I had a visitor yesterday; a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and we chatted up about his business after he quit his job. Strangely he revealed how happy he is being his own boss after he nearly went into depression in the job that he quit. He said he wasn’t the most laudable employee but that he wasn’t naturally insincere; he was made to be one, by the working environment he was in. His bosses despised him for it but they couldn’t simply lay him off because he knew too much and he was a threat to them.

“If you were suffering, why didn’t you ever expose them? How does it help to swallow your pride and compromise yourself for the wrong reasons” I asked

“I am not the kind who confronts. You know, even after I quit, I have learned that this wasn’t a singular case. Many offices have similar systems. In such cases, the smartest thing for anyone to do is to stay calm and quiet and keep saving your head. We are living in dangerous times and why would you confront or expose anyone anyway when in the end, there’s no guarantee that truth will always prevail? They take all the meat and you would just be squabbling over bones if you did. I have a friend who was one raped but because of the social standing of that rapist, my friend lost the case. So you see, you should take lessons from such cases and tread carefully.”

I was aghast least describes the shock waves that were electrocuting me.

He spoke with wisdom, that friend but would you have done differently if you were in his shoes or would have done just the same? In a battlefield against systems and laws where you are own army, would you surrender to them or would you fight until your last breath and die winning a losing battle? How far would you fight for your beliefs and for your principles? Or would you compromise them, if these monstrously atrocious laws prove too mighty for you?

I have respect for people who believe that the laws are absolute and must be heeded by all means. That is, I even agree with them because laws are what maintains peace in the society and assures that there standard systems in place to abide by. But what about laws that are defected, like a bad apple and has ripple effects that goes on to harm the others in the basket?

The infamous tobacco Act before its amendment is one such classic example. While it entailed good intentions for the country, there were loose ends that affected a lot of innocent people. One such person, who I knew as a friend and a neighbor, was a victim to this Act.

Sonam, a mum to two was in her mid-thirties and lived happily with her small family. Though illiterate, she did well financially. Later she told me, how she went about smuggling some few cigarettes like a woman possessed and how she was caught the first time itself. She said, it felt unreal, like she was living a nightware. She was sentenced to three years in prison. While she tried coping up with depression within the confines of the prison, her husband sold off everything they had, abandoned the kids aged twelve and five, and found himself another woman with whom he went on to have another child.

The two kids lost their smiles and went mute. The younger one, although just five years old, loitered around senselessly, as if life itself was running out of him. He was a heart breaking sight for anyone who knew the family.

Three years later, Sonam was released and reunited with her kids.

If you were one of these victims, would you still stay quiet knowing how several lives were affected for a law defined by a group of people who were no saints themselves but would escape it because they are the top dogs? How far would you go in raising your voice to amend defective laws? In other countries such as the UK, people have fought for extreme rights such as the right to euthanasia but in our country, we are yet to start with the basics first.
4 Responses
  1. sancha rai Says:

    nice encounter on the nite...great decision ...thanks for sharing

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Aum Kinga,

    In my understanding, innocence of the existence of a law is not a justified ground for leniency or forgiveness. In the dispensation of justice and enforcement of law, compassion, kindness, physical disability, economic incapacity etc. must, by necessity, be emotions and conditions that cannot be allowed to influence or interfere with the due process of law. By no means I am saying that all the laws we have are perfect laws. However, one cannot be allowed to break a law simply because one decides that a given law is imperfect. If the law is left to each individual’s convenience and interpretation, we will have a huge lot of problems.

    The thing to do is to work towards amending those laws which we think and know are not just and practicable or desirable.

  3. Kinga Choden Says:

    First of all, I am not sure if the existence of law can be called innocent. The laws, which are initially bills and proposed after careful studies and researches become laws when passed through the Parliament. In the process, all pros and cons including its impact on the society must be weighed before validating the bill. Therefore, I am not sure how its existence can be called innocent unless the law was virginal and was not given due attention

    Also, dispensation of justice and enforcement of law does not necessarily fall in the same line. Enforcement of law may or may not lead to the dispensation of justice and may lead to something exactly opposite if the law is faulty.

    Not all emotions and conditions must interfere with the due process of law - Correct! But if these emotions and conditions are consequences of a defected law, must we still suffer especially if Justice was not the end result?

    Law must not succumb to individual convenience and interpretations but these laws are derived based on experiences of the individuals and consequently formed to dispense justice. That is, Laws, defective or not, must not be dehumanized merely because it is to be heeded by all means

    And that is why, I have derived the same conclusion as you have, albeit through divergent approaches that defective laws must be amended.

  4. Bhutan still is in the cocoon of taking everything for granted you know we still are far behind in everything. Yes there are some organizations which are under the control of very handful people, thus victimizing commoners and those who are sincere and dedicated. It is sad that the coming of democracy has had little impact and we are yet to go,,,

Post a Comment