When having to choose between justice and revenge, it seems like many people are choosing revenge. More and more, we see the rise of mob justice, kangaroo courts, custodial deaths, police encounters and the latest in India – bulldozer justice!
Choosing Between Justice And Revenge
In my home state of Telangana (in South Central India), in recent years, there were two police ‘encounters’ that were really suspect. In the first one, some young men threw acid on two young women who rejected their proposals. The criminals were caught and then shot by the police when they were allegedly trying to escape. In a similar encounter, criminals who supposedly raped a young woman, tried to escape and were killed by the police. Incomplete investigation. Absolutely no legal process. Instant justice. In both cases, the same senior police officer was involved. And he became a hero! And now people want similar resolution of crimes.
I understand the anger and rage at the crime and the criminal, and also the long and arduous process of the justice system. But what do we gain from instant justice, especially in situations when there’s a doubt as to whether those caught are the true culprits.
When I look within and see how there are times when I feel rage and anger especially in the face of injustice. There’s no doubt, that I feel like taking revenge. But grace and introspection keep me from acting on my feelings.
Today I want to think of the victims of crimes and of their families and the larger community around them. May they be guided by grace and wisdom and find it in themselves to allow the due process of the law to be fulfilled.
It seemed appropriate to write this post today, as 10 October is World Day Against the Death Penalty – Wikipedia. I’m personally against the death penalty and agree with George Bernard Shaw who said:
“Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men. Assassination on the scaffold is the worst form of assassination because there it is invested with the approval of the society…..Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another but similars that breed their kind.” – George Bernard Shaw
In October, I started writing a series called 31 Days about Living A Principle Driven Life. Since I wasn’t able to complete it then, I’m doing so now. You can follow my posts here.