Introspection dear, introspection

When a law is violated, the laws books tell us what course to take, prescribing every action down to the minutiae. If there is any lacuna, it is made note of. And it is addressed at an appropriate forum and at the right time, by either amending the law or introducing a new one.

Education helps in making us aware of our rights as well as the laws. Law enforcers watch out for any violations, whereas there are mechanisms to watch over the law enforcers themselves.

There is equality. All bow before the law. The law is sublime. The rule of law prevails. Life is predictable for them.

But not here.

They don’t teach you the law. They don’t intend to. You don’t know the law. You don’t bother to.

Here your word is the law. The word of the powerful. The powerful bend the law to their advantage. They cause it to slow down and speed up to suit their purposes.

Life is unpredictable for you. You are used to it.

Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of the law, the word (of the powerful) becomes the law. You hang on to every word of the powerful.

When he doesn’t speak, you ask for it. He obliges and you are content. Because it’s a word and not the action that you ask for. And he is happy with the bargain. He is powerful. He is not obliged to walk the talk.

Remember all the bravado: perpetrators will meet their end, the blood of the innocent will not go waste, sacrifices will never be forgotten et al. Condemnations and words that mean nothing fill the column-space and airtime for a day or two. You are sedated. And cameras scramble for the next kill.

Suo motu is your most favourite alien word. You got used to it from the days when remarks in the corridors of justice overshadowed the rulings. While it has its uses to protect your basic human rights, there is a penchant in the justice sector to use it for political gains.

Do you ever realise, every single time a gavel comes down in the form of a suo motu, an institution entitled to take action against a wrong takes a hit. Every single time it goes down a notch in confidence and in performance.

Law has its own steady course. Steadiness is in its DNA. Law is never made in a day. It is made over years by many individuals. It grinds slowly but surely.

But you are raised on a staple diet of emotionalism. You love high-sounding hollow words. Because they sound right. They fill the void instantly.  

It comes at a cost. It burns a hole in the social fabric.

Order in life evades you. You never wonder why. You were never trained that way. You read, you believe. You are told, you comply. You never question. You were never encouraged to question. It made life easier for many. They persisted with the practice.  You never realized that the ability to question lies dormant within you, that bead of doubt is perspiring on your forehead.  

Justice evades you as well. They buy it in an instant. You pine for it your whole life. The gulf widens. Between you and them.

You are quick to take to the streets, rampage public property, hindering the very process you wish to have followed. You worsen your life on the street yourself. You make it predictable, the wrong way.

Since you prefer cosmetic treatment for issues as grave as murder or rape over the law, everyone, to please you, jumps on the bandwagon and points to a rot in the system which can only be weeded out by the removal of the incumbent system. You believe them. They deceive you.

Some win, some lose. You remain where you were – at the mercy of their whims, exposed, vulnerable.

If you choose not to dust off your law books, nature will. Nature sides with the willing, the agile, the aggressor, the organized, the fittest. You have got to take your pick. Make your call: Your law? Or the law of nature?

Keep your house in good repair or don’t mourn the loss if and when it falls. Educate your child to become strong individuals or risk them becoming victims like Zainab and Tayyaba. Support bravehearts such as Qandeel or face the perennial patriarchy that denies half your population their right to life.

Make a call. Act. Now. Or they will. As they always have.

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February 2018
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