Is There A Right Action
Is There A Right Action
We the Indians have heard about the tragic incident of rape and murder of a vet doctor in Hyderabad very recently. It has been reported that the culprits were arrested but were killed in an encounter by the police. This may very well remind us of the Nirbhaya incident, which was similar because of the atrocity on women and occurred 7 years ago in Delhi. One significant difference between these two incidents is that the culprits in the case of Nirbhaya have been put in jail but still waiting for the final verdict by the court. There is one more such incident of rape and murder in the Unnao district of UP recently and of course, one might think of many such incidents that would have taken place but not reported yet. The saga of atrocity on women and children and also on other people belonging to minority sections, Dalits, etc., has continued from the past unabated in this country of ours.
One would feel outraged by such incidents, especially in any civilized society. But, how long can one remain in the state of anger, frustration, etc., if there is an incident of this nature happening regularly and becomes the order of the day? Does the common man get used to it and hence remains tight-lipped without any expression of emotion one day, thinking that nothing is going to change? But, one would come up with a question, “why is our society behaving like this?”. The behavior of the society implies the act of atrocities, the justice getting delayed, the people at large becoming silent as months and years pass by after the initial hue & cry and outburst of emotions, no suitable preventive steps being formulated and so on. How is the civilized society tolerating all this? Is this the tolerance preached by our religions or is it the state of helplessness? Or is it the state of the insensitivity of the human mind in general?
After the Nirbhaya incident occurred there were many measures taken such as the amendment to the law, establishment of the Nirbhaya Trust for providing legal assistance to the women facing such atrocities and the Nirbhaya Fund meant for women security and empowerment. The Supreme Court had declared the death penalty for the culprits in the year 2017 but some of the culprits are still hanging around in jail. The recent incident of the rape and murder of the vet doctor has awaked us to know what happened to the Nirbhaya case. But the biggest question is “why such incidents are recurring in our society?”.
When we think of the measures to be taken to both correct and prevent any incident of this nature we may come across some important measures such as the amendment to our constitution concerning the handling of juvenile crimes, restructuring of the existing laws for the mode of investigation, prosecution and trial, the nature of punishment, the transparency of the investigation and final verdict, etc. Such amendments may require the necessary legislation wherever required and the passing of them by the parliament.
All this may take their own time to get implemented. Also, even after the implementation, the effectiveness of it may depend upon how seriously they will be implemented, what kind of hurdles may arise and what amount of time may be required to provide justice to the victim. Nirbhaya’s case has become an eye-opener for this though because even after 7 years the justice seems to be denied so far considering the severity of the incident. But one thing we all must try to understand is what should be the justice itself? What is being said in legal circles is justice delayed is justice denied. In that case how fast the trials must be concluded and what is the right way of assessing and compensating the loss to either the victim or the kith & kin of the victim. What are the responsibilities of the society in treating the victim as well as the culprit? What rehabilitation measures are possible for both? And finally, as a society how can we take responsibility for preventing any kind of human atrocity? Because of all this one must think about what is the ‘Right Action’?
The meaning of the term ‘Right Action’ is that action that does not produce any conflict in the future and is applicable under all circumstances. In a way, this meaning implies that the Right Action has got preventive nature. But, is it possible for the human mind, which is not free from conflicts itself, to produce an action, which has no conflicts at all and is unchanged concerning the circumstances? For example, whatever actions that were taken after the Nirbhaya incident 7 years ago are not free from conflicts.
Otherwise, a similar tragic incident would not have occurred now. Whatever actions were taken at that time were probably not aimed at preventing such tragedies. They appeared to be a reaction or response to the public acrimony and emotional outburst. If something was lacking in the system that prevailed at that time the same should have been corrected immediately. But are all this possible for our mind, which appears to have no sensitivity? If we look at the recent incident we can see many different reactions from different sections of people or stakeholders. The parents of the victim felt that the killing of the culprits was the right action since it brought peace to the departed soul.
Some of the people who were emotional at the tragic incident also would have felt the same thing. But there is the NHRC which felt that the law should have taken its course instead of the police deciding to kill them. There is the press, which has become suspicious of the motive of the police in killing the culprits in the name of encounter. The police who killed the culprits would have felt satisfied at bringing justice to the victim’s family so soon. All these different entities think that what they individually feel is the correct action given the nature of the incidence and the prevailing situation where there is so much of delay involved in the judicial system in providing justice.
This is how the normal human mind works because, there is the lack of sensitivity, not only to the emotions of the victim’s family, to the emotions of the people who might have faith in our judiciary still, to the press who have the responsibility of unearthing the truth of anything, etc., but also to the consequences of each of those actions, which are considered as correct. Every person might have a reason to justify his stand-in calling his action as the correct one. But can we consider any of them as the right action, given the definition of it?
There must be a flaw in each of those actions even though it might appear to satisfy the emotional demands of the aggrieved person or group. When the culprit escapes we may blame the police department and even the government. When justice is delayed we may blame the judicial system or the laws prevailing in the country. In all these cases the aggrieved party may feel that he/she is denied justice.
Though there are a documented law and the judicial procedures to be followed, the social morality and the emotional condition of the people may become a major factor in deciding about the nature of the punishment and hence decide whether the justice is given finally or not. But, can we depend upon or follow one’s emotions or social morality while deciding the right action? In what way the victim can claim that he/she got the justice when the culprit is hanged or killed in an encounter? Is the death penalty the right punishment? Is it the right action if justice according to the law of the land is given at the quickest possible time? Or, is it the right action if the aggrieved person or group is allowed to take charge of the culprit and punish him according to his will?
As said earlier, any right action must help in preventing the crime or violence recurring under any circumstance though the actual justice must have a suitable corrective action. Any corrective action may not be the right action but may depend upon different motives, political, social, moral, legal, etc. Then how do we arrive at the right action? As pointed out earlier, human thought, in its current state of conflicts, cannot come up with the right action. Because, in that state of conflicts or disorder, it lacks much-needed sensitivity.
This implies that there is a need for a radical change in the human psyche itself where the insensitive mind becomes sensitive, not only to the bad or the evil but also to the good. Being sensitive, it will be able to be alert to everything happening around and hence understand the reality. It becomes pliable so that it can exhibit tolerance to critics, hurt, etc., It becomes passionate, anxious to keep learning from every experience. It will be free from its past knowledge, conclusions, opinions, beliefs, dogmas, etc. Only such a mind will have tremendous energy needed to decide about the right action and by having freedom from all the past it would have gathered the required amount of energy.
To prepare such a mind, we need to impart the right education at the child level itself so that at least from the next generation onwards we may find the right set of human beings. The education must not only teach the children about how to move with the ever growing technologies and succeed in living normally but also on how to be a human being and live with nature and love the creation in whatever form it may be.
We need to identify ways and means and implement them on war footing for a current lot of people, both educated and illiterates, to create awareness on everything related to one’s life, be it religious, political, social, economic or whatever, and create a conducive atmosphere to eradicate all kinds of divisions that are existing in the society. People must be in a position to directly see the facts as they are but not blindly listen to propaganda and understand the danger that might be possibly hidden in it. When there is a direct perception of the problem or the danger then there may be a right action arising out of it, which is obviously to move away from the danger immediately.
Our physical body has an inbuilt mechanism or ability to perceive the danger and immediately react to it to safeguard itself. Same way, can our minds also be pliable and sensitive enough to perceive the danger and act on it without trying to analyze the danger itself and look for time to act. If this is possible for everybody then can we not be in a position to identify a common right action and then really act? If at all there is a right action then it must be common to all because, there cannot be conflicts of any sort, anymore. Being sensitive one can exhibit Love and Compassion.