Immolation? I Hate Fire!

Thich Quang Duc

Thich Quang Duc (Photo credit: HopeTom)

I saw this caption, ‘I hate fire’ embedded in a picture on a blog I visited recently and I thought, why not quickly pen this down before returning to my Nanowrimo novel.

Yes, I hate fire and it was actually strange and saddening that some people could light themselves up in protest against oppression! Don’t get me wrong guys, I am not against people demonstrating, albeit, peacefully, but burning yourself? That is a bit in the extreme.

A few months ago, I saw the picture of a Tibetan monk literally lighting himself up! He was protesting against oppression and when I did a little research, I found out the story of Thich Quang Duc, a very popular Buddhist monk revered to this day.

Early in the morning on June 11,1963 at a popular intersection in Saigon, Thich Quang Duc had made his intention known to his superiors that he was going to burn himself to draw attention to the plight of the monks who were being severely oppressed by the US-backed Catholic regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam.

Now I won’t bore you with the graphic details but this Duc guy died for a cause he believed in, and I can’t begin to imagine the excruciating pain he must have felt when he was being burned alive! And so… he died!

The war finally came to an end and many people attested to the fact that his sacrifice was instrumental in drawing the attention of the world to the plight of the monks, and also in a way ending the war.

I don’t encourage anyone emulating that in any way, but that is just my opinion!

Life is a mystery and we can’t understand it all…