Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Civil Wars

Civil wars can also be cataclysmic in the extent of damage they cause,particularly the ones which involve secession of a small part of a country which claims its independence. The damage caused, albeit isolated to the small secessionist state, is total, wiping out almost everything. I just finished reading Half of yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, centered around the events of Nigerian civil war of late 1960s. This was first novel i read that was set in Africa and the first one after i resolved to pick up of novels from different countries and continents which i haven't touched till now.

I saw Nigeria of 1960s as a country with lot of diversity,grappling with post imperialistic problems which combined with ethnic tensions actually led to the civil war. I feel had India not been partitioned after independence, we might have gone through a similar civil war which would have been even more devastating considering the size of the nations involved and it would have also ended with two separate nations. Also with this context,one might realize,how important were steps taken against Khalistan and how severe can be the Naxalist problems of our country.

Adichie's work is very humane and involving in its approach, to say the least. It is not just a compilation of events, but a thickly woven story,told from three different view points. This combined with the fact that this was an hitherto unknown part of history to me, made the novel an interesting read for me.

There are a lot of countries today that are grappling with with political instability or conflicts with neighboring countries; the world death toll due to human conflicts it seems, was never higher. An argument against this can simply be that in today's information age we are more informed about other parts of the world and hence perceive that death toll today is high. May be the 19th and 18th century were as tumultuous,but because of the communication gaps,the extent of damage at any moment was never perceived to be that big.

P.S I decided to carry on with the blog and will try to post alteast more than once a week. However, i don't expect myself to spend a lot of time posting,hence most of the posts would be short,on-moment-types and as you can read above,hardly structured.

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