How does one react to the death of someone like Bin Laden?

The whole world is abuzz today with the news of the killing of the number one most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden. Even as President Obama made the official announcement, thousands of people across the nation were out on the streets rejoicing and celebrating. My own facebook page was flooded with status updates of celebratory remarks including one of my own.

And, then came the outpour of the famous quote “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”—Martin Luther King, Jr

This got me thinking. I wondered if it was indeed wrong to feel jubilant over the death of another human being no matter how evil and I felt a pang of regret wash over me for being so frivolous and puerile.

And, then my sensible husband made the point that it depends on the perspective of what is it that’s being celebrated. He made a simple point that crimes need to be punished and there was probably no better or practical way to bring this man to justice other than the way it was carried out. The death was just the outcome.

So in this context, we are rejoicing the fact that justice was served, the reign of terror was ended and that in the end good prevailed over evil. It’s not the death that is being celebrated, but what it symbolizes.

As one of my friends simply put, “There’s one less evil person in this world and maybe we’re a little bit closer to being safe.”

 Would love to hear your take on this….

Last 5 posts by Neelam Kamdar Bhamani

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