Imagine the day when all Criminals start dying of heart attacks and accidents, wouldn’t that day be awesome? I know you agreed at first but then your ‘morals’ kicked in and you started to relent the idea. This is the exact situation of the human race but why am I suddenly on this? Because I recently started watching and finished the series, Death Note.
Death Note deals with the story of a prodigy teenager who in his last year at school acquires a notebook called Death Note which can basically be defined as, “The human whose name is written in this notebook shall die.” Light Yagami, the protagonist at first is an ideal boy with idealistic views and he believes the world was rotting. He wanted to create a better world and thus starts to kill criminals using the note. He is held as a saviour by many who now call the unknown hero, Kira – Japanese for Killer. Toward the end he is nothing but a serial killer himself who has now killed many innocents and has built up an ego that he is a God. God of the New World. He is in pursuit with the world’s best detective namely ‘L’ who is trying to catch him along with the NPA of Japan.
The plot is intriguing, sure. The execution is perfect but I’m not reviewing Death Note. Rather, I’m highlighting the underlying similarity of my views with Kira’s and where we differ. At first when I started watching Death Note I was startled by the dialogue, “This world is rotting” spoken by Light Yagami as he went from school to home. I speak the same thing everyday after noticing people, situations, reading news on my phone. So, this was basically a mirror for what I do, daily and as it was portrayed, Light did it daily too. This was surprising and I suddenly wanted to watch more. I could relate with a new character, with suitable reasons. But as the series progressed I found that the similarity in Light’s character and my personality was being overshadowed by his Kira avatar and it’s dissimilarities with me. The kind of person I am, this gave me an introspection yet again.
Would I kill criminals, rapists, thieves, murderers without reason, given the chance? Are people who commit crimes always evil? What if someone stole for the good of their family? Would that make the person bad. Could they have taken a better route?The world for sure is rotting. Slowly and Steadily we’re going down. We are so busy in leaving a better planet for the future that we’re forgetting to leave better humans for the planet. Values, Senses, Ideology, Intelligence, Morals etc. are becoming even rarer to spot now. I think that people who have good values and understanding of right and wrong from the start are less likely to turn criminals. If a Death Note was in my possession, I would take the same route I guess. But if any authorities interfered would I need to eliminate them just to carry out my service? Won’t that be a crime to my inner self? If the system sentences someone for execution then it’s fair but if for example, another citizen does it, it’s cold-blooded murder? What about the cracks in the system? Criminals do fall through them, right?
Having said that, the more my morals tell me I’m away from Kira, the more my sense of justice tells me I’m closer to him. I’m in no way saying I can kill, I’m too big a wimp for that. I’m just analysing the impossible scenario where I would have been in Light Yagami’s place and what route would I have followed. Removing people from the world without doing a background check is wrong. What if the person who was entitled a criminal was framed or had their own reasons – suitable reasons? Consider the scenario where someone has eliminated all criminals from the world and there is no crime because people are afraid, then the only criminal left is the person who murdered all of them, so does he kill himself or not?
Again, I’m at a crossroads with myself. I say something then contradict myself but I guess it’s safe to say that a citizen shouldn’t take things in their own hands. We would be no different from the criminals we would punish then. The system punishes enough people if they deserve the punishment. Being from the human race, any citizen would later gain the God-like ego if they were to start eliminating criminals. We are hard-wired that way. That’s why I think we should just accept that the world is rotting but never take the system’s job in our own hands. We can do what is in our power and is expected of us – not commit crimes and let the system do the needful. Death Note and my view are similar but then I tend to think a little more in the moral department so, I guess no, killing people who commit crimes and taking matters into your own hands is not right and is plain evil in itself.