Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forgive but don't forget

From Murders most foul (Frontline)

Internationally, studies have shown that abuse of the human rights of terror suspects increases terrorism by alienating the government from members of the population who could provide it intelligence about terrorist groups; by causing conflicts with other political forces in the country thereby damaging the efficacy of the government’s counter-terrorism policy; and by reducing international willingness to cooperate with the government.

Observers have warned that state violation of human rights augments grievances of the constituency on whose behalf the terrorists claim to act and makes their appeals for support more effective. Such violation has been found to alienate people from the authorities to such an extent that they either actively support terrorist activities or turn a blind eye to them.

Fortunately, so far, the family of Ishrat has been brave enough to resist such tendencies and to maintain their belief in the legal system and fight the culture of impunity of the police with determination. As Vrinda Grover, counsel for Ishrat’s mother, says:

“It has been very difficult, but I think that the people, regardless of their religious denominations, see themselves as citizens. They see the courts as their forums for justice. They do not feel that they are not part of this country and I think there is a serious responsibility of the judiciary to deliver justice.”

From To Defuse A Train Of Gunpowder (Outlook)

The absence of justice is inordinately difficult to accept for countless victims, particularly women and children. Muslim leaders must handle these cases with utmost sensitivity to prevent any violent reaction. The Quran urges Muslims to fight against injustice. But if they fail to secure justice on earth, they should leave it to Allah. Muslims must grant unilateral forgiveness to those who carried out these horrors. That is the essence of Islam. That will please Allah, and He will compensate the victims, while inflicting His own severe punishment on the oppressors. Muslim pain and trauma will gradually become a memory as they turn their attention to quality education and business.

Forgiveness may also serve to awaken the conscience of Hindus, both in Gujarat and across the nation, to the enormous damage done to Hinduism by the tragedy of 2002.

Vedantic Hinduism is a vast ocean of spiritual grace and beauty. It is best exemplified by the life of the greatest Gujarati of all time: Mahatma Gandhi. In this frenzy of hatred toward Muslims, Narendra Modi and his parivar may have done great harm to their own faith and to the memory of Gandhi.

Forgiveness does not imply we forget. As Harsh Mander rightly quotes the philosopher Santayana, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. This is very relevant in the present context, with Narendra Modi poised to play an important national role in the future. Eternal vigilance is the only way to handle Modi.

Muslims have changed a lot since 2002. The fear is gone. There are over 650 Muslim schools today as against 250 seven years ago. There is a sharp rise in the number of Muslim engineers and doctors. There is a renaissance within the community. But we will never pardon the Sangh parivar for its perfidy.

1 comment:

Rajesh said...

Nice post on the situation.
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