Living The Age of Insecurity

The death count flashes, more photographs of rubble circulate, another ‘terrorist’ is named — his association with groups across the border are marked and re-marked by the press and the state. The reality remains unchanged; we live in the age of insecurity. The reaons why violence has become so deeply entrenched in our social systems are becoming too fragmented to comprehend. Blame the multiple wars raging across the world, the excruciatingly large gaps in the distribution of ‘development’, the silent killings by state-sponsored militia. But, what after we are done with filling this endless list of culprits?

When one hears about a bomb blast these days, the most repeated reaction is: “Terrible news…not AGAIN!…how many killed?…is everyone you know safe?” Surprise does not figure in the matrix of reactions. Shock may linger depending on ‘proximity.’ While sipping red wine at a party, I heard the news. Admittedly it hits harder when one’s hometown is bombed, when a family member could be (and was) two lanes away from the site of the bombing, when there are vivid memories circulating in your head of that popular hangout, now erased from the cityscape. The wine goes bland but the hit is painful.

I wonder now, as I race through the headlines and then chew over what the analysts and the spin doctors have to say, what really changes post-bombing? We still celebrate love in the wake of death. And we must. It is perhaps the only way to maintain sanity while living the age of insecurity.

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