"The Terrorist is dead, Long Live The Terrorist"
There are those who will stone me for the above. I don’t mean to address them. They will run out of stones. There are those who will dodge its face value and nod internally. I hope to meet you soon.
Then there are those who will turn the page before the end of the sentence. Let me hold your attention. Let me grab it by its short ears, tie it to a chair and force open its tiny eyes.
Before the eyebrows furrow, let me elucidate that this is not a rant against capital punishment.
The accused was captured. He was paraded in and out of courtrooms for over 1000 days. He was found guilty and sentenced. The sentence was carried out in secrecy.
Before the eyebrows get lost in the hairline, this is not a rant against the justice system.
Allow me to ride the wave of ‘popular’ opinion. Allow me to say ‘justice’ was served. Served past dinner time perhaps, but served it was.
And oh boy! DID we rejoice! We cried far and wide of victory and justice. We flooded the airwaves and bandwidths with pats on the back. We congratulated ourselves and our elected representatives on a job well done!
Let me tempt your brows no further.
My rant is a little oblique. It’s this circus of confused ‘patriotism’ that’s really getting my goat. The translation of a democratic process into some mangled sense of moral victory. The mis-construed idea that THIS is leading to an End. That change has arrived and has no travel plans.
But mostly, it’s the undignified gloating of a schoolyard bully.
Many might argue it is relief, not gloating. Relief for those directly affected. Some turmeric for the long suffering! I humbly secede. I cannot assume to take anything away from their moment.
The pen does not seek to confer sainthood upon the dead (terrorist /condemned?), he’s got his comeuppance. It implores the readers to break forth from this cirque de madness and into saner pastures. It pleads the question: should we be broadcasting our exultance over the end of life, regardless of the circumstances precipitating it, with such baseness?
Celebrate Life, not death. Keep death hush-hush, under wraps. Sweep it under the carpet. Let it fade into legend and folklore. Let it be one of those myths that we can't be sure we truly buy into, but we prefer it that way.
When did sensationalism become the norm? When did we to stray so far from the path that we no longer pause to weigh what merits the carriage of our thoughts, the hotness of our breath and what is unworthy of such wreaths.
Celebrate Life. Let death be one of them stories we whisper to kids at night with a blanket over our heads and a torch on our face. And watch their eyes widen with awe.
Death is a great leveller. All the great texts, the Bible, the Bhagvad Gita, and the Koran preach, “Forgive and Forget”. Or, do the dead have no claim over the scriptures?
Celebrate life. Let death neither mar nor glorify it. Don’t let it dilute the Now. Let not its imminence distract.
“Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought.” — Blaise Pascal
It has been quite a long hop since our ancestors crawled out of the sea and grew legs. We have achieved great things in that time. But unless we break away from this slide of thought, trim this rot of mind, reach out of this quicksand of rehashed conformism, we will have no hope of salvation.
Celebrate Life. Let us choose to rejoice over the death of terrorism, when that happens. And not over the dead body of man who was a terrorist.
Until then, read a good book.