You know what type of government I fear most? It is not dictatorship, no; it is democracy of emotion. Reason is not that I am more likely to survive under a dictatorship, I am not. The reason is that if a democratic government chooses to wrongfully execute me, it will be that the majority that voted for that government will never consider that they are responsible in any way. Because while a dictator might feel a push against executing someone, I fear that people in democracy would never give it a thought as they just don’t care. While in a dictatorship, my wrongful execution will be rationally consider and reviewed by a vast majority of population, a democratic electorate will just move on, never correcting itself – never introspecting. The leaders will feel that they are just executing the will of the populace and the population will never consider the weight of their words because they are too unimportant, individually, in the final decision.
I also fear that we, as a country, are more emotional now than ever. And that even the most learned of individuals are siding with their hearts rather than rationale. We are, in our support to causes that we hold dear, taking paths that shouldn’t be taken. Probably because we think that the end justifies the means but more likely because neither are we thinking what will be the end nor are we giving a second thought to our methods. And while we are at it, we also discard anyone who is against our stance with labels as retarded as unpatriotic, brainwashed, dishonest and now misogynistic.
In past few days I have received several requests from individuals to sign a petition demanding death penalty for those involved in the heinous crime in Delhi. These are well educated adults who are also likely to be learned. While I oppose death penalty categorically for any crime, I am particularly against such a decision in this case. Because our current laws don’t allow it. Because the crime occurred not due to lenient laws but largely because of almost total lack of enforcement. Because we cannot correct ourselves in future if the victim is wrongfully executed. Because if someone is executed, we will pat ourselves on the back as if we have achieved something great. Because it will set a precedent to use extreme punishments as a deterrent for crime. Because we will support a government that listens to this unfair demand. Because we will keep demanding similar punishment for lesser and lesser crimes and because we will never look back. Because no one will question the decision. Because those who do, will be shunned with extreme emotion. And because we will feel proud every time we silence a voice.
Should the culprits behind the crime be punished? Absolutely. But only according to existing laws. Should we change the law? I would vote against it, but I believe many people will vote for it, at least for now. If a poll is done right now, I believe, we will come up with the biased results because people are being driven by emotion. If you are emotional at the moment, if you decided that the accused of the Delhi crime should be hanged, after you learnt about the crime – I hope that you are not among those who can vote. If you do vote, I hope you are not the majority. Because I will always live in fear.