Words fail me. Let me try....the killing of children in Peshawar is horrible, useless, heartless, unwarranted, cowardly, misguided... Sorry! No word comes close to expressing what it really is. As children's book publishers, we've often been asked why we don't have books with dark themes. Blame it on our collective peace-loving brains, but we've never felt the need to do it. When there is so much for children to be seen, heard, loved, enjoyed and shared in this world, why should we want to publish books that touch upon topics like violence, guns, hate, ideological intolerance? And then this happens, chilling us with the sheer cold bloodiness of it.
A few years back, Pratham Books participated in the Lahore Children's Literature Festival. Our colleague Rajesh Khar took pictures, and talked about how wonderful it was to be with the children there....exactly like children anywhere in the world.
As we work on more idyllic books, our hearts go out to the families of the children who died so unnecessarily in Peshawar. We'll hope that this intolerance stops. That children can go to school in peace. That they don't have to pay for the sins of another generation. That they can look forward to a peaceful and happy world. Anywhere in the world.