To be able to think, perceive, relate and do whatever things that brain allows us to do is an extraordinary thing. 7+ billion people, 7+ billion ways of perceiving things and relating it, but, as a whole we judge something just as, good or bad, right or wrong, yes or no. Recent developments have confused me to the level where I am judging my own thinking. For a moment, I feel I have made the right thing and after some time I realize, “what would have happened if I had done the other way?” At this moment, a part of me defends my decision and looks over the positive outcome of it. Also, at the same time, I tell to myself, “Is it necessary to defend my own decision and how can I judge if it’s the right one?”
Anyway, the thing that struggles more in my conscience is related to the worldly affair. Some years ago, during the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo shootings at Paris in 2015, during one French language and culture class of my masters, the French teacher said that he wanted to know what goes through the minds of the so called terrorists who killed the innocent people in the incident. This in turn, recalled anecdotes about the discussion I had with my Science teacher during the high school. With respect to the terrorist attacks in the past, my science teacher said that the thing that amuses him is the way how someone can manipulate a person to kill another person. Following these thoughts my mind passed through Natural Born Killer movie and Stockholm syndrome.
As a person with enough education and general knowledge and being brought in a country where famous personalities in country’s history has set an example for achieving things by peace and non-violence approach, I was taught to live in peace and harmony. The thought of obtaining inner peace from Kung fu Panda movie and famous hakuna matata from Lion King movie are some of the things I am trying to incorporate in my life. The greatest thing about me is, being human aided by guidelines of a democratic society. I consider myself sane and to a sane person like me and everyone else, upon hearing the news of any terrorist attack or any other atrocities on people (and animals), I get frustrated and feel desperate to go back time and prevent and make it feel safe. Sometimes, my initial reaction is to kill those who commit heinous atrocities on poor people.
Same thing happened when terrorists attacked the Mumbai in 2008. The live feed of the event in the TV kept the entire nation engrossed. After the successful counter attack by Indian counter-terrorists with the loss many notable police officials and commandos, the terrorist attack was nullified. They were successful in capturing a terrorist alive. The entire nation wanted the terrorist to be dead immediately and I too echoed same. As the days passed, the effect of event faded a bit bringing back the normal routine across the country. But, the scar hasn’t healed completely and is still left on many.
After 4 years of trial, discussions, panels, finally, the court issued death penalty to the captured terrorist whose name is Ajmal Kasab. 21-year-old at the time of attack, he was an illiterate brought up in a poor family from a rural area of Pakistan. At the time of verdict, I was studying my bachelors. I know the entire country rejoiced at the verdict with some complaining in the delay of judgement and other saying justice delayed but not denied. While others rejoiced, I was in kind of dilemma. I remember reading the newspaper which mentioned about Ajmal Kasab’s reaction on hearing the verdict, which said he cried then and there itself. I wouldn’t have worried much if there were no survivors among terrorists during the counter attack and Kasab was killed. But years after the event, years after feeding him biryani, he wasn’t the same person who he was during the attack. He was a changed man; he was guilty of his actions. I am basing my opinion on the tears which he got upon hearing his death penalty.
According to the Indian Penal Code, it was right to give him death for his actions. Most people agree to it. But I wasn’t and by that, I wasn’t even ready to free him. I was in dilemma to take actions on him especially 4 years after the event. I was pondering how a human can judge to issue death penalty to another human. Although Kasab was sane person but illiterate, the atrocities he committed felt right in his own perspective. For an illiterate guy, who made to believe he will be rewarded for his actions in the afterlife, he committed his actions. He agreed to do it because he was promised large amount of money to him and his family. And in case if he would die as martyr, he believed (more like made to believe) he would get all the fortunes and amazing life in the heaven. Given the condition Kasab brought up, he believed and aimed for higher things so he agreed to commit his actions. He was in a way to please the one above all and reach him. That was his perspective and objective.
If one thinks what he did is wrong, upon visiting the history, we will come across one of the bloodiest wars in the name of religion and for piece of land, the crusaders war. It was noble cause to fight, which is what told on both the sides during that period. And soldiers were taught similar things as Kasab was taught now. It’s noble, valor, pleases lord, heaven if he comes to see it. During that period, those who could defend themselves were warriors and those who couldn’t were innocent and harmless.
We are seeing same today. Those who are hungry are feeding on innocent just like the carnivorous animals who feed on herbivorous animals. A lion kills and eats a deer in order to survive. It did in order to feed its cubs too. So there is a loss of life for the survival of another. It’s been part of nature for a very long time, even before human existed. So, we as humans cannot judge certain aspects of nature. Moreover, the nature does things in order to keep the things balanced. As a spectator, one may feel sorry for the deer and people move on thinking it’s part of nature. As a whole I cannot judge about the right and wrong of a lion eating the deer.
Now in the Kasab’s event, he killed people for his survival and heavenly benefits. Just like a lion killed a harmless and innocent deer, a terrorist kills innocent people. I could be wrong comparing both the scenarios. But..but to analyse more into it, forget that you are a human for a moment and look at both the scenarios. We have a lion killing deer for food, killing another lion for the pride. On other hand, human killing other animals for food and killing fellow human for n number of reasons. From an atom point of view, “I am part of all these above mentioned things?”, “splitting me you can bring death and destruction?” or from an alien point of view, “why do these things of earth are like this?”
(The last two paragraphs seemed to create a bit of controversy among my friends who complained that it’s not appropriate to compare actions of humans with lions. That’s because lions give into their natural instincts and it’s in their nature. The things humans do is due to difference of perspectives and ideals and more over humans can think which brought a special status to them in animal kingdom. But the reason I compared both the situation is, to me, lions, tigers, humans and every single cell to multi cellular organisms are part of nature and everything comes under ‘nature‘. It’s true that humans are destroying nature. I wondered what if human destroying the nature is also part/plan of the nature! Human destroys nature and in turn destroys himself. And then a new life comes from the ashes of it creating a new environment. So the conclusion of this comparison is that there are many things happening nature. Humans being part of nature also makes his actions part of nature.)
But, as I mentioned earlier, during the period of war of religions, it was termed as noble to fight. And today, the brain washer is terrorizing for the reasons more than just to please God which leads to power, greed, lust, wealth. And the brainwashed, who executes his leader’s action does to please to one above all and thinks power, greed, lust, wealth are its reward. He is wrong now. But was he, if he lived during the war of religions? On both the sides?
Now one may argue what people thought noble earlier is no more noble. That’s my point. How do you conclude that? We have person A who has given up his old customs and tells he is upgraded to the new time and person B still remains same. Both have their reasons to stick to their causes. It’s just that we cannot judge them. Person A can think that person B is still living in old age following expired customs. Person B thinks, A is changing his ideals and perspectives with time and he doesn’t have one path or purpose. In that case, in the future we will have person C who considers both persons A and B are savages, stupid, murderous, greedy…
Humans are changing their views according to their convenience, while rest of the animal kingdom remains same (adjusting to the destruction of nature by human). That’s the reason a lion kills a deer and lives and it’s not called neither mercy nor cruel, by nature. It’s just nature.
But, we people are in the constant change of judging. How can one judge it since it’s a different perspective from different timeline and place with a different opinion? When a terrorist who has killed the innocent people, dies at the hands of a counter-terrorist, the terrorist will be hailed as a martyr by his organisation. Similarly, a counter-terrorist dies in an attack while saving same innocent people he will be called martyr too. How can both be martyrs?
If I have to judge, I will call the soldier who died saving innocent lives as a martyr and not the terrorist. I judge this based on the fact the soldier was trying to prevent innocent lives from harm. How do I know this is right? As I mentioned earlier, I am from the society where peace and non-violence are preached from a very long time. Since these values have been incorporated in me as I grew up in the society, I was made to believe this is the right thing. But 7 billion people are not from same society and some of them are from the society where they believe the righteousness is obtained in some other way which may contradict the principles of another society.
Humans are one of most evolved animal in the nature and so we have grown to an extent, where we consider a lion killing a deer in order to survive cannot be judged because it’s part of nature, whereas, a human killing another human is judged. Many times it’s judged right and many a times its judged wrong. The judgement of being right and wrong also differs from perspective. Throughout the mankind, people have done unimaginable things. When we look back at our history which is mainly written by winner’s point of view, we were made to believe what they have done is right even when it involved killing. Hero of a nation is villain for another nation. Perspective of an individual is transformed to the whole society and they believe they are right. Another society with another set of principles believe they are right. As I process these thoughts, I fall into the dilemma of trying to find out the ultimate right and wrong. Even if I am successful in judging the right and wrong, a part of me comes out and says,
“Are you sure? It’s just a random thought”