We must see evil

If 2020 has done one thing to my worldview, it is that it has restored my belief in the existence of evil. The fact that good and evil aren't always easy to tell apart remains true. But this is not one of those times.

I also understand why many soft Hindutva types keep saying "our religion doesn't have a word for evil". It's because the absence of a word for evil helps us shut our eyes to the existence of it in our way of life. It helps us ignore the dehumanisation of people, it helps us embrace "ananda" when there is suffering all around us.

It helps us pretend that we are virtuous and pure even as we actively participate in atrocities against those who have no defence and accuse them of doing bad things to themselves as we sip herbal tea. Evil absolutely exists, and it lives in hearts and minds consumed by apathy and bigotry. I finally understand why Nazi Germany is thought of as a time of absolute evil with no redeeming qualities. It had none. And those who look for "something good" in a pit of darkness such as that (or this) are evil.

Sometimes, there is absolute darkness and all light seems lost. Sometimes, reality is not analogous with ASOIAF. Sometimes, it's best described as an inspiration for the black and white world of an LOTR. Sometimes, all of reality turns into a war and only evil prevails.

"See no evil" is a pernicious scandal. We absolutely must see evil when it happens.

However, 2020 has also taught me that rebel alliances can breach the biggest Death Stars and storm the darkest Mordors. I believe now that though evil might poison all there is, life and light can always resist its onslaught. And on occasion, they can win back just enough territory to build a fortress on - a refuge for innocence.

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