“OSAMA GONE, BUT WHEN WILL MUMBAI GET JUSTICE?” screamed every newspaper and tabloid on the morning of May 3rd, 2011. At the end of a decade-long search and the world’s largest man-hunt, Osama bin Laden had been terminated. Shot in the head, some reports claimed. Well done, indeed.
India stood up along with the rest of the world in applause and then turned around to question herself, as if on cue. ‘When will I get justice?’ every voice seemed to shout out loud. The frustration pulsating through the nation was visible- 18 months after 26/11 and no ‘good’ news. Justice delayed is justice denied, as they rightly say. But that brings us to one valid question- What is justice?
Google gives me 397,000,000 results in 0.07 seconds for the word ‘justice’. Not a single one of them makes any sense to me. Oh, the words are all right. But what does it really mean?
Those who are guilty must be punished. Agreed. But to what end? Are we killing the disease or the patient? Do the complicated, often-misinterpreted-misquoted principles of ‘morality’and ‘righteousness’ give us the right to kill people who kill other people? We now want all the Ajmal Kasabs to share the same fate as bin Laden. And rightly so. They are guilty as the devil.
But I fail to see why we have turned a ‘March for Peace’ into a ‘War against Terrorism’- because there’s a world of difference between the two.
If I was given a choice between a tomorrow where a ‘War against Terrorism’ was being waged as opposed to a ‘March for Peace’, I would choose the latter. Without a second thought.
I believe there is more to a ‘March for Peace’ than holding hands and walking the length of Rajpath Marg or chanting slogans at the Gateway of India. There is more to it than just a brightly burning candle reflected in a pair of misty eyes.
No, I’m not trying to undermine the sentiments of those who have loved and lost in these despicable acts of ‘terror’. Never. What happened was cowardly, disgusting and downright evil. There is nothing more painful than the unexpected loss of a loved one-for someone else’s ‘cause’. It’s a wound that the balm of time may never be able to doctor. The culprits must be brought to order- in this life or the next.
But the real question here is- What do I do? How can I make a difference?
Well, you can’t. You can never make a difference.
Not until you become we.
It’s amusing to observe that, despite the million years of evolution, techno-lution and a whole lot of other so-lutions, there’s this habit that is still embedded deeply in our physiology. It’s our habit of developing a habit.
No longer can we walk past a nasty incident with a shrug and say ‘Thank God it’s not happening to me.’ Well, it very well could- tomorrow or the day after. And you wouldn’t want the next not-so-good Samaritan saying the same thing, would you?