Apple iPad has brought the whole outside world into our living room! And that is the great luck of the time we live through, it seems.
A little small Syrian girl falls at the feet of the great Christian father and cries, rather loudly that viewers like us are deeply moved and in fact many of us who had seen the sight might have equally cried as well. The Pope is the living Christ for the world’s 2 billion and odd Catholic believers. Not long ago when we were in Rome and went to visit the Pope it was a great experience as well for us who belong to other faiths.
The current Pope’s predecessor was then reining Pope and what a wonderful experience it was to see the Pope and his entourage in all its splendor and ceremony! We have to confess that once you are really informed and understood the great long history of Rome and the Roman empire and if you had gone to see the Pope after you had went around and seen the great and now haunted Roman Forum and had walked through every step along the Via Sacra and saw the final resting place of the great and awe-inspiring site of Julius Caesar and also touched and felt the very inspiring remaining ruins, the many triumphal arches and the remaining tall and sky-reaching historic columns and the far giant structure, the imposing Colosseum; then if you reach the Vatican as we did alighting the Metro, aptly named, Octavian Metro Station and when we went it was raining heavily and we were caught by the rains and we had to hastily get our umbrellas, they were all ready everywhere, all sold by the Bangladesh refugees, it was a real experience that would not have any parallel!
The Pope is the living God on earth for the faithful. Even for us from the Indian continent it was very moving and unbelievable! When the Pope finally entered the great hall which was over-flowing with some 5,000 and odd pilgrims, it was God in front of us. We rise unconsciously from our seats when we saw that imposing figure in its entire splendor.
A visit to Vatican takes you into a historic journey through the ages! A family of five, we were easily spotted by the charming Italian lady guide and soon she discovered that we were rather better informed of the Roman history, among the other tourists and so she would always account us, rather indulgently saying: ‘Oh, the English-speaking Indian family of five, you please, come forward and let me first finish with the other language speakers’. And then she would go into French, German and Spanish! There were couples of these languages! Then it was all in English with us, we indulging to our full satisfaction, asking all sorts of detailed questions! So, it was also in the Vatican and inside the Vatican museum as well.
Now, the sight of the Pope! It could unnerve you, even if you are a sort of non-believer! Such is the weight of history and the sort of history Rome has come to impose on the world! Now, with all this weight behind us, how can the current world see so much again weighed down by the sad plight of refugees fleeing from their own lands and seeking a place in the outside of their own dear lands!
So, we see the European countries like Germany and neighbors embracing the new comers and the rest of the world remaining just mute witnesses? Has the rest of the world no moral responsibility? The USA wants to be the leader of the world. It hasn’t spoken out in loud and clear voice! As it should have. What about the noisy and very disturbing rhetoric of the electoral candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? The rest of the world leaders, in Russia, China and also about India?
Where is man’s solidarity with fellow man? It is all very painful to see the world as it is hurtling towards more dangerous edges with Syrian war, North Korean adventures and China’s rather not the rational world view! What about India? India’s own internal contradictions, empty rhetoric and most irresponsible behaviour. Towards minorities, religious and ethnic classes.
So the sight of the small Syrian girl’s cry and the great compassion and reassuring words of the Pope Francis are the only hopes for a possible reconcilation for a new world that should receive more refugees within their national borders. The time has come for the world as a whole to realize that every human being has a moral right to seek refuge and live a life of dignity and fulfillment.