Fear, Patriotism, and the Fate of a Terror Suspect’s Body

Father of the terror suspect who was killed yesterday refused to accept his son’s body. Today, he has expressed apprehension that he may lose his job, being a terror suspect’s father. This makes us feel that his rejection of his son’s body would have been a decision coming from his feeling of insecurity and painfully made in the greater interest of his family. If this is indeed the case, it is both sad and unfortunate. The government, instead of lauding his patriotism, should reassure his family that they have nothing to fear, and encourage them to give his son a decent burial.

Fear, Patriotism and the Fate of a Terror Suspect's Body

In Ramayana, after Ravana was killed, Vibheeshana refuses to do the final rites for his elder brother. It was Sri Rama who, in this case, reminded him that there is no need to hold grudge towards the dead, and urged him to perform the rites with due honour.

मरणान्तानि वैराणि निवॄत्तं न: प्रयोजनम् |
क्रीयतामस्य संस्कारो ममाप्येष यथा तव ||

Enmity ends with death, our purpose here is done (with the defeat of Ravana). Perform his final rites, he is now mine just as he is yours.

Just as Sri Rama allayed all of Vibheeshana’s fear and doubt and instructed him to do what must be done, government and other influential leaders have a responsibility to console this old man who has already lost his son, and help him put his son to rest as per his faith. That is the ideal that our forefathers have shown us, and that is the ideal that we will set for the world to see and follow.

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