Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Is Forgiveness = Weakness? Is Justice = Revenge?
These were the questions that rose in my mind few days back when I had a heated debate on FB with a colleague-friend. It revolved around the idea of delivering justice in a very straightforward way - kill the killer. This person comes from a armed-forces background. I have immense respect for the people who risk their own lives guarding the nation and its sovereignty against any hostility. I, on the other hand, am civilian, who does not have the faintest idea of what it feels like to be having the power to take away someones life. I'm too faint-hearted for any blood and gory. Fine, I may have read Godfather many times or may have cried watching war movies.. but by nature I'm a peace loving person.

It - the debate - boilded down to the notions of justice and forgiveness.

What is justice? What does being just mean? Being fair mean?

A just ruler - is it a myth? Or, do we really have examples in the pages of history (or mythologies) where no one was disappointed by the judgments delivered to them. Do we.. or did we ever had societies, where no one transgressed his brethren?

Obviously, there would  have been a party who felt wronged even after the 'final' judgement, isn't it?

Being just or fair, for me means differentiating the good from bad, deserving from un-deserving, transgressed from oppressor, victim from tyrant. But of course, there is the ever pertinent question 'in what frame of context', by what norms, by what standards, by what law, by what wisdom?

So far so good, but the real problem surfaces now - after 'labeling' good and bad, what next? How do we equate the sides? Nullify the wrong that is commited? Do let the good punish the bad? This would now translate 'allow good to now transgress the bad'.. well, that would be 'revenge', right? A just institution would never allow that! Instead, they do it themselves acting as a 'neutral' party.

B steals from A - act of oppression. If, A steals it back from B, its revenge! Now, A and B go to C and C steals from B and gives to A, its justice? In both the cases, A and C are forcing B to return the stolen-goods, by labeling A as good, B as bad and C as neutral.

'Fairly' simple (pun intended). Stealing is a simple case as A and B both exist. Now, how do you serve justice if A is murdered by B? Things become very difficult. Adding to complexity is the circumstances in which the 'unjust act' is done. Also, what if C is not neutral, if C is neutrally good or neutrally bad. What if B questions the authority of C and wants D (neutrally bad) as the arbitrator?

Wouldn't it be a nice thing, if A shares with B in the first place so that B is not required to steal? Or A forgives B? Or B has the honesty of not stealing from A, no matter what the circumstance? If all these things are not 'humanly' possible, then at least can the C be truely neutral?

If we all are true to ourselves, there is no reason for us to be unjust to others. Without being fair, you cannot attain inner peace, there will always be a feeling of guilt if we have wronged others.

Being fair also leaves a room for forgiveness. It is more inclusive and accomodative in spirit than seeking revenge.

There is no limit for human love and brotherhood, if only we are good to others for our very own sake...


  1. kill the killer only when he is proven guilty, otherwise its the law of the jungle .. simple

    1. alas, if it were that simple Puru... guilty until proven innocent or innocent until proven guilty??