Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Indian woman - Another victim of intolerance and narrow-mindedness

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Another victim has fallen. May her soul rest in peace.

A victim of the intolerance of the few narrow-minded, who unfortunately the rest of us would have to deal with or put up with.

They want everyone else to think, live and act like them, if you don't, they use violence to bring you into 'line'.

So this young Indian woman's crime was because she dressed in a way that the extremists see as against the 'norms'. So now they have killed her, after they visited upon her that beastly act of rape in a public bus. Sadly, that's how they believe they can tell the 'deviants' how not to conduct their affairs. By these dastardly acts, so inhuman and barbaric, they shamelessly tell the rest of the world that they are on the right path.

In Pakistan, they even shot young Malala at close range in the head, for desiring to get an education, and they were proud to announce that they did it.

Unfortunately, we tolerate these intolerant few who are making our world unsafe, especially for women and children.

Little, closed knowledge, bigotry and to a large extent misinterpreted religious texts are what make these extremists a danger to us all.

They have never considered dialogue, mutual disagreement or even persuasion as ways of communicating one's position on any issue. For them, violence is the only way.

It is so unthinkable that these people who claim to be followers of religious truth, who believe that they are closer to a loving God would use violence in unimaginable proportions on usually, unarmed and defenceless individuals and groups to show their fervent commitment to their God!

They even believe that makes them more saintly and gives them a ticket to paradise with wonderful rewards so tempting that the killing and maiming of the innocent are justified.

Politics and religion are necessary, but truth be told, these two phenomena are only a small part of the realities of life - that is so because these are held by humans, who are limited in their capacity to hold and use knowledge in its fullness.

Even the most ardent proponents of political theories and religious knowledge are fallible. All humans are entrapped in weaknesses and foibles - what we know we know in part, these are not absolutes! Therefore, using violence to the extent of taking lives to propagate these ideals are unjustifiable by all standards.

As the people of India and the rest of the world mourn the untimely, but painful death of this young woman, may her death remind all of us that we can't use violence to make our point.

I hope her painful and unnecessary death, would also serve as a lesson to the political and religious zealots among us that it is immoral and even evil to use violence to force others to believe in what we stand for.

Hopefully, we would come to the realization that what we claim to have as knowledge or the truth is only a part, a small part of the whole, and must not be imposed on others, because they also probably have another part of that knowledge.

What eould make our world peaceful for everyone also includes a good amount of tolerance. Each one of us, have the freedom to live, no single individual or groups have the right to impose on others what in their view is the right way to live. If it however, becomes necessary to do so, dialogue is a much humane and acceptable option.

We don't know it all, and we don't have the whole truth.

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