city inhabitants.
There are a few stark exceptions. The wealthy and powerful drive in air-conditioned cars into homes secured and patrolled. People flash their gods of the latest camera or satellite dish, apparently unaware of the statement they make to those in pain around them.
Greed exists in all forms in every place. I wonder if any realize just how violent the treatment is to those in need. If I am not a hand of help and compassion, am I helping hand to those who are murdering the innocent? I will take a hard look and act, regardless.