January 7, 2011 4 Comments
The year was 2007 and the month was December. I was in Pakistan for holidays. General Elections in Pakistan were about to take place. 27th December, 2007. I was at home. Sitting in my room I was browsing the internet — the updates on late Benzair Bhutto’s jalsa at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi. Since I am not a big fan of TV, I mostly tune on to internet for live updates. The Jalsa was over in sometime. As I was sitting in my room I heard the increasing volume of TV from the TV lounge. That unusual volume compelled me to go see what is going on. Before entering into the TV lounge I heard via the loud volume of TV that Benazir Bhutto is injured in the firing. Soon the news broke out that Benazir is dead. That was a bombshell. For everyone who was at home. For every Pakistani. And for the rest of the world. At that moment I saw something that literally startled me. My Mom was crying. She literally burst into tears. It startled me for two reasons: 1) She had never supported Benazir Bhutto’s politics then why crying? 2) She is a woman of courage who wouldn’t lose her patience and emotions in such a flash.
Despite that she was crying. I hold her and soothed her. And then I said, “unfortunately in this country the political leaders are expected to meet the same fate — fate of bullet. Maybe she deserved it.” Mom retorted with teary eyes and sluggish voice, “whatever .. she didn’t deserve to be killed like that. No one can kill anyone like that.” I kept myself quiet. Surely that wasn’t the time to argue or pass comments on a person who is now dead.
I never understood immediately the significance of what she retorted then. I just thought it was better to stay silent. The moment wasn’t that nice to bug her even. Or, perhaps, I felt she was right!
I, rather unconsciously, adapted myself to her words in my daily life which she said to me, then, with teary eyes. Time moved on. There occured many bloody events in Pakistan where I saw people endorsing and condemning ambivalently the mob-lynching, vigilante justice, drone attacks, suicide bombings, and bloody murders. Every time such events took place, the words of my Mom echoed in my mind: “No individual has the right to murder anyone like that.” Some of these bloody events I can recall well: “the burning of dacoits in Karachi by the mob; attack on Ahmadis Mosque; cold-blooded murder of the two Sialkoti brothers; and of late the heinous murder of Salman Taseer.”
It aches me to see that people are endorsing something that is supposed to be injustice. Why had there been courts in the era of Khulfa-e-Rashideen? Were Caliphs not even good enough to adjudicate any kind of issue suo moto? But the courts still existed, and functioned – definitely for a purpose that we, today, most surely reject to believe. No religion in the world allows vigilante justice.
Guess what it makes me think today after the brutal murder of Salman Taseer? Have the parents stopped educating their kids about not taking the laws in their hands? Do the parents not teach their kids that no religion bestows on any individual the right to take the law in his hands, including the execution of an individual? Few things are taught and learnt at home as well apart from schools, colleges, universities and madrassa’s. It is a right time to mention that my Mom is quite a religious person. And, of course, I am not as much a practicing Muslim as she is.
I am deficient of words to pay homage to my Mom for educating me on the real mode and medium of justice. Ultimately, I can just say briefly: “Thank you, Ammi, for such an excellent home-education.”