JUSTICE – A SERVICE

‘Is being compassionate, wrong?’ – you ask

Does justice need to wear a mask?

Is begging for alms always deceptive?

Should you shut your eyes and be imperceptive?

 

Standing for justice,

Is never a task simple,

Road blocks and red lights,

Along the way are ample.

 

Should you dare to stop an unjust mob outrage,

Be willing to face their heightened enrage,

Should you decide to raise your voice for justice,

Be prepared for criticisms from your family and society.

 

With such a tight grip has injustice held,

The hands of one and all,

That ’tis hard to be dispelled,

By just a simple call.

 

How many slogans and protests,

Would it take for mankind to get rid of this pest?

Is the human conscience so dead that,

That justice seems to be such a far cry?

 

Justice against crime,

Seems to be coated with slime,

Is it not our duty prime,

To ensure justice sublime?

 

In a world where injustice looms large,

At every corner and every street,

Lets not mutely watch,

And our chests simply beat.

 

Rise up, aware one,

Speak up against injustice,

Take care to practise justice,

In doing so, you would render a noble service.

 

IS THE MOB JUSTICE JUSTIFIED?

Hello Everyone,

Recently I saw a news clipping which brought forth the news of a mentally ill woman lynched to death by village people on the basis of suspicion that she has kidnapped a child. I emphasize on the word “suspicion“.  There was no proof whatsoever.

This is not something out of the blue.  Such lynchings have become more or less a routine.  People get killed by the mob because of their eating preferences (read beef), their religious beliefs, their voice being voiced (example: a young auto driver killed because he asked two men not to urinate in public, Reference: Times of India news site).

Reason behind this brutality:  Being hurt!  Yes people get brutalised by people because the later set of crowd gets hurt, I mean  when their religious sentiment gets hurt they don the robe of anger;  when their ego gets hurt on being pointed out they let their emotion flow with the blood of innocents.  And suspicion plays a pivotal role in such atrocities. People are losing their confidence in the slow judicial system; patience is pedestal.  Under such circumstances a slightest streak of provocation leads to news headlines for the next day which says “Mob lynched…..”.

Saddening part is that the ire of mob vanishes without a trace when it actually matters.  When a girl gets molested or eve-teased or a defenseless is being troubled in full public glare no one bothers to raise a voice because everyone is worried about the fury of few preparators of the crime.  But they forget if few can be powerful then how much more power they collectively as a mob would have.  If suspicion can motivate a mob to kill someone then why not a mob be motivated enough to take a right decision to oppose something which is evidently wrong and something not based on suspicion or instigation. Note: opposing doesn’t mean killing here.

My question:  I understand very well how sentimental one can be when it comes to sensitive issues like religion especially in a country like India but agitation based on clueless accusations leading to brutality can leave a family devastated and sobbing for life.  What if there is a fallout of the very base of suspicion that led to the fury.  Can lives be given back?  And why no one is feared of law and order and thinks twice before taking it into own hands.   Is it the failure of governance that they are assured of the mob power.  How justified is it?

As my friend Kuljeet mentioned  two days ago in her article “Salad Bowl Folks!” we have many more issues to deal with  collectively rather than passing verdicts in a fit of rage under the disguise of “Mob”.

CLEANLINESS STARTS AT HOME, BUT.. IT DOES NOT END THERE

That was my first trip to a foreign country. I had been to northern part of our globe in the Europe region, Finland. It was autumn and nature was filled with colors. It was a visual treat…

Fortunately, I managed to find a place where I can share an apartment with another girl who was my friend’s friend.  In no time the week passed by. I quickly browsed, rented a by-cycle and paid a visit to a couple of lakes nearby on Saturday. The second one was very scenic. It was surrounded by maple trees with leaves ranging from green to yellow to deep orange. The gradients of those colors and their reflection in the water was just awesome. 

A thought crossed my mind. What if the same lake was in India? A smile came over my face, that’s because I am pretty sure the lake would be filled with plastic covers, plastic glasses and all sorts of debris if at all this was India. It’s better I enjoy this evening without such thoughts, I told myself and walked over to the other side of lake..

It rained heavily during the night. I woke up in the morning, made a cup of hot coffee and was peeping outside the kitchen window, the temperature meter outside the window was reading 7 °C. I opened the door after I heard a knock and there stood a small girl, may be around 6 years. She smiled and asked me , “Are you joining us ?”. Before I could respond, my roommate responded with a “yes”.

“Put on your shoes, in the drawer you would find a pair of hand gloves, wear them if you are willing to join me”. I stood there with a question mark look on my face, she read it and said, “we are going to clean the apartment complex and clear all the leaves that would have fallen off for the rain yesterday night”. I joined them with a curiosity, but to my surprise the whole apartment complex is there, right from children who are as young as 3 years to 90 year old’s.  It took close to three hours to clear the compound but it was so much fun and an eye opener for me. 

Later I learnt that, the civil services there would come and clear the compound if it wasn’t, but people also play an active role in keeping the premises clean. No body is forced or requested to do it, but people do it voluntarily. May be “voluntarily” is a bad word to use because they feel the sense of responsibility towards the society they live in and in turn to the nation they belong to. 

For me, that was the very first time I ever participated in a community cleanup, but I have to admit that it was so fulfilling and it gave a sense of satisfaction that I did my bit to the complex I am currently living in. It changed the way I used to think about government, civic bodies, municipalities etc.

India stands tall on the world map for its rich cultural heritage, but there is one thing that really keeps people away from visiting India – CLEANLINESS.

Many educated people like me or who would have visited a different country (which in principal is more cleaner than India) may be embarrassed by the fact that cannot be missed from catching one’s attention –  CLEANLINESS

Indian homes are meticulously kept clean and spot less, but once we head into the streets is when we would find mountains of garbage, graffiti on the walls, filth, debris – you name it and you have it. Most of the dustbins are over flowing, spitting on the walls, peeing in public places , all this leads to unhygienic conditions to live. 

We are very impressed and almost flattered the way cleanliness is maintained in other countries and the very first thoughts would be “I wish India was this clean”, ” I prefer to live in a country which is this clean”, “Don’t know when Indian government would learn from developed countries”.  

I won’t blame government for everything. Give a thought to this – with a country so densely populated as India, the sanitation and drainage system is fairly good. Even in metro cities, it is very uncommon that we see the drainage system failing unless there is a flood of rain. With the population growing at an alarming rate, Indian government is finding it difficult to cope up with the everyday growing demand of waste disposal, which undoubtedly is a fact every Indian would agree. 

Is it only the duty of government ? Nothing  of us – the citizens of a country ?  What can we do to keep our nation clean and make this world a better place to live?

  • Stop littering: Let’s not make it more filthy in the first hand. The waste that you are in possession of, have patience to carry this with you until you find a dustbin. It is not going to take a whole lot of energy to do this 
  • Educate kids of their responsibility:  Certain responsibilities not being taught as part of curriculum could be one of the reason’s we think that it’s solely government who shall be taking care of everything. 
  • Organise community clean-ups: Twice a month or when there is a need, get-together, plan and organise cleaning activities. 
  • An anti-litter policy: Enforce an anti-litter policy in your apartment, office or any other communal place
  • Beautify the surroundings: Grow landscapes, develop pathways and have trash cans at designated places. People tend not to litter when the surroundings are kept clean, and this would encourage them to find the trash can – it is not a treasure hunt after  all.
  • Volunteer for community clean-ups:– No motivation more than keeping our premises clean is needed to roll up our sleeves, isn’t it ? Mark your calendar and have dedicated hours spent at regular intervals.
  • Have your own litter collection: When you organise parties or meet-ups in the roof top or garden area, get your own bins and help keep the premises clean.

Cleanliness is a habit. It has nothing to do with what social class we belong to. We need to help renovate our surroundings, improve the cleanliness and appearance of public places. The sense of involvement in community gives greater satisfaction and leads to a better standard of living. If all citizens are determined for a clean and hygienic environment, the wards, villages and entire cities will become clean.

Keeping our community clean is our primary responsibility …

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

There was a certain chill in the air, as I walked out of my house, with the clock striking three. The stillness of the night had not yet given way to the open arms of the dawn. The leaves rustled with the slow westerly breeze that was rushing past. I walked with certain quickness, with the tapping sound of the shoe reverberating, as if telling the snakes, “Nay!!…thou shalt not cross mine path”. A patient with a surgical problem had come, and I whistled past to have a look at his problem and find a cure. The hospital was quiet with patients still in slumber. An argument caught my ear. Two patient relatives were telling a hospital staff, to tell the doctor to refer the patient for an MRI scan. I quietly stood in the dark to hear. There was a good incentive involved, Rs.1500/- for the staff and Rs. 5000/- for the doctor. The Hospital staff thought over it for 10 minutes. I liked what the Hospital staff, who gets a meager Rs. 5000/- as salary said. He said, “Out here the decision of a referral definitely lies with the doctor but I wouldn’t even tell him this and he wouldn’t do such a thing. We are a hospital that treats well within the limits of Integrity.” How true I thought. Every day in the Medical Profession I arrive at a decision making crossroad, with one road called Integrity and the other called Money. Robert Frost’s lines still ring very clear

 “I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

(Excerpted from the Poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost)

An Integrity filled life is a daily process that doesn’t end until your life does. My experiments with this truth called Integrity, tells me that there is that initial disappointment associated with Integrity that one has to overcome to actually pursue it. Questions arise about what’s integral in Integrity that it needs to nurtured and followed. We actually fall in that initial disappointment zone. We suddenly argue for the immediate benefits overlooking the eternal honour. At every such dilemma I found these following rules of Integrity to life quite life saving

Decide now, not later:  Many men have not thought through their personal value system. They’re not sure who they are or what they stand for, and they wait until the breaking of a crisis to make their decision. At that point, it’s too late. Faced then with great pressure, you will be more prone to take the route which is easier in that moment. Decide now what you will and will not compromise on. Then, when faced with ethical choices, the decision will have already been made.

Quit the rationalisations: There’s always a million reasons to compromise your integrity. You hear them on the news every day as corporate bigwigs struggle to justify their fat bonus checks. You can always come up with justifications that seemingly make good sense and let you sleep better at night. But at the end of the day, when you place your rationalisations on a scale next to integrity, you’ll realise you sold out something priceless for a measly pittance. There’s nothing more valuable than your good name and the ability to look at yourself in the mirror each day with a clear conscience.

 Don’t take the first step : When a great man falls from grace, we often wonder how he could have ever messed up so royally. The truth is that he didn’t wake up one day and decide to commit an egregious blunder. It started with a little fudging here, a tiny bit of lying there. From there he just kept on sliding down the slippery slope of compromise. Don’t compromise on the little things, and you won’t on the bigger ones.

 Don’t justify the means for the end:  This is probably the most popular rationalisation for breaking with your integrity. In reality, the journey towards an accomplishment or decision is just as important as the destination itself. Even if you are richly rewarded at the end, if you cannot look back on the means used to get there with anything but shame, your victory will be hollow indeed.

 Take personal responsibility for your life: At the heart of integrity is the ability to own up to the fact that you are in control of your life. You are responsible for both your successes and your failures. Nobody else but you.