EVERYDAY I saw him with his terrified dog. Leash in one hand and stick in the other, he screamed, shrieked and shouted commands to the poor dumb creature and if the four legged fellow failed to comprehend or refused to obey, the stick swished the air and came down mercilessly on furry skin. But today was different.
There was something different in the look in the animal’s eyes, and as the stick threatened to tear its hide again it rose on its haunches and with terrible growl and even more ferocious roar threw itself on its master, its fans closing on flesh as he cried out with terror. The dog had had enough.
All the master thought he had been doing, was training his dog. His methods though were cruel and barbaric. The dog finally had enough. Its spirit had been broken and with a devil may care attitude, it attacked the very person who had invoked it with fear.
How familiar it sounds? We punish our criminals with police lathis and truncheons, carefully seeing we break no skin and bones, breaking only the wild spirit we see in him, till suddenly petty thief comes out a murderer. Pickpocket becomes gangster. Chain snatcher turns into an extortionist. And we look with disbelief and wonder who created these monsters? We of course. Who else?
Like that master of the dog, we try to tame with stick and fist, hoping that we can beat the wildness out of the trapped criminal.
We hit and with unleashed fury smash his spirit into the ground for having dared to defy. But a monster worse than the one before sprouts. We see same scene enacted with many authoritarian governments!
Passing laws without consulting the opposition, finally losing allies and facing protests! Making one man decisions and running the country into a financial crisis!
Treating those who question as anti-nationals and shackling them with sedition cases while losing hard fought for democratic credibility with a watching world! Using weak minorities as whipping boys to get votes and facing reactions through cowardly acts of terror!
Remember that dog. In inflicting punishment with cruel and brutal ways, we create fiends. Correction and punishment are two different ways to treat opposing views.
It’s time we opened our eyes and started noticing the difference! It’s time we stopped breaking the spirit of people or d’you remember there was something different in the look in the animal’s eyes that day?
And as the stick threatened to tear its hide again it rose on its haunches and with terrible growl and even more ferocious roar threw itself on its master, its fangs closing on flesh as he cried out with terror. The dog used its fangs, we people, our voting finger..!