So a very good friend of mine put forward this seemingly toothless question where a simple ‘yes or no’ would have sufficed his inquisition. Frankly, if I were to answer that question, which I unfortunately immediately, spontaneously and thoughtlessly did; I would and did say a yes. Obviously, being who I am, I am surely be ready for the ‘eye for an eye’ treatment. So I thought that’s the end of that. Question answered. Chapter closed.
But then, after almost three hours, the fathomage of the question struck me! I mean, is tit for tat really the solution? For our day- to- day petty mishaps it seems like the perfect quick fix. I mean, someone pokes you and you poke back. Someone slaps and you snap back. Someone cuts you while driving, you throw cuss words, have a bit of verbal jousting, cut him and well, that’s over. But then, probably, for our mundane circadian matters, tit for tat really isn’t that. Its more of a mere retort than a blatant rebuttal. Its more of a repartee than offensive comebacks. However, if this is true and acceptable on an individual level, can the same be said about it on a communal level? So say America wrongs India in a certain way, should we pay them back in kind? Or should we try to chalk out conversations and esoteric discussions so that we find a way out. Obviously, now the choice shall be the latter as the stakes are higher. Thus we see that as the provincial parties as well as the magnitude of the situations change, the contrivance resorted to also undergoes a revision.
For me, tit for tat becomes an issue of the kind of riposte it is. I mean, the problem with it is that principally, it should never be used as an offensive or an avenging response. Vengeance should never translate into any action. However, if it has been used in defense, then we may be able to justify it. I know all this sounds ludicrous, but those who give it a thought shall realize that there is a paper- thin line of demarcation between the two, even if the aftermath of the two shall be pretty much the same. Obviously, many would say that war is abominable in the first place, whether you initiate it or respond. True. But the intent after all is what separates earth from sky! Oft, giving back what you get remains the only possible alternative, which should then definitely be put to practice; but it should also be remembered that it is an avenue of last resort and not a resource of first employment.
People should surely use an iota of discretion before actually giving back what they get. It is inopportune that we are living in an era where patience, tolerance and one- to- one discussions are becoming gold-dust. Obviously, people will want to reimburse the apostates in the same cruel ways that they were paid, but I believe that a resolving dialogue should be indulged into before actually turning the tables. Thus, if now someone asks me to answer the question, “Tit for tat- Whether an amenable solution?” I would say, “No. An intractable solution which should be used on advisedly amenable occasions!”
Hoping that people do use their heads before their hands.
This is the Sciolist.