We are not always rational and no matter how often we tell ourselves something, sometimes, it might be difficult to convince our heart of something. People who have had to suffer some great injustice without redress or punishment of those responsible will realize that there is no cosmic agent ensuring justice in this world, which is true. But, along with that, they will also start to think that maybe, there really is no need for fairness or honesty or integrity. While it is true that sometimes evil does go unpunished, on an average bad people will be discovered by society and eventually rejected by it.
People who have been wronged often forget this simple fact and it sometimes leads to regrettable actions and great damage. Some of their problematic actions might be understandable and sometimes even excusable. But, one can’t expect others to empathize with, understand or even care enough to try to find out about their past. That is why it is so important for our society to make sure that no great crime or injustice goes unpunished. That we not force victims into “compromising”. If we do that the price of the crime will be paid in the currency of our collective morality.
We must not be fooled into falling into the trap of “Let bygones be bygones” style thinking. It is incompatible with our conscience and can be practiced only by breaking it. This will result in the degradation of our social values and eventual disruption of the functioning of our society.
I got this feeling after reading this article in the Hindu editorial.