However, the news from back home was equally frightening. The US had elected a bigoted strongman to be the next President. His hatred towards minority immigrants gave rise to the re-emergence of dormant white supremacists. Carrying lighted torches, this band of thugs openly chanted hateful rhetoric, while parading in a quaint campus town. The strongman’s muted condemnation signaled his latent support of the group. Like many of his tolerant and secular Indian classmates, Mark started to feel a bit of hopelessness on the state of current world-affairs.
And this was the time, when he got a few days of study-break due to a week-long Indian festival. To explore other countries in the region, he flew to Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Burma). The city has been located in the south-east section of the country. At the airport, he met his pre-arranged tour guide Mr. Uo Thant, a college-educated young gentleman. Over next few days, Mr. Thant led Mark to various places of interests in the city, especially city’s famous landmark golden Schwedagon Pagoda as well as a scenic boat-ride in the glorious Irrawaddy River. However, Mark was baffled when Mr. Thant advised him against traveling to the northern part of the country.
That night, in his hotel room, Mark opened his laptop. To his dismay, Mark found out that all the major international news outlets were reporting on a major “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya class of minority faith that being currently carried out in Northern Myanmar by the members of the majority class. And the leader of this atrocity is none other than a young monk named Wirathu whom the press had dubbed as the “Buddhist bin Laden”! “What an irony?” Mark thought. The core principles of Buddhism are supposed to be peace, enlightenment and understanding!
Then appeared his epiphany: “Whatever happened to our world’s own promise of “Never Again” after the humanity’s most horrific tragic event of Holocaust annihilating six million Jews during World War II and millions most recently in Rwanda and Balkan countries?”