Debate : Do the ends justify the means...

Note : Give it all a fair thought before you jot down... Flaming and religion-bashing will not be tolerated. Your participation is gladly appreciated.


I dunno if you folks remember this incident; a couple of yrs back, the UPSC exam had a question where the emainee had to assert his views on *revolutionary terrorism* initiated by Bhagat Singh. As is typical of the government, hue and cry was not far behind... 


Anyway, let us look at some facts - 


Bhagat Singh was an atheist, considered to be one of the earliest Marxist in India and in line with hi thinking, he renamed the Hindustan Republican Party and called it the Hindustan Socialist Revolutionary Party. Bhagat Finally, awaiting his own execution for the murder of Saunders, Bhagat Singh at the young age of 24 studied Marxism thoroughly and wrote a profound pamphlet “Why I am an Atheist.” which is an ideological statement in itself.


The circumstances of his death and execution are worth recounting. Although, Bhagat Singh had assassinated Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police at Lahore as a means of avenging Lala Lajpat Rai’s death, he was not arrested then. It was later, when he along with his co patriots threw a bomb in Delhi’s Central Legislative Assembly, that he was captured though escape could have been possible as he wanted to embrace martyrdom. Consequent to that, once sentenced to death, he made no further appeals to the higher courts or the Privy Council in the House of Lords.


There is some controversy about the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the attempts that were otherwise made to save him from the gallows. The Gandhi – Irwin talks were going on at the time and it was felt that a word from Gandhiji could have made a difference. Other leaders like Motilal Nehru made public appeals, but it seems that Gandhiji kept away, ostensibly because he believed in non violence but according to some historians, because he perceived Bhagat Singh to be a threat like Netaji to his own stranglehold over the Nationalist movement.

We are not new to terrorist attacks... And when we are subjected to one, religion comes to play. Are we beginning to generalize *terrorism* and associate it *only* with certain faiths? Remember to cast a look as to why the said terrorists commit such acts.

Question: Are we Indians no less than hypocrites whilst breaching the topic of *terrorism*? Take your time, and leave your thoughts.  Do the ends justify the means...

Kartz

Affable. Amiable. Candid. Egotist. Gamer. Internet-addict. English language enthusiast. Poetic. A polyglot. Realist. Thinker. Urbane.

"My path is chosen.
A date with the Devil,
A dance with his Mistress,
The future is nigh..."

I am not what I am; and what I am not, that is precisely what I am. Yet, now I say- I am what I am.

Beyond thy comprehension, I may well be...
It is but, in the open- for you all to see...
Peace, take care and blessed be.

30 comments:

Richa said...

i have always insisted saying this, i agree with the statement that Indians have been hypocrites.
'We wont tolerate' has been the crux behind all the revolutions the history has till date seen..

The Indian Movement is said to have begun by Mangal Pandey, he was a revolutionary. his means were violence against violence. he was suppressed. He was suppressed not only by the Brits, but by the higher caste Indians who used to be Brits' followers (using a decent word) :P
In the first part, accepting their rule was a hypocrisy. The ruler then thot the Brits were powerful ppl, but it hadnt been harder to nip the evil in the bud. the land was Indians' and they were outsiders. India wasnt united, is juz a folly they use to justify the hypocrisy.

coming on to Bhagat singh, he was a revolutionary. yes, there hve been debates about Mahatma gandhi;s role in his case. some say tht mahatma was a follower of ahimsa so he dint want a violent revolution. but others say, the mahatma had wanted the power concentration in his hands, had he saved Bhagat singh at the time of trial, the revolution had picked up pace and India wud have snatched her freedom in the early 30's.
but this wasnt done, the things were lingered on and finally, after almost 17 yrs and trials of hundered of such revolutionaries, India bagged her freedom. (better late than never.)

moving on to today, hypocrisy has been Indian politics lifeblood. talking of terrorism, since day 1 of independence, India had known who was beind terrorism. the war of 71, wen bangladesh became independent, the terrorism has risen, cuz the grudges on the other side have grown ever since.
our govts will say, we dun want any destructions, but wont retailate t the destructions they have been causing. they will let the terrorists go like tht, they can never have enuff proofs of their wrong doings, and tell me why would those ppl confess they are wrong? why would they agree they are the culprits?

i cant think of one reason why has India been mumbly tolerating these useless things. i donot support any kind of violence, i donot support destuction, but the whole population of that country isnt even a fraction of ours. why cant we unite and stand against them?
the time has passed where we could w8 for the govt to do something, the politicians in our country are all old, they are tired, their brains are tire, we need them to rest..
even otherwise, we respect elders, lets retire them from their hectic lives and the yung blood has to take over the country, with new ideas, new strategies, find out some way to stop this.

we need world peace..

Towards reclamation said...

@ kartz .. dude .. this is not the tweak i wanted you to give it .. simply put the means used by terrorists and our revolutionaries are the same(violence) .. the basic enemy the same (govt.) yet one is a hero and one a villain... why ? because their desired ends were desired by the common masses as well ..
that said .. is there no dividing line between the right and wrong ?? do the parameters actually affect such a paradigm shift in our judgment ..? Do the ends justify the means ...???

you made it mor of gandhi bhagat singh .. but good going that will be the next debate after this one ends .. and since i wanted to gather just views of others on the present topic .. i will for long be the silent spectator until unless someone's views manage to actually entice me .. ;)

Kartz said...

@Sid

Dude... Yes, I get what you mean. Actually, while doing a read-up on this, I figured it would be appropriate to bring out facts. And in the process, unfortunately, there was this Gandhi-Bhagath SIngh tango...

I should have kept it to - extremists. And as u said - their means of *revolting*.

Anyway, that said, let's see how this pans out...

Akansha Agrawal said...

Well firstly I don't understand why two entirely different things are being mixed here??? Bhagat Singh was no terrorist, if terrorism is what we're talking about here...

But since you've put the two incidents together, what I gather is that you are branding him as one. Well I feel that Bhagat Singh and other freedom fighters like him (they were NOT revolutionary "terrorists", and I would not call them that, come hell or high tide) were justified in their means. If you're trying to compare them with present day terrorists, the first thing that comes to your mind is that these freedom fighters were fighting for a cause, they were fighting for the nation! What are the 'terrorists' fighting for???

India was always ours... the British entered here from a foreign territory, a completely different world, with the only aim to colonise(at least later) the place for their own needs(basically economical needs). What do these 'terrorists' want? They want our land, coz they've been brainwashed to believe that GOD gave the land to them, so they deserve it!

Bhagat Singh and the like, never killed any British women and children... and Bhagat Singh killed Saunders, only after Lalaji died. So that was a revenge, not a fight started by him.

Whereas, every single person, you and me can be the target of the terrorists, they wouldn't come to ask you first whether you support their cause or oppose it!

That most of them follow the Islam isn't our fault... in any way, whatsoever... There are infact, plenty of them out there who follow Islam and oppose what is being done by these people. If tomorrow, there would be a Hindu involved in the same gang, he/she wouldn't be undergoing a different trial... it's not about religion, it's more about perception! If the Jihadis tom managed to convince a Hindu that they're justified in what they're doing, the Hindu is an equal partner in crime! So the question is not faith, it's perception!

That's what I feel...

Towards reclamation said...

@ akanksha .. so in effect the ends (cause) do justify the means according to you .. Thats one for the topic

cool .. and your point of perceptions is taken though perceptions should have boundaries imposed on them I feel personally ... boundaries defined by humanity and understanding.. not selfish interests

Akansha Agrawal said...

@towards reclamation
Bhagat Singh had selfish interests??? Kindly think again...

Kartz said...

@Akansha

Did I explicitly mention he is one..? No. It ends there.

Second; it's not something entirely different. Read the two comments above this. In a way, I made it a bit too general. Nonetheless, i haven't strayed too much.

When I say revolutionary terrorist, there is no intended stress on terrorist. As was how the UPSC had framed it a couple of yrs back...

Next... Terrorists are also fighting for a cause. Which is due to some horrendous misinterpretation. Pity that. Anyway, moving on...


Perception. Yes. But sadly... Not many see a rational side to stuff, do they?

Thanks for voicing out...

Peace.

Kartz said...

Wow, Sid commented before I did... ;)

Towards reclamation said...

@ akanksha ..
let me set things straight .. I do not have the stature or the credibility to be able to pass a judgment on a person like bhagath singh .. If i do that I must be insane ..
However i am not talking of a person here .. but the means used for a cause ... karthik while framing it unfortunately went on to stress a lil more on bhagath singh .. .. the issue is only about do the ends justify the means .. ..
it is not restricted to terrorists and revolutionaries...

Kartz said...

@Akansha : No, that isn't what he meant...

Kartz said...

@Sid : Wow, I guess it's a huge can of worms already...

Akansha Agrawal said...

@towards reclamation
No, if this is a general discussion not confined to terrorists and revolutionaries, I would not be standing staunchly in favour of the motion... It has to depend on the situation...

Btw, why is it that you people haven't put forth your own views?

Towards reclamation said...

@ akanksha ..
because on this topic i wanted to know what other people think .. what their perceptions are .. mostly in the hope of finding one rational argument which will help me solve the dilemma i myself face when opposed by this question in my life ....

Priya Joyce said...

well, yes ..I've heard those theories...which began being hotly contested after the film..."The legend of Bhagat Singh" was released.

These are just assumptions and theories...well My personal opinion to it is ..I don't think Gandhi ji's leadership and influence was that weak..that he had to have felt threat.

Niway that's my opinion..

You say..**Are we beginning to generalize *terrorism* and associate it *only* with certain faiths? Remember to cast a look as to why the said terrorists commit such acts.

Terrorism....I don't see any reason to justify the terrorism due to the..So called Muslim Jihadis....

and again I would stress on a point ...

we always hear..."If a lie said for a good means then it's justified...

I don't think so...

yes, it surely does no harm but...lie is a lie..

and terrorism of any kind..for any means is wrong...(tat's wat I think abt ur **y terrorists commit such acts?

Ok

What I mean is ..we all respect Bhagat singh Coz..he laid down his life for India...Well

terrorists..I think they think the same too...

So..there's a real big doubt there...

Its not Hypocrisy...its just..different outlooks of different people..living on different areas of the Earth..well, they look upon things ..as how they influence them...
tat's all

Towards reclamation said...

@ priya ..
I guess the essence of this debate is not construed by many ..
as far as Gandhiji's decision to not speak up for Bhagat singh .. well
1) to those who criticise him .. Well I believe one should first know where they stand and whether they have earned the wisdom and greatness to comment on such a man .. hogwash .. like a journalist who never held the bat has got a world of advice for tendulkar ..
2) To understand Gandhiji and why he did not do what many wanted him to do takes one to understand what principles mean .... principles are those values of one's life he can never compromise on . Never. If he does then there is no principle there. Mind you a principle is not an ethic or a morality or for that matter tradition .. It is merely a set of rules which are an outcome of one's perceptions and beliefs in life , a code we make by which we define our life, it's purpose and it's character. It was a matter of principle .. what he did might have been right or wrong .. I do not know how one can foretell what would have happened had bhagat not faced death .. I mean the weather forecasts for the next 3 days cannot be predicted accurately and one suggests that he can predict what turn history would have taken ..
sorry that was a long one and a digression from the topic at hand .. but I guess these issues get me worked up

Viks said...

@Richa : you invite me to a debate i strongly feel abt..n then i read the note "Flaming and religion-bashing will not be tolerated"..cheating gurl..

Well m no religion basher but you know my staunch views on the same..
I refrain from commenting on the religious aspect of terrorism, but do kno that my views remain pretty much unchnaged..

Moving on, the term 'revolutionary terrorism' is a total misfit in the context of sum1 lik Bhagat Singh..He was a freedom fighter of his own motherland and had every right to do so..

On the contrary terrorists or the revolutionary terrorists (so to say)are a totally different breed of psychopaths who self proclaim 'emselves as jihadis or watever and do acts that the general consensus of humanity will never justify..

And needless to add, 'Ends can never always justify the means'..not in this case atleast..ofcourse they can at times..

And lets stop this Gandhiji/Bhagat singh thing..let ppl hold their own takes on the two..

Shiv said...

I take the liberty of quoting a friend: the difference between a simple number and a complex number is the presence of i. 2 is a simple number, but when I is added to 2, it becomes complex. And that is what separates terrorists from normal people. For them, their ideas, their religion, their ideologies are more important than others. Else they would be as normal / abnormal as anyone of us.

So, do the ends justify their means? Is this question a Yes/No question at all? For purpose of a debate, probably! But in reality, NO! Is Maddof's ponsi scheme justifiable? As per his opinion, Yes. As per the tax payer's opinion, NO! The point is, within each of us, there exist a sense of 'selfishness' that governs our lives. Is the Narmada Andolan justifiable? From the farmer's perspective, Yes. From the government's perspective, NO.

So, Can a topic like this be approached from one perspective alone? From the poster's perspective, Yes. From the replier's perspective NO.

There are choices one has to make. And each situation govern our choices, which eventually govern the consequences. If the consequence is exactly as it works out as planned, then the ends always justify the means. If they dont, then, we always put the blame on the means.

My first time in Jagruti. Interesting forum / blog. Will be here more often.

Cheers!

Towards reclamation said...

@ shiv ...

he he firstly welcome here sir .. to others here this is shivnarayan .. a college senior and also a mentor in many ways ...

the topic actually has digressed from it's intended purpose ..

as far as the post goes .. it is about perspectives ... then where's the limit ???
then they are always justified ..

Shiv said...

Before I get butchered by Sid, do I justify terrorism? NO.

Do I undermine the role of Bhagat Singh and Gandhiji in our freedom struggle? No.

Do I approve of pitting them against each other? Yes!!! Most definitely. Because, we wouldn't have the guts to do what they did for us. In their own ways.

And coming to the point of terrorism, for an Islamic terrorism, there was a Hindu terrorism in the 93, and even now in Malegaon, in Mangalore, in Orissa. Our perceptions are often formed by what we see. And if we see a contorted image, by the media (press and print), then we have contorted perspectives. That is what is plaguing the society today. An open ended question like this in, often forces people to choose sides, without adequate thinking. And that hurts the society.

Cheers!

Towards reclamation said...

@ Viks ..

Had every right to do so ....

right to take someone else's life ?? for a cause he believed in .. hmmm ..

kashmiri muslims did have some issues .. you see in a way the people did not choose india back then ... it was not about partition .. it was about accession in kashmir .. so if you go by motherland concept i think their demand is just ..

having said that lets remember that india as a nation was closest to its present shape under britishers as british india .. before them moghuls but as a whole back then in say 1600 ad or before we were not one country but many countries .. sub continent ..

you take the liberty of calling terrorists psychopaths... well LTTE .. what would you brand them under ... ?
just need your views am not questioning but demanding more insight ...

Shiv said...

Sid, you are being very kind to me. :)

Towards reclamation said...

@ shiv ... drop in your email in the cbox.. become a member .. you will love it here ..

Priya Joyce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priya Joyce said...

@ sid:

well, There was a buddy of mine..
she Hated Gandhi ji so much that..in a chapter about Gandhi ji she just stroked out his name..everywhere in the chapter...
Well,

I don't know...But I feel the same too...(i disagree) to her

coz from childhood I've been hearing the most about Gandhi ji and Nehru...

their principles and all...

but ...
I donno the facts are all twisted..in many ppl's mind,,

well
I began speaking my family history..:P
niway

Priya Joyce said...

The only thing I would like to say about the post is....

Well, Subjectivity is what..justifies..terrorism..

but this has to be handled with objectivity...

jayaram said...

Terrorism of any kind do not justify anything. They r born 2 destroy humanity under the supervision of a few hypocrytic psychic power hungry merchants. They do not need any sympathy and love 4 the kind of destruction they preach. Looks like they themselves do not know as 2 what they want to achieve. Objective can be achieved by paying them in the same coin. I mean the rogue state must be totally isolated. Then probably wisdom will prevail. Not only 2 rein in the state but also others who help in such dastardly acts towards humanity.

Towards reclamation said...

@ priya ..
I find it in human nature, this trait of willing to criticise and find faults with those great .. I believe that only those worthy of passing that judgment should be passing it ..
and the post was not about terrorism .. though unfortunately it has taken that route ..

@ kartz ..
GRRRR.. ;)

@ jayaram

paying them in the same coin .. hmmm ..
well i guess i will treat this one as a debate on is terrorism in any form justified .. ;)
I have a few rebuttals...
What is terrorism ???
What is the fight many people fought for their countries and killed many ??/

If the act is dastardly because lives are taken then is there a difference .. ?
If there is a difference, isnt it affected by the end desired result of the act ???

having asked that .. I do not nor am i trying to justify terrorism .. nor do i empathise with them ..
but the topic is not about terrorism at all
that was just one comparison taken to illustrate what we meant by "Do ends always justify the means ?"

jayaram said...

Kartz, thanks 4 ur rebuttals. Wish 2 add a few more points.
What is terrorism? It is a fight 4 nothing by sadistic psychopaths. They have no idea as 2 what they r doing and 4 what. Achievement is total humanitarian loss. A purposeless and conceited exercise.
This dastardly acts r the handicrafts of robotic perpetrators who have no vosion and direction.
The fight 4 the rights, soverignity and independance of a country is not terrorism. They may be called revolutionaries or martyrs. They have passion and their destiny is clear. A definite purpose 2 achieve.
Lives lost here is the price one pays 4 freedom. The killings by terrorists have no words 2 describe but to say it is a merciless killing by mercenaries.
I believe there is a difference between the 2 and a big one.

Towards reclamation said...

@ jayaram ..
sir Kartz gets credit fr my rebuttls :( no fair .. he he on a more serious note
BINGO !

finally the right distinction put forth crystal clear... was waiting for this .. there cant be a better demarcation ...

Kartz said...

@Sid

No tension lene ka... ;)

@Jayaram

You said it, uncle... Period.

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