Daniel Hannan of The Daily Telegraph argued, “This time, war is wrong because the people look like us and have Instagram and Netflix accounts. It’s not in a poor, remote country anymore.”
War is perhaps the highest category of human disaster. It wipes out everything which comes in its way and be it poor, rich, white, black, old, young, men, women, everyone is affected by war in one way or another. Human killings which take place anywhere in the world, either in war or conflict, should be equally condemned. Generally, we call the media the fourth pillar of democracy and it is expected that at least the media should be fair and bias-free, especially when it comes to the media of the western world which call themselves more civilised than third-world countries. In the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, thousands of people were killed from both sides, but especially heavy loss of life and property, according to media reports, took place in Ukraine.
It is very sad that some media reporters of the western world condemned the killings of Ukrainian citizens and soldiers by mentioning that Ukrainian people are more civilised and cultured and thus, the western world laments and regrets more over their death. For example, a CBS correspondent said on air in a rather shocking clip, “This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan…This is a relatively civilised, relatively European city.” This clearly indicates that according to him Iraq and Afghanistan are not civilised nations. Another clip from the BBC captured the attention of many people in which Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze is heard saying, “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.” Al-Jazeera mentioned that “What’s compelling is looking at them, the way they are dressed. These are prosperous, middle-class people. These are not obviously refugees trying to get away from the Middle East…or North Africa. They look like any European family that you’d live next door to.” BFM TV (France) claimed that “We are in the 21st century, we are in a European city and we have cruise missile fire as though we were in Iraq or Afghanistan, can you imagine!?” Daniel Hannan of The Daily Telegraph argued, “This time, war is wrong because the people look like us and have Instagram and Netflix accounts. It’s not in a poor, remote country anymore”. ITV (UK) stated, “The unthinkable has happened…This is not a developing, third-world nation; this is Europe!” BFM TV (France) again said that “It’s an important question. We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing…We’re talking about Europeans.” A guy on Spanish TV news channel La Sexta said that “These aren’t like the other children that we’ve become accustomed to see suffer on TV, these children are blond with blue eyes, so this is very important”.
These statements from the western media clearly imply that the third world countries are barbaric and heathen and the civilian killings in war in countries and nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Syria, and Palestine have no value at all, while the killings of white skinned people, with blue eyes and blond hair, are more condemnable. Such kinds of claims add fuel to the evil of racism and regionalism.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has resulted in the loss of 14,000 lives since 1987. According to the New York Times, nearly 50,000 Afghan civilians died in the 20-year war. Till 2015, between the bloody conflict between India and Pakistan approximately seventy-thousand Kashmiris and another eight-thousand have been reported missing. It has to be estimated that about 38 million people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria were forcibly displaced by the US post wars. At least 350,209 people have been killed in 10 years of war in Syria, the United Nations says in its first official death toll since 2014. People killed in these countries were also human beings like you and me but on their killings the western media never made any hue and cry like it is doing now on Ukraine killings.
Among all the resources human beings are the greatest resources and every human being is important for the entire mankind in one way or another. Every nation has its own rich and heritage culture and ages-long history. No nation or country in the world can survive alone without the import and export of goods and services. Thus, all the nations and countries in the world are dependent on each other and therefore, peace and mutual cooperation are important.
Media, whether in the form of mass media or social media, plays an important role in mobilising people in all nooks and corners of the world. Thus, it is the need of the hour that the media should spread love and peace across the globe. The technology in the 21st century made it possible to shrink the entire world into a global village and thus, all countries should behave like one family and respect everyone’s feelings and emotions. No nation is above another and the demarcation of nations as civilised and uncivilised in the 21st century is a cheap and despicable act. Every drop of human blood is precious; don’t differentiate it based on race, religion, region, poor and rich, caste and class. Entire humanity will be in danger if the roots of racism, regionalism, casteism, and religious radicalism will not be cut down at the earliest.
The writer is from Pahalgam and a student at AMU. [email protected]