The tearing hurry and secrecy with which Afzal Guru was hanged, accompanied by the flouting of all established norms by not giving his family their legal right to meet him before taking him to the gallows, clearly indicates that there were political considerations behind taking this step. More shameful is the explanation of the Home department that the wife and family of Afzal Guru were intimated of the hanging by a mail sent by Speed Post and Registered Post. Decency and humanity demanded that the union government give prior intimation to the family and an opportunity to meet him. Such surreptitious action of the government also deprived the family of Afzal Guru to right to seek legal remedy.
We would also like to take this opportunity to condemn the Delhi Police who permitted a group of Bajrang Dal goons to use violence against the protestors who were protesting against the hanging of Guru on the 9th of February, 2013 and detaining them in police stations of Delhi. We would also like to condemn the present withdrawal of democracy from the Kashmir region and the repression of the Indian and J&K Government on the people with the clamping of curfew 24×7, the closure of all print, online, electronic media and SMSs. We assert the right of citizens to dissent and express their opposition to the hanging of Afzal Guru and the end of capital punishment in a peaceful manner.
We reiterate our demand for the abolition of the death penalty. We are of the view that India must not retain in its statute book something so abhorrent to human rights as the death penalty. More especially, when more than one hundred and fifty countries have banned or put a moratorium on it. We feel that in the land of Buddha and Gandhi, death penalty has no place. Starting with Kasab, now with Afzal Guru, the country is going to witness a spate of executions. We give a call to the nation to break this spiral of executions.
1. Devaki Jain, Feminist Economist, Delhi
2. Vasanth Kannabiran, Writer and associated with ASMITA, Hyderabad
3. Veena Shatrugna, Nutritionist, Hyderabad
4. Farah Naqvi, Free Lance Journalist and NAC member, Delhi
5. Kannamma Raman, Activist
6. Anita Ghai, Former President, IAWS, Delhi
7. Lalita Ramdas, Educationist and anti nuclear activist
8. Lata P.M, Activist, Mumbai
9. Abha (Bhaiya), Jagori, Delhi
10. Dr Aisha K. Gill, Social Scientist, London
11. Sumi Krishna, Academic, Bangalore
12. Harsh Mandar, Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi
13. Jeevika Shiv, Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi
14. Uma V Chandru, Activist, Bangalore,
15. Kalyani Menon-Sen, Social Scientist, Delhi
16. Gopika Solanki
17. Rituparna.Borah, Activist, Nirantar, Delhi
18. Anusha Hariharan
19. Sneha Krishnan
20. K.Sajaya Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
21. Prof.Rama S Melkote, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad.
22. Ambika, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
23. Dr.Samata Roshni, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
24. K.Anuradha, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
25. Aurnmai, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
26. Indira, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
27. Vasudha Nagaraj, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
28. Sandhya, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
29. Sajaya, Mallepally, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
30. Lakshmayya, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
31. Ramesh Babu Vommy, Committee against Capital Punishment, Hyderabad
32. Suchismita Chattopadhyay
33. Kochurani Abraham
34. Pushpa Achanta
35. Sheba George, Social Activist , Gujarat
36. Gabriele Dietrich, Academic and Social Activist, Madurai
37. Nandini Rao, Lawyer, DElhi
38. Dyuti Ailawadi,
39. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Feminist activist, Blogger
40. Jayasree Jayasree
41. Dr Jayasree Kalathil
42. Anuradha Kapoor, Swayam, Kolkata
43. Sharmila Rege, Academic, Pune
44. Purnima Gupta, Nirantar, Delhi
45. Shipra nigam, Academic and Activist, Delhi
46. Tanushree gangopadhyay, Journalist
47. Sujata Gothoskar, Mumbai
48. Alaka Basu
49. Ayesha Kidwai
50. Ayesha Khatun
52. Srila Roy
53. Jayasree Subramanian,
54. Rimple Mehta
55. Kabi Sherman, Mumbai
56. SAHELI, Delhi
57. Ranjana Padhi, Saheli
58. Madhu Mehra, Lawyer, Delhi
59. Chayanika Shah, Activist, Mumbai
60. Vimochana, Bangalore
61. K.Lalita, Academic, Hyderabad
62. Arundhati Dhuru, Activist, Lucknow
63. Teena Gill, Academic, DElhi
64. Saumya Uma, Lawyer, Mumbai
65. Veena Gowda, Lauer, Mumbai
66. Trupti Shah, Activist, Vadodra
67. Amrita Shodhan
68. M P Thomas
69. Kaveri Indira, Academic and Activist, Bangalore
70. Rohini Hensman, Writer and Activist, Mumbai
71. Kavita Panjabi, Academic, Kolkata
72. Dr Geetanjali Gangoli
73. Gopika Solanki
74. Forum Against Oppression of Women, Bombay FAOW
75. Kavita Srivastava, PUCL
76. Aruna Roy, NAC member and MKSS, Rajasthan
77. Renuka Pamecha, Activist, Jaipur
78. Mamta Jaitly, Activist and free lance journalist, Jaipur
79. Aarti Chowksi, Bangalore,
80. D. Nagasaila, PUCL
81. Sudha Bharadwaj, Lawyer, Bilaspur
82. Suneeta Dhar, JAgori
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
"We feel that in the land of Buddha and Gandhi, death penalty has no place. "
In the land of Buddha, there should be no punishment. Period. We will turn the other cheek. When somebody robs my TV, let me also give the DVD player.
And in the land of Gandhi, there should be no hospitals or railways. Let us implement all that he said in Hind Swaraj.
"No death Penalty In the land of Gandhi....blah blah"!!! "
The irony is, Gandhi murderers were given death penulty and were hanged.
"No death Penalty In the land of Gandhi....blah blah"!!! At the outset I am against Death penalty. But invoke Gandhi? Gandhi could have petitioned the Brit Govt to commute the death sentence of BhagatSingh, Rajguru & Sukhdeo. But he did nothing. That time he took a "principled stand" about Crime & Punishment & justice. So much for the non-violenc!!
Abhisheksharman >> BTW, the first signatory on the letter is Devaki Jain, Feminist (sic) Economist, Delhi. What exactly is her economics about?
Very simple. The economics of these jobless, self appointed intellectuals is to organize protest industry on various liberal causes, thus always stay in limelight and use the same to network with people in positions and power . The networking helps them to build a career around speaking in seminars, lectures, all often outside India and in short live a good life by talking about problems and solutions that are least connected with real life.
These intellectuals are new age parasites who use a gullible public who are ready to fall to their pseudo liberalism . And these parasitic termites are amply supported by our media houses which use them for their own advancement.
Anil P >> These activists are more in touch with world outside India but very less with the real India. What punishment do they suggest for the Dehli Gang rape criminals?
What are these intellectuals going to do about the kashmir pandits. Ask them and they will give the standard lie - KPs left due to conspiracy, they left voluntarily..
So much for intellectuals of India and dynasty.
We may have so many arguments against death penalty but the intellectuals and their lies cannot be the basis for same.
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