Right vs. Wrong

This is a recollection of a discussion I had almost 3 years back. I was sitting over coffee with some of my team mates and Sandhya brought up this topic of what is wrong? For some time I avoided the discussions (because of my un-conventional thinking). but soon it became un-resistible and I was deep in the discussion. I was thinking about this and here I am sharing my thoughts.

Some of the most dreadful sins as declared by society – “Murder”, “Adultery”, “Stealing”. Well this is what a society feels are sins and hence wrongs of the world. I see these a little differently. For me what I feel at heart if right is right. Society has its own way of seeing things and I can not change that, but that does not mean that I will change myself the way society wants us to be. Why do we always want to be what others want us to be.

Coming back to the Right vs Wrong – for me the person who does something “wrong” may not feel that it is wrong in any way. A thief, steals why? To earn some money and feed his children. Just saying that he is wrong is not the right thing. Do we spend any time in understanding why is that thief a thief? We take that person to trial and punish if the charge is proved in court of law. Do we even try to see what circumstances forced the person to steal. What we have done is put away a criminal for some time and made him a criminal for life. If we would try to listen his/her problems we may have rehabilitated him/her. No, but society says he is wrong when it may have been someone who forced a thief to steal is the wrong here.

Sandhya also brought up the biggest sin – Murder. I was on the same opinion if I feel what I am doing is right, then even Murder is right. I should not feel remorse about it. Sandhya said “How can someone play God?” I think she is right in a way, but let us explore what is being God and then we will come back to Sandhya’s point. Sometime back I saw the movie “Provoked”; based on a real-life story. The story was about a wife who is being physically and mentally harassed by her husband and one day she breaks down and burns her husband alive. She was taken to court of law and sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. What do we get here: Was the wife wrong as she burnt her husband alive or was the husband wrong who was harassing his wife?

I am split here on how the husband was behaving – What was shown in the movie. It showed all the bad things he would do to his wife, but I could not find a cause. I am tempted to believe that he was wrong as there was no reason for him to do this. As for wife she has all the right reasons to punish him and she did. Was she right? I would say yes – but then is this being playing God? Well yes, it is. But for the right reason for her. The authorities still feel that she was wrong and that’s the reason she was put behind bars.

Being right or wrong is not a function of how the society defines. The rules have been laid out there to keep a larger part of the society under control and it works very well. But, how a person behaves is based on various circumstances and not knowing all you can not hold someone for the wrong. The wrong for which you would hold someone may be your wrong and not their.