The Judiciary, the Mob and the Criminals

Jul 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Social

When judiciary sleeps, the mob finds its own way of enforcing justice in the society … what other means do they have really? This has been happening for quite a while now and might happen more often in the future if nothing is done to ensure speedy justice. Otherwise, as they say, justice delayed is justice denied. With conviction rate of serious crime at around 5% – that too with conservative estimates – you have no trust in the system that the culprits who robbed you, who killed or raped your beloved, will not go scot free.

What choices are you left with then, (a) get robbed, killed, raped or humiliated (b) take law into your own hands and beat them, burn them, lynch them to the death … ?

Let us expand this a bit further and apply this scenario to a larger group. For example, what would you do if you were a political party that is being victimised? Why wouldn’t you pick up guns to protect your own interests when you know that’s the only way to do so? Why wouldn’t you react and create pain for those who have put their feet on your tail? Why wouldn’t you protest and bring the cities in your control to a halt when you know there is no one to safeguard your interests – irrespective of how unjust they might be. Why would you behave any differently?

If you were the police, why would you take action, when you know that the culprits will be freed soon, and when they are, they would test the sharpness of their knives on the throats of your sons and on the honour and dignity of your daughters, sisters and wives. What would you do when you know that it is not only your life but also the ones of your loved ones that are not safe, just because the judiciary let loose the beasts, which you have captured by putting your life at stake. Why would you bother?

Zooming out, if the trend grows then why would honest and sincere people join the police force? Why would anyone want to get killed for doing some good which ultimately is destined to go down the drain? We are not living in a perfect Islamic Society, where each individual fulfils his responsibility irrespective of the worldly consequences and aspires to be rewarded in the hereafter? How many people are out there with such a level of conviction, belief in Divine and fear of accountability in Hereafter? It is such a pity that in a society where everyone is there to serve his own desires and interests, you can’t even find a police force which does its duty with full conviction, just like we can’t find a judiciary which does its job justly.

Why then, shouldn’t we be called a hypocrite nation when a country founded in the name of Islam – the strongest advocate of implementing justice with an Iron fist; for the poor and the rich, the feeble and the powerful – is not able provide effective and speedy justice for its hypocrite citizens?

Chicken (judiciary) or egg (hypocrite citizen), which came first?

We all want our rights irrespective of whether we fulfil our responsibilities or not. We all, when taking on  different roles like judiciary, law enforcement, media, government, political parties, civil societies, business community, etc. want all our rights and privileges while shamelessly ignoring the responsibilities entrusted on us by our respective roles. We conveniently forget the old adage – what goes around comes around. We all want to ride the ship, but don’t want to plug in the holes through which the water is seeping in, slowly sinking the ship and drowning the people on board. Those on the top deck (that’s you and me) are resting in relative comfort with their heads buried in the sand and pretending that everything is fine. It is only when the water reaches them that they realise, but by then it is already too late.

Society is a giant web of interconnected groups and the behaviour of any of these groups affects all. Judiciary cannot perform if the public doesn’t co-operate, the public cannot co-operate if the law enforcement doesn’t protect them and to complete the circle, the law enforcement cannot perform if the judiciary lets the criminals loose. The one common denominator among all is the citizen, who sometimes takes the role of judiciary, sometimes the law enforcement and at others, just the common man; yet in all cases behaving in a similar way, placing his selfish interest above everything else.

So what do we do? Perhaps educate the next generation. Develop them to become responsible citizens, sensitive to the needs of others, courageous enough to sacrifice their interests for the good of the society. Such empathetic behaviour can be inculcated, not through rhetoric, but through inspiration and role modelling, as behaviours are contagious and get transferred from a good role model to the observing student. Most people might think that where shall we get the number of people from to change the thinking of an entire generation.

This is where the key is: Never Give Up! If we can take one step forward to sooth the pain of even one individual, then we should; if we can make a small school with only a dozen students, whom we can inspire to become responsible citizens, then we should; if we can inculcate in the heart of one individual the fear of Allah and accountability in hereafter then we must not wait. Who knows that our one single initiative might start a chain reaction, which can prove to be a catalyst to change the nation one day? Who knows that our efforts might produce the next Allama Iqbal or Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (after discounting him for his misinterpretation of Quran and Sunnah). At least in the end, we can die with a clear conscience and without the regret of not doing anything when our nation needed us.

About the author

Author is a Philanthropist, a freelance contributor and teaches Business Ethics, Sociology and Community Service at a private university in Karachi.

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