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2nd November 2023 (9 Topics)

Reconciliation over retribution

Context:

Amid the ongoing tussle between Israel and Hamas, the notion that when countries act in ways that are not considered civilized, they end up causing long-lasting harm instead of finding long-term solutions felt stronger.

The Futility of Revenge

  • Peace Precedes Progress: Shattered solar panels in Gaza highlight the need for peace for progress. Political leaders must prioritize peace.
  • Revenge and Wild Justice: Revenge, as described by Francis Bacon, is raw and uncivilized. Vengeance by the establishment is unjustifiable.
  • Retribution vs. Justice: State should administer justice through legal channels, not resort to mindless annihilation. Perpetrators must face the law.

Escalating Vicious Cycles

  • Revenge Begets More Violence: Revenge perpetuates a cycle of self-destructive events, leaving lasting wounds. Restraint is crucial for societal stability.
  • Legal Framework and Order: Laws, both domestic and international, uphold acceptable conduct. Absence leads to chaos and unmanageable conflicts.
  • Gandhi's Non-Violent Approach: Gandhi's practice of non-violence defused animosity, contrasting with retaliatory tactics. Cooperation and unity offer lasting solutions.

The Need for Restraint and Dialogue

  • Responsibility of Judiciary and Government: Judiciary punishes offenders; governments seek consensual solutions to minimize conflict. Lack of efforts invites disorder.
  • Avoiding Desperate Retaliation: Establishments must adhere to due process, avoiding disproportionate avenging. Encounters should be strategic, not fuelled by desperation.
  • Dialogue over Retribution: Retaining equanimity and restraint is key for effective administration. Sovereign hubris leads to retribution, not reconciliation.
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