Wednesday, April 11, 2007

the power of the people

I’ve been quite a believer. I believe in the power of the people. I believe in the spirit of the people. I believe that the ultimate goal of one’s life is to do something for the people. But I would have to accede that sometimes people around me label me of being too idealistic. Some say I’m not living in ‘reality’. Some say it’s academic. I still remember having a conversation with some friends last week during lunch, as in the middle of the conversation, I told them that I’m interested in criminal justice. A friend said to me: “don’t u think that u’re actually defending criminals?” I guess I’m so used to hearing such accusatory unsubstantiated statement whenever the same subject comes into the picture. It kinda struck me to the core of my being, but I believe that I have the duty to explain what I’ve been holding on to and what I’ve been believing in.

Justice is rather a spirit than a form. It is viable. As lawyers, our duties are not to absolve criminals. We work within the framework of justice. We are in the position to ensure that justice is done because it is just to do so, as justice is not discriminatory. It does not look at your pedigree. Justice assures that no one is discriminated against. Every single soul is entitled to it. It’s nothing new to us that we keep on questioning the essence, perhaps getting too carried away by our preconceived ideas that are very much deviating from all the virtuous values that we can have access to: religion, conscience, and the essence of our creation, without even realizing it.

I’m a kind of person who has a strong conviction on the power of the people. Therefore I believe that for a nation to achieve its highest dignified human civilization, the creation of an independent civil society is the only key towards opening the realm of a civilized nation in its true sense. The right of the society to have expectations from the ruling sovereign must be given due recognition. When a representative of the society steps forward to address the concerns of the whole society, he should not be treated in such a way that he is against the ruling sovereign and eventually labeled as a rebel. What could have been more threatening to the security of a state that a mediocre man, who only has his opinion as a weapon at his disposal, fighting for other people’s rights, where in the alternative, he could have just sit around, watched the idiot box, earned his money and said “why should I bother about other people”. Is this the kind of society that we want? Is this the kind of life that we want? Is this the kind of life that we want our kids to live in the near future?

When people start to step out of the norm of being submissive and receptive towards the actions of the sovereign, they are being prejudged and accused of causing fragments in unity. They are accused of being disrespectful and ungrateful. Sometimes I wonder, is it too much to ask from the one who’s been keeping the trust? Is it too demanding that we want something to be put in its right place? Is it too rebellious that we demand justice for other fellow human beings? Is it too much for us to expect something from the one who has the power to do something? Or is it just the way how it is supposed to be? Because everything seems to appear as if it’s such a sin that we demand a just civil society.

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