October 28, 2010

The stench of murder

It is a crime to be a victim in the Land of the Pure.
(Photo: Siasat.pk)
Have you ever thought about killing someone? I’m sure we all have. But have you actually gone beyond the emotional stage of enticing yourself to actually kill someone? Like grab a gun, feel its weight in your hand, cock it, and point it at someone’s head? For a moment, consider the mentioned scenario. You have a person pinned down and you have your gun pointed at him; will you go through with your instinct of shooting him? Or will that impulse and desire destruct itself?

I saw murder today. I actually saw a person empty a magazine firing at someone today. It was in broad daylight, in Saddar Lahore. There was an army check post 700m away from the place of incidence. The shooters calmly got on a bike, and rode away into the blinding sunlight. We were helpless; I was helpless although I had anger bubbling in the pit of my stomach. A friend asked me if I was scared when I saw this happening. No, I wasn’t scared. I was furious. I wanted to reach out and probably pull the trigger on the shooter himself. But then that would have brought me down to his level, wouldn’t it? So basically, I am morally superior to the shooter because I was helpless. What a farce.

We all pretend to be the most religious society in the world. Islam is used as a defining tool for most of us. But Islam lays a lot of stress upon the individual. This got me thinking; in this citadel of Islam what kind of barbarians are we creating anyway? Do these people, who have no qualms about shooting someone in the middle of broad daylight, in a bustling crowded bazaar, ever repent for their sins? Do they believe that God is looking down upon them? Or does blinding rage justify all?

What does one expect from the society in which humanistic animals roam around the streets of cities unimpeded with no fear in their hearts of any repercussions that their actions may bring? Is it not ironic that in a society where the victims are the persecuted, we holler about celebrating the “independence of the judiciary”?

In the aftermath of the brutal and barbaric murder of Mughees and Muneeb Butt, the national mood was a somber one. There was a general realization amongst the masses that we need to make a collective effort to stop the evil of vigilante justice from taking root. But what about this sort of perverted justice, where a person whips out a pistol blows another person’s head off? Who will put an end to that? And then that right there is the sad acknowledgement of our apathy. In a civilized society, one would have expected the law enforcers to stand up to their duties and perform them. In Pakistan, we just try to come up with ways that somehow circumvent the police because we all know that it is perhaps the most corrupt organ of the state, and expecting help from it is tantamount to asking the enemy for water.

I remember a few months ago I stopped at a T – Junction just outside of Defence Lahore. I saw a guy scraping another car in a bid to get ahead of it. When the scraped car’s owner’s son got out and told the scraper to own up to the damage that had been caused by his impatience and carelessness, he pushed the poor kid so hard that he fell back and cracked his head. There was a policeman standing nearby and I asked him to step in. The policeman told me “What can I do?” In that instant, I wanted to crack the skull of the policeman.

This incident highlighted the lack of resolve prevalent amongst our society today, for me. I know expecting someone to stand up for me when I am being wronged is not only futile, but downright stupid. But I did expect the police, or the army for that matter, to step in and prevent people from killing someone at the very least. Today I stand corrected; I am just like the rest of the people. Trying to find ways where we can save our society without the law enforcers help.