I’m sitting at home in Mumbai, faraway from Pulwama. Just a few minutes ago, I heard a passionate group of people shouting slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Pakistan Murdabad’. It is difficult to imagine that this did not happen.

As someone who identifies as a peace educator, what is the appropriate response at a moment like this? My starting point is to notice what is happening inside. Without self-awareness, I cannot engage meaningfully with my surroundings.

I am surprised that I haven’t felt any visceral reaction to this strong expression of anger, sadness, pain and vengefulness. However, I can sense that things are about to get worse.

Will my intellectual posturing help bring peace to anyone who is hurting? No. Therefore, I’m going to spare you any commentary on what should be fixed as far as defence and diplomacy are concerned.

There will be bloodshed, and there is no simple explanation because a complex web of historical, political and religious narratives have brought us to where we are. My policy is to do no harm if I cannot contribute to improving a situation. I hope you can consider the same especially if you are gifted with words that can work as weapons.

I am going to take some time off to figure out what might be a kind, mature and responsible way to address what is likely to come up.

Writer, educator and researcher

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