An excellent Facebook post by Chandrika RK:
We eulogise APJ Kalam, who was strongly against capital punishment, and bury him with state honours on the same day as the State hangs Yakub.
One of the judges quoted from Manusmriti in reasoning why Mercy for Yakub should not be considered and all legal recourse not be exhaustively explored. When did we include Manusmriti in the Constitution of India? Or is it a special course run for Supreme Court judges?
One judge asked the lawyers whether they were aware Of WHOM they were defending? (Maybe he was thinking that ... As seems to be the trend in these communally tinged cases... professionally defending an accused made the lawyers culpable too). Was this judge, having come as far as the Supreme Court in his career, unaware of the basic rights of the accused and position of lawyers in the Indian Legal System? Which also opens up a pandora box about the caliber of judges in the high courts and the Supreme Court and how to evolve a mechanism by which only non-partisan, objective and well qualified and experienced persons in law can make it to these posts, where they are regularly writing the future of individuals and therefore, the society.
The same judge, Dave, (among others like Rastogi) stated the death of 257 in the 1993 Bombay blasts as reason enough to hang Yakub who, seemingly was not directly involved, voluntarily turned himself in and further helped in the investigation of the case. Now, let us see, how many died in the 1992-93 Bombay riots? Around 900 (575 Muslims, 275 Hindus, and 50 others). Who was convicted, and who was hanged?
The Godhra train burning, which was arguably a fire accident and alleged to be set up to look like Muslim mob violence, in which 59 Hindus died, was fast tracked to convict 31 people of which 11 had death sentences pronounced.
The 2002 Gujarat riots? 1044, with another 223 reported missing (official figures). Who was set up for death row? None so far... In what was widely known as a political conspiracy and a pogrom. As far as we know the one who is in all sorts of trouble today is Teesta Setalvad, probably the only person who consistently and publicly stood up against the riot perpetrators then.
So do numbers matter here, or your religious identity?
As far as capital punishment is concerned, maybe the judges who pronounce it should be at least present at the hanging, if not carry it out themselves, instead of getting some hapless policeman to do their dirty work.
And by the bye, let us remember that none of all this, on either side, is about religion, our purpose of existence, humanity, or spirituality. This is power hunger, separation, divisiveness, identity paranoia, and fear-driven mob.