Good or Evil
There is a thin line between the two
Is it defined by action or intent?
By character or circumstance?
Now Delhi feature:: The Flying Souls
While doing this story, I was constantly reminded of the concept of moral/ethical dilemma. A series of thought experiments that look at the grey area of human behaviour and reaction in a given situation. They give an interesting perspective to the general notion society has about right and wrong.
So back to the matter at hand. Is there an absolute to who is evil? Does an action taken in a moment of weakness define you for the rest of your life? Do circumstances matter? Society’s take on convicts is that of apathy. They are usually considered the lowest rung of society. They’re usually the dirt swept under the carpet, left to repent for their actions in isolation.
It isn’t wrong to judge people based on their actions. It is, however, wrong to assume people can’t change.
It isn’t wrong to punish them for their actions, but it is wrong to not treat them as human beings, despite their actions.
Delhi based band Menwhopause understand that.
Tihar Jail is one of India’s oldest maximum security prisons. Over the years it has hosted some of the most notorious convicts of the country. It has been home to famous prisoners like Charles Shobraj, and most recently, the head of the CWG scam, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi.
It is also home to a large number of adolescent inmates, some as old as 19 years old. As of 2006, it held more than 12,000 inmates. But it is also a prison known for its rehabilitation program, which encourages prisoner engagement in activities and workshops. Over the years, several programs have been implemented to give the prisoners a breakaway from their life of penance
As a part of that program, Alternative Rock band Menwhopause spent 15 days with the inmates doing music workshops. During that time they also worked with the in-house prison band ‘The Flying Souls’ which comprises of inmates from various backgrounds, who came together to put up a show for the prisoners.
The band comprises of some inmates in for murder, some for petty crimes, and it also included an african national, Jhonathan, in for a passport fraud case who was sick of being called names, and decided to sing about it. The idea with the workshop was to involve prisoners in regular normal life activities, which, for the large amount of adolescent inmates, might just be help them focus on constructive change.
The result was an evening full of inspiration and joy that the prisoners wont forget for a while. Rehabilitation is meant to be a process that assists one back into society, and if you were to count the steps, then this would be the first one.
Having something to look forward to leads to hope. And music gives these inmates that hope. Some even want to continue playing once they are out of prison. Rather than fall back into a life of crime.