Few weeks back, a girl in Pakistan was attacked for her strong opinions of the importance of education in life. Afghanistan saw brutal killing of a girl who was a community volunteer for a campaign against Polio. Last week saw a brutal rape case in India, and around the same time, another was reported in Nepal as well. As a strong believer of democracy, my mind tells me to listen to both sides of these wrongful acts, and give my verdict as per the prevailing laws of the area; but my heart screams out for some of the ugliest punishment I can think of, to these moral perpetrators. If it were only me (under influence of anger and rage) I’d probably recommend death as a suitable punishment for all the convicts associated with these crimes.
I think nothing less than death penalty would be fit for these perpetrators, and yet I am scared of my judgement, for killing is not something I have been taught – a fundamental clash within my reasoning and culture
I also recollect a news last week, of a person in Pakistan who was killed by an angry mob after he was taken in custody by the law (slackers in Police uniform). His crime was that of blasphemy against his religion. This person was taken out of the jail, and murdered by an angry group of humans devoted to their religion. With these stories as background, I put forward a question to myself on the morality of normalcy. Although I hate them (the criminals), and the very thought of their existence is disturbing me, I also cannot stop wonder how their life and their upbringing is different than mine. How could they have been changed? More importantly, what would it take for me to stoop so low? How many years of worthless education, and how many black circles of friends, family and teachers?
I cannot help think of the three important aspects in their life that is different than mine. There may be more, but right now, i only see three – culture, religion and politics. Family initiates us with culture, society empowers us the religion, and regional politics dictates our upbringing. The basis of human up bringing is all depended upon the environment we live in. Voltaire saw this several centuries ago, I see this, right now. (does it mean, I’m dumb, or something).
I am not against religion, and personally I think being Hindu is great for me, and i love Shiva (the destroyer), Bramha (the creator) and Vishnu(the life giver). Although, I am intrigued and tilted more towards what Christopher Hitchens and Sir Richard Dawkins have to say; there are times, when I think of the all powerful superhuman/s with mystical existence. Personally, Lord Ganesh is my favorite.
Religion does dictate culture, but not as much previously imagined. (Reminder – that these are only my views, that are changing as I learn more, and think more). Culture as I see is vast network of connected spider webs, with one spider in the middle of each web. I was born into one culture, and If I make a run from it, I will eventually get stuck into another web, with some other spider waiting for me, to tie the cultural web around me. Currently I see no escape, and believe it to be one of fundamentals of human existence (other being love, lie, deceit, politics, and imagination). Within a same religion the are cultural sects, and within each of them are sub-culture. To a point where, every nuclear family has their own cultural value, morals and ethics.
Something I strongly feel that dictates a population cohort. Will leave this topic for some other day (probably next week) as I have to get back to reading my books. Have my exams coming, to a totally unrelated topic.
P.S.i – I don’t say that school education has no effect, it does, but the school itself gets dictated by society and politics. A local government (yes, its public education) school in Chabahil, Kathmandu has regular Communist (read Maoist) programs where students must attend. These happens in our times, at present. The Indonesian government had anti communist school program until few years back. During the Cold War the two polar powers of fundamental thoughts (democracy and communism) had their school taught the exact opposite education.
P.S.ii – my heart strongly hopes that these criminals get the worst possible punishment in the world, and yet I just hope the maximum/minimum amount of punishment they get is death sentence or life imprisonment with absolute solitary confinement.
angry and confused mind.
- IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Statement condemning sexual violecne and opposing #deathpenalty (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Statement by women’s and progressive groups and individuals condemning sexual violence and opposing death penalty (kafila.org)
- Organizational Behavior – Dominant Cultures and Subcultures (mayrsom.wordpress.com)
- State of fear (thehindu.com)