An Open Letter to Mr. Putin

Dear Mr Putin

We human beings have come a long way since the days of primitive Homo sapiens and have invested centuries and millennia in perfecting our intellect, knowledge and skills to develop the current civilization. We enjoy the cozy comforts of modern life in luxurious homes in cities and towns, which has taken millions/billions of man hours and the sweat of our eyebrows to bring about change from those savage times. We also have diverse and luxurious modes of transportation with unlimited speed and comfort. We even hit the moon and stars to decode the secrets of life and the universe. What greater reason for joy can there be than to be alive in modern times and in today’s world.

Great empires have been built and many great civilizations have arisen in the last five thousand years of traceable history as we have learned from historical accounts and the remains of the great monuments and civilizations spread across the world. But all had imploded from within and crumbled due to the greed for wealth, unbridled power and inflated egos of the few.

Your campaign against Ukraine is sadly a sad reminder of when we lost empires and razed great civilizations. We must learn from the bloody and devastating wars waged in the past. The curse of war falls on young and old. Beautiful young women and handsome young men are killed or maimed, children are orphaned while old people and patients are left helpless. The grand architecture of the beautiful houses, the avenues, the places of worship, the palaces and the monuments of the towns and villages are lost forever.

I’m sure you wouldn’t like to join the list of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Osama-bin-Laden and their ilk.

The other league has Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and many more like them who have enlightened the world from darkness.

You’ve gotten yourself into a real mess like a boy in an elementary grade who spills his inkwell on his school uniform and smears his hands in the process, when others laugh at him, he splatters ink on them out of frustration. The only difference is that your hands are smeared with the blood of thousands of innocent civilian children and adults and you have pushed the civilized world to the brink of nuclear war, one shudders at the very thought.

It’s time to refresh your heels, take a long lonely walk in the woods and reflect on the beating hearts of the children clinging to their mothers in the underground shelters when your missiles explode above them, not knowing what awaits them in the next few moments, will a family member be ripped off or will the roof collapse on their heads. Think also of the Russian soldiers who fell under the Ukrainian bullets, think of their widowed wives and their orphaned children. It’s also time for you to bathe in the holy waters of the Volga, Russia’s lifeline, may you come out sobered. Listen to the voices of your own citizens who are protesting against the war against Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has stood before you like a rock to defend freedom and democracy for his people. The free world stood by its side while your own countrymen protested against you throughout the length and breadth of your country. You can temporarily succeed in turning beautiful buildings and cities into ruins, but Ukrainians are doomed to be reborn as a Phoenix from the ashes. When women leave their homes to take up arms to defend their children and their homeland, no power on earth can subjugate their people.

I, Dr Kulvir Gupta, a former army officer who lived through the Holocaust of India’s partition in 1947 and was orphaned as a result, still a child at eighty, dream of a world without violence, a world without hunger or greed. Violence is not for humans, it is a bestial trait. I thought we left those traits behind after the murderous wars, but no, the demon continues to thrive in us. We haven’t learned our lessons even from the recent Covid-19 pandemic when brilliant minds are busy fighting the killer virus to save humanity but unfortunately people like you are busy snatching life itself.

I even visualize a world with soft or non-existent borders between countries. Huge armies are stationed on either side of these borders with deadly weapons of mass destruction. We tend to forget that it is we, the human beings, who are also there on the other side of the border.

Our generation is blessed to be here on this planet, Mother Earth which abounds in the grandeur and beauty of her landscape, the mountains, the valleys, the rivers and ravines, the lakes and oceans and the myriad and various forms of life, flora and fauna. The ever-changing colors and climates of mother earth, her unfathomable treasures and resources are enough to sustain us and the thousands of generations that will follow us. Pioneers and scientists work day and night to save the planet, its environment and resources for future generations. It is very unfortunate that you have chosen the path of destruction for the world and future generations.

Believe me, you have already lost the war if the rumors reaching us are true that you sent your family to the nuclear bunkers. What about the millions of Russian families who don’t have access to such bunkers? An eight-year-old Russian boy who had escaped to Poland from his home in Ukraine stepped in as his mother interacted with a reporter who said, “Putin has become Hitler.”

May the Good Lord enlighten you and show you the way to save the world and your country.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.