World Peace and Justice

ASIF MOAZZAM JAMAI cites examples from individuals ‘lives as well as governments’  policies to point out that for development of society peace is a must and peace cannot be attained if there is no justice.

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ASIF MOAZZAM JAMAI cites examples from individuals ‘lives as well as governments’  policies to point out that for development of society peace is a must and peace cannot be attained if there is no justice.

The quest for peace is an eternal pursuit for human fulfilment. Human beings can become human and humane only in conditions of peace. Similarly, social justice is an important prerequisite for peace in the world. An unjust social system is like a temporarily dormant volcano whose eruption can be expected any moment. History stands witness that whenever justice was denied, it caused social unrest and turmoil in society.
We have headed into twenty-first century, which is an era of Information Technology where the world has become a global village. Things are just a click away. Life has never been so easy and comfortable as it is now. But at the same time, this era is marked by unrest, violence, insecurity, terrorism, threat to life, and so on.
How can there be peace when stolen property is not restored to the owner, or when double standard is maintained while delivering justice, or when justice is denied to the oppressed, or when one’s sister, daughter or wife is raped, or when one’s house or land is invaded, or when criminals go free after blatantly breaking law and order, and so on? In such a situation of social injustice, the victim, however weak he might be, may yearn to take revenge even at the cost of taking law and order in the hands.
If you see things from psychological point of view, there is always ‘cause-and-effect’ relationship that governs all developments, be it right at home or in an international arena.
Two pertinent cases can be mentioned here. First, a nineteen years old boy raped a girl in Delhi, recently. Second, a terrorist attack in Akshardham temple in Gujarat took place. Are, round the clock pornography on internet which is spoiling the youth and especially the teenagers, and the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, not the causes behind the said crimes? Yes, they are. No matter how long we pretend to ignore them.
Let’s analyse a few judicial and political incidents in this relation.
It is great that those involved in Bombay blast case have been brought to book. But what is rankling is the failure of the government to bring to book the culprits of the December 1992-January 1993 communal riot in Mumbai following the razing of the Babri Masjid. About 900 people were killed in the riot – more than three times the number which perished in the March 12 bombings in Bombay. The Shiv Sena took the lead in organising attacks on Muslims, and unfortunately the police collaborated with them. Through its editorials, the Shiv Sena daily Saamna literally directed the rampaging mobs day after day to attack specific Muslim areas. Hindu communal leaders incited mobs and even the police to violence wherein more than 350 Muslims died in police firings. The Bombay blast was in fact a retaliation masterminded by the riot victims. As Justice B.N. Srikrishna, who inquired into the violence, concluded, there was a “cause-and-effect” relationship between the riots and the bomb blasts that followed.
It seems to be a just question to ask here why only bomb blast guilty be punished and not those who perpetrated the communal riot? Bal Thackeray never disowned the Saamna editorials that incited and directed his supporters to lynch Muslims. Yet, the Bombay High Court refused to issue a writ to the government to prosecute him. Such a pattern of unequal, discriminatory treatment of different groups of offenders can never ensure peace and harmony in society.
Let’s have an analysis of world politics, briefly, in this context.
Afghanistan was invaded because America wanted to arrest Osama Bin Laden, according the US administration the prime suspect behind the 9/11 attack, whom Taliban government then in power refused to hand over.
With time passing on, the case seems to be taking a U turn. Americans in particular and the world in general have begun to believe that 9/11 attack was actually masterminded by the Bush administration itself. There are many reasons to prove that the attack was thoroughly planned by the government agency or agencies, not by any outsider. In its final report the 9/11 commission has ignored many significant facts due to which the validity of the report is genuinely questioned. According to the Zogby Poll, 66% of the New Yorkers want the 9/11 investigation reopened. This Poll also found that 49% found that VIPs in the government knew of the attack ahead of time and let it happen.
In the case of Iraq, the Bush administration lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction. When those lies were exposed, the administration argued that the war was still justified due to Saddam Hussein’s cruelty to his people. The fact is that the leaders of Iraq, despite their political or ethnic rivalries, united and began to awaken Iraqi people to realize that their country was invaded not for their emancipation from a dictator, but for serving the political and economic interests of America and England. While pursuing its ambition to colonize the world, America has trampled upon all international values undermining the system of international security. Be it Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine, the result is obvious. Fighting for one’s rights, one goes even to the extent of blowing himself, which tells the story of height of injustice in this so-called cilivized world.
Had justice been observed by America, blood would not been shed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Panama, Libya, Serbia and in many other countries. Had England observed justice, India would not have been a slave for almost a century. Had justice been delivered, there would have been no cases of riots in the society, no cases filed in the courts, and no demonstrations in the streets.
If we examine situations at close quarters, right from street to an international arena, justice seems to be a myth. The strong kill the weak, the armed steal and rob the unarmed, a powerful nation overpowers a weak nation, enslaves its men and women with no sense of guilt or shame. The intoxication of victory makes the conquerors commit the most abhorrent acts of injustice. The treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US soldiers at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo prsion, which finds no parallel in human history, is the live example.
Justice can be delivered truly only when human beings become God-fearing. When a person is reminded that no matter how powerful he is on earth, he would ultimately appear before God and would be held accountable for his deeds, he will surely try to be just and avoid exploiting others.
As the Qura’n says in Surah Az-Zalzalah (30:99:7&8)
“so whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it”
There are scores of examples of true justice being delivered by God- fearing people in human history. Broadly speaking, doing justice means giving everyone his due. It includes basic human rights, social freedom, freedom to grow and live without any external interference. Creativity, spirituality, individual and collective achievements bring to one’s life grandeur and glory only when there is peace. And peace can be attained only when justice rings in the air.
[The writer is Lecturer, King Khalid University, KSA]