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The rail bombings in Mumbai, India yesterday is another shocking tragedy; another alarming display of inhumanity and callous disregard for human life, and especially for the innocents caught in the middle of political and ideological conflicts and territorial struggles in the Indian Subcontinent and around the world. The events and magnitude of the tragedy are still unfolding: with nearly 190 dead and over seven hundred injured in seven or eight bomb-blasts on a heavily-travelled commuter line at the evening rush hour. I have travelled on this commuter line in 1972 and I cannot imagine the panic and confusion and the shock of the eyewitnesses and anguish of the loved ones of the dead and injured in the aftermath of this dispicable act of terrorism directed at the innocent by whosoever is responsible for this crime against humanity. Our hearts and prayers go to the families of the victims, the people of this emerging Asian giant, and to its present national leadership which in recent years have been on a courageous path of peaceful cooperation with all its neighbors and creating unimagined opportunities for prosperity at home for India's one billion people.

Along with poverty, hunger, disease, especialy HIV/AIDS, and regional conflicts, terrorism is another dark chapter for our times. Just when the world could be forever more enlightened about freedoms and rights and individual and collective achievements, cooperative and interdependent and immeasueably prosperous, it continues to drift towards a state where indiscriminate violence seems to have become dangerously rampant and common place tool by the terrorists to express political dissent; ethnic, cultural, and religious hatred and mindless terror in the name of religion to pursue misguided concepts and ideology of freedoms and liberty, and righteousness for their "just" cause. The outrageous and sensational acts like bombing commuter trains and buses, skyscrapers, religious shrines, tourist resorts, and community infrastructure attract immediate world attention.

Such murderous and tragic events are always followed by quick and rightly condemnation and solidarity from friendly quarters, but nations have yet to come to a coordinated and effective strategy to combat this global menace that is devastating countless lives, jeopardizing the future of peace and prosperity of the world that we share as a human family. We are baffled by this senseless and increasingly dangerous and daring escalation and the frequency with which this violence is occuring around the world.

We hope that the world leadership will come together in spirit, work closely with teachers and scholars; religious leaders, mentors, and parents; organizations and institutions to begin a long-range effort to instill universal values that faith and cultures have always promoted; create room and an environment to involve those who are on the fringe and offer an alternative to their lives and mindless pursuits; and more especially prevent the new generations from joining into their ranks due to disillusionment and frustration with the hopeless that surrounds their lives and permanently eclipses their future. We must close the open wounds that terrorist have been exploiting.

Tough counter and harsh measures, with no room to reconcile, resolve the crisis, and get to the underlying causes will only help escalate and continue this spiral of unabated nighmare as witnessed by Mumbai yesterday, in London last year, in Spain two years ago, in the USA almost 5 years ago, in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Bali, Indonesia, on many continents over the last three decades. The causes of conflict and outrage may differ but the outcome is the same: suffering and slaughter of the innocents being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

While those with great minds, immense power, and greater understanding of the issues and problems that surround such violent struggles are working hard to find a solution to this global menace of terrorism as a tool to achieve political, ideological, and cultural ends, we, each in our own way, have a responsibility to strengthen the vital human need for peace and hope at our level by building bridges and walk towards each other in friendship, trust, and by creating a united front for mutual respect and peaceful existence with our neighbors of diverse backgrounds in our communities.

Peace, an important state for human survival, achievements, and excellence, is not going to happen without each of us continuing to invest into it with our heart, efforts, and gifts to address this matter in and around our shared space and environment and daily encounters at work, worship, or play.
We can also offer the universal hope of the Sikh prayer to one another:
"In Your Name, by Your Grace, may there be peace among all nations, cultures, and people everywhere." Then work towards it as the songs and faith commandments stress: "Let it begin with me." I pray that some day these isolated "islands of peace" will be interconnected with our universal and sustained commitment to such an ideal and thread all humanity in a spirit of brotherhood and peaceful accommodation.

Recognizing the gravity of the moment , we offer our solidarity in spirit and prayers to the entire nation of India and to those who have suffered unbearable losses and facing uncertainties about their loved ones. We also hope that the world will come together to find a way to end such nighmares occuring anywhere in our lifetime. Now that is a goal that concerns the survival of the entire human race and worthy of our pursuit, prayers, and tireless striving.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA