I’ve debated this thought over and over in my head for as long as my willful brain allowed it. I read about it, talked to people about it, stalked other people’s walls and read scores of blogs covering the same topic – ‘suitable punishment for rapists‘ and I’m still none the wiser. Should we retort evil for evil?! Is the saying “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” applicable?!
I just attended this 10 day meditation retreat when I was taught to live in the present and not dwell on my past and not worry about what is yet to be. I realized that I had so much anger pent up inside and it was waiting to be extinguished and as each day passed, the turmoil in my head reduced bit by bit as I concentrated more on my breathing ,the sensations I was feeling all over my body and the elimination of craving and aversion. You must all be wondering why I deviated from the topic to talk about Vipasana Meditation but it’s all linked.
Did you know that 9000 prisoners who have committed the most heinous crimes in the country ranging from rapes, robberies, murder to terrorism are detained at the Tihar prison in Delhi?! Did you also know that twice a month, the inmates go through a Vipasana Meditation course, where they realize their sins and forgive themselves for them and come out as happier beings?! Did you also know that most of these inmates suffered from a case of juvenile delinquency and as they were not treated with love and care and nobody explained right from wrong, they ended up the way they did?! Did you also know that there are 10 year olds who rape?! Would we want to castrate them too?! What I’ve mentioned above are FACTS!!
When we want to end a life because they ended someone else’s, all we’re doing is continuing the cycle and not putting an end to it. We’re all religious somewhere deep inside and all our religions preach forgiveness. All I’m seeing around me today on everybody’s wall and on every blog I’ve read so far is revenge and anger… so much anger!! I don’t say that they should be let free but they should be given a chance to realize what they’ve done and how their heinous act destroyed somebody’s life. All of us see ourselves as that victim and I know that given a chance, if those rapists were brought in front of me, I would make sure that they felt pain. But, then there is this image which comes to my head… a passionate man who, as he was being crucified on the cross said, “Forgive them Father, because they know not what they do.” and then I freeze. My head starts to swim and I tell myself… “It’s easier said than done but somebody has to start it… somebody has to start this drive for forgiveness…”
Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Lets not be blinded by rage and act on that impulse. By punishing those men in all those evil ways we’ve already contorted in our heads is not going to make that girl whole again. The only solution I can offer to myself and to those who read this blog is… say a prayer today for that girl to pull out of this situation stronger. She will need all the help she can get right now to put that traumatic episode behind her. All we can do is pray.
Ted Dekker (Blink)