Apropos Meenakshi Ganguly’s Jump Cut (The Question Hangs), human rights people are welcome to give their valuable opinion after some of their own become victims of terror.
Jean Jacques Rousseau used to sign off his letters as the "Citizen of Geneva". It is always good to observe how columnists and writers identify themselves. Publications usually have a tag line at the bottom of the article, which introduces the writer. A short sentence or two or sometimes three tells us that the writer is a research fellow in a university or think tank, or author of a book or holding a senior position in an institution. In this particular article, I find it interesting to note that the writer still identifies herself as a fomer reporter of the weekly newsmagazine 'Time'. Not sure, but it is almost a decade since I would have read her article in Time,
I do not care about detterent... but at least we tax-payers are not paying more than 10 crores per year to keep that B@$**** alive.
>> "....is it their contention it is okay for the Government to hang an innocent person?" - Suresh
If they believe that they have been wrongly convicted, people have the choice to appeal to the higher courts, all the way to the Supreme Court. Specific to this case, the seculars are jumping as if they were being hanged yesterday.
>>> One of the strongest cases one can give for the abolition of death sentence is the possibility of innocents being hanged. Recently the Delhi High Court acquitted two men who were sentenced to death by the trial court.
For those who dislike the post from Saroja above, is it their contention it is okay for the Government to hang an innocent person?
Human Rights Watch is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances as an inherently irreversible, inhumane punishment."
Is HRW opposed to abortion-which after all is baby killing.
Opposition to capital punishment in general is decades old and the reasoning is well documented. Opponents to death penalty will argue that if the justice system kills someone as a punishment for killing others, the judges are in no moral high ground compared to the convict because they are also committing the same crime of killing. Further, death penalty has not detered criminals from committing murders or other henous crimes. Opponents also argue that any mistrial or error of judgement that leads to a death sentence cannnot be rectified after one is executed.
Still I find it quite foolish to raise this debate now after a terrorist was hanged four long years after killing hundreds of innocent unarmed civilians in front of witnesses and cameras. Kasav could have been killed like other nine terrorists in the counter insurgency operation. Instead he was caught alive, allowed a trial, and after four years of tortuous legal process and due diligence hanged in accordance with the law of the land. If there was an iota of doubt about his involvement in a heinous crime or if only circumstantial evidence was used to prove him guilty or if he was executed hastily following his trial and sentencing, one might have expressed concerns. More importantly, in India death sentences are given in the rarest of rare circumstances. Even those who are on death row are not executed in any hurry as was evident in Kasav's case. It is therefore quite idiotic to believe that Kasav's execution can open up a flood gate for executions.
The timing of Kasav's execution may have political implications. Even Afzal Guru's execution can have political implications. However, these domestic political considerations in no way can diminish the graveness of the crimes. Severity of a punishment cannot be isolated from the severity of the crime. But that is what the Outlook cover story tried in vain to accomplish. Calling a terrorist a misguided adult-child (stopping short of calling him a martyr or a freedom fighter), citing irrelevant reference of Hindutwa leader Modi to neutralize toxicity of jehadi Islamic terror, and scaremongering Indians that Afzal Guru's execution can lead to exploding Kashmiri violence are all attempts made by Saba Naqvi et al to distract attention from the key issue - the heinous crimes of terror attacks that led to the death penalty . Saba Naqvi should be once again credited for her brand of yellow journalism that the Outlook patronizes.
An article expressing views of the Human Rights Watch to substantiate the Outlook's stance on Kasav's execution is misplaced and the argument that death penalty is not a deterrent for a jehadi terrorist on suicide mission is too weak to hold.
Let's change the topic.
Human Rights Watch must be applauded for its stand opposing the death penalty. My expectation is that death penalty will be a thing of the past by the end of this century. When the third world countries start abolishing it, I am sure India will be among the first. The Muslim countries, alas, will be the last.
Let me see. This is the first hanging in India in almost 10 years.
Meanwhile, roughly 4000 people die from falling out of trains every year in Mumbai alone - something that is unheard of in just about any other country in the world - and no one in India gives a damn.
Millions of children are malnutrioned in Mera Bharat Mahaan even though millions of tons of food grains are rotting in government godowns because no one has figured out how to distribute food properly even though this has been going on for decades. But no one gives a damn.
We live in the dirtiest country in the world - half of our people still shit in the open - and we are plagued by all kinds of diseases that are now unknown in other countries. We even had an outbreak of the plague(!) in Surat a few years ago, something which disappeared from the West in the Middle Ages. Who knows how many millions die each year because we are a bunch of pigs who live in filth. Yet no one can be bothered to do anything about it.
But hang one Pakistani terrorist, and it's time for remorse, reflection, tears, sadness, and anguish.
Death penalty abolition is the "Prohibition" of current times...
Like the 1920s puritans demanding total prohibition and like our own khadi capwallas having prohibition right till 1980s, we have the death penalty abolition cult working now with pious promises...
Maybe like in prohibition, why dont we enact a law that allows individual states to decide on whether they allow death penalty or not? (This is what USA does i believe)
The brutal truth is death penalty is just one of the many ways a STATE/LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY can end the life of a person deemed against the STATE/LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY..
Australia banned death penalty but that did not stop its armed forces from killing innocents in Iraq,Afghanistan and other NATO active battle fields..
I read somewhere that Israel has abolished death penalty too...
We can also do the same thing here and yes Kasab can then die out of dengue, malaria, AIDS or blood cancer too. Or maybe he can commit suicide too. Or maybe die from a road accident while travelling from one jail to another..
The irrational debate continues even as real issues are ignored............
Of course this is an aberration.
It was politically convenient to hang him at this time.
There are rumours of him being critical due to dengue anyway and the gujju elections are around the corner too, arent' the?
Now the INC and it's chamchas will unleash the war cry "Look, we are not soft on terror".
R.Jagannathan @Firstpost has written a much better opinion piece on Kasab's hanging.
One of the strongest cases one can give for the abolition of death sentence is the possibility of innocents being hanged. Recently the Delhi High Court acquitted two men who were sentenced to death by the trial court. About the quality of investigation carried by police, here is an example - www.manushi.in/articles.
Short of abolishing the death penalty, India has shown maturity by taking recourse to it fewer than once each year since 1947. The wider debate is perhaps better conducted away from the shadow of 26 / 11. It would be humane to dispose of mercy petitions with despatch.
Human Rights Directors are welcome to give their valuable comments after some of their own become victims of Terror.
There may or may not be incidents like this, in the future. How does the header and the writings address this? The individual feels, naively, that he is incapable of these acts. Also, that because he is incapable, it is impossible to be associated with these acts, even as a victim. This is what society tells itself, and messages itself.
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