Dictionary defines civilization as the most advanced stage of human social development and organization. However, when this word flashes in my mind, it does not seem to match with the things that we’ve been relating it with. From history itself-the word does not resonate with things it has been named to. Let’s start from the beginning- The Egyptians, who used to bury the carriers with the body in pyramid, just to avoid them speaking of it to others; the Romans, where the commoners relished watching the Gladiators fight for their life; Colonialism after so called “Industrial Revolution”, every bit echoing with injustice; the concentration camps of the second world war, the very idea of which is disturbing. And now even when we claim to have reached the “Computer Age”-crime is prevalent. Where is the civilization which we have been talking about? Perhaps, it never existed.
We have just been evolving in terms of structure and technology. But our minds are almost primitive-it still speaks of ruthlessness. No, it’s not the recent rape case which provokes this outflow. That was cruel, indeed-no denial to that. What bewilders me is our treatment of the cruelty- which itself is not very fair. Capital Punishment is just a short term measure. Subjecting the accused to death will not cure the problem. It will just prolong the stagnancy of the problem . And seriously, why death? Why do we always have to retaliate the wrong deed with the wrong itself? Why cant there be another way?
Most of you reading this piece would probably think I’m too soft. I would of course not provide any justification for that. At the same time, I will stand firm on my opinion that capital punishment is a good-for-nothing way for tackling the crime. What if we kill people, to show the public that such a crime will never be endured again? Will it really change minds? Will it really put an end to people not hurting others for selfish reasons? I don’t think so. If that were the case, crime rate would have gone down with every capital punishment given in the world. And we hardly see any decline, except in the parts of the world that has the funds for a strict law enforcement team. It is sometimes funny, and heavily ironic, to see people raise slogans for the accused’s death. As if they were perfect, saintly beings who understood the meaning of “civilization”. As if they were not the same people to differentiate on caste or economic status. As if they were not the ones to leer at poor beings whom they thought inept. We all have been criminals at some point of our lives. Who are we to deliver justice? It is like a perpetual war-they attack, we defend. The attack-defend has been going on for years. It is time the civilization brings home peace.
Crime has its root in unhappiness- when people are not satisfied with the conditions they have been through. We will have to eradicate the root to kill the tree, nipping the buds is not enough. If death was a solution to end that feeling of frustration-well then-Hitler did a great job! If crimes are going to be dealt in that way, there is never going to be a world free of corruption. That sort of world will just be a utopia. Such a world will come only when we think of better ways to deal with wrong doings. Yes, compassion and love does work most of the time-but at the other times we need some strict measures. Strict, not harsh, measures. Death is a lose-lose situation for both sides. There might have been chances that we had utilized the better part of those beings. Probably, that would have even made them happy. Probably, they’d have played peacekeepers for us.
I know, it’s easier said than done. I dont know what conditions might have prevailed at the time of deciding life or death-I just know there are alternatives. Alternatives that are certainly difficult to follow, but is civilize. The true meaning of civilization is equality in every aspect. We will haveto strive very hard to achieve that.
And therefore, Death is not “THE END”. Amen.