‘The hanging of Afzal Guru has diminished India’

gandhi

On the eve of the winter  budget session of Parliament and with the Gujarat Karnataka, MP, Delhi, Rajasthan elections around the corner, the scam and scandal-ridden Congress-led UPA has stumped the scam and scandal-ridden BJP-led NDA with its early-morning announcement of the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 siege of Bombay Afzal Guru, the convict in the 2002 attack on Parliament.

Within a matter of hours, a weak government is being seen as assertive by the lynch mobs which routinely bay for blood, and a “soft-state” is slapping its thighs in delight, although the implications of the hanging—on India-Pakistan relations Guru’s home-state Kashmir, which goes to the polls next year, on the fallout in the country, on the fate of Sarabjit Singh Rajiv Gandhi‘s killers, Beant Singh‘s killers etc—are still to be weighed.

Above all, in the very week two months after India refused to be a signatory to a United Nations resolution banning the death penalty, the hanging of Ajmal Kasab Afzal Guru, almost as if to satiate the public and political need for revenge and retribution, throws a big question mark over India’s presumed humanism of the land of the Mahatma.

Editorial in The Hindu:

Afzal Guru was walked to the gallows on Saturday morning at the end of the macabre rite governments enact from time to time to propitiate that most angry of gods, a vengeful public. Through this grim, secret ceremony, however, India has been gravely diminished….

In case after case, the course of criminal justice has been shaped by public anger and special-interest lobbying. Indians must remember the foundational principle of our Republic, the guardian of all our rights and freedoms, isn’t popular sentiment: it is justice, which in turn is based on the consistent application of principles.

For one overriding reason, Guru’s hanging ought to concern even those unmoved by his particular case, or the growing ethics-based global consensus against the death penalty. There is no principle underpinning the death penalty in India today except vengeance. And vengeance is no principle at all.

Editorial in Deccan Herald:

Even where a person has killed another, or many others, in any circumstance or for any reason, there is no justification for taking his life. The provision for capital punishment is based on a primitive idea of retribution and should have no place in the statutes of a civilised society.

Afzal  Guru did not kill, and there is no absolute certainty about his role in the events that he is said to have been involved in. Then why did he have to be executed? The question will haunt the nation’s conscience in the days and years to come.

Also read: Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab‘s hanging?

CHURUMURI POLL: Hang Afzal Guru, pardon Sarabjit?

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27 Responses to “‘The hanging of Afzal Guru has diminished India’”

  1. Nastika Says:

    Only item on BJP agenda (if) they come to power in 2014 was to hang Afzal Guru. Now, they have to scratch their head and come up with an alternative. Else they have to fall back on their pet project – Rama’s temple at Babri Masjid.

    ~*~

  2. harkol Says:

    Sorry. I don’t agree.

    It is not the execution of Afzal that has diminished India. It is the whole process followed.

    You keep a man in Jail for long years, then execute him even without letting his family know or give them a chance to bury him? Not just done.

    But, his death sentence was a fair one, because he is a self confessed terrorist. He provided shelter, logistical support to Pakistani terrorist for the sake of money. That’s high treason and he should’ve known it attracts death punishment.

    I don’t think abolishing Death sentence is a good idea. If we had executed Masood Azar instead of just imprisoning him, then we won’t have seen so many more deaths.

    Why invite kidnappings/hijacks by keeping known/confirmed terrorists in jail?

    ***

    oh. Failed to add this – We execute some criminals, not just because of ‘vengence’. It is because that’s the most practical thing to do. They are a menace to society, if they should ever get out – thru hook or crook.

  3. Hindu Says:

    Then why Gandhi, didnt stop the execution of Bhagath Sigh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev?

  4. Anitha Says:

    Hanging Kasab didn’t win Gujarat for the Congress… hanging Afzal Guru will not win them 2014 LOL

  5. 4thaugust1932 Says:

    “Two eyes for an eye begets justice.” –Kanshiram

  6. Murthy Says:

    Why should we keep asking ourselves “what Gandhi would have said” for this, that and so on?” Why always look only to Gandhi? We did have many other leaders. I think even Gandhi’s views would have been different in these times. Sometimes I think we are trying to practice and preach “cowardice” in the name of Gandhi.

  7. asha Says:

    Gandhi, Deccan Herald and the Hindu are all out dated…time to bury them and move on..

  8. Gundaa Says:

    Indians act like they are self proclaimed Mullahs of the world. I fail to understand why Indians have this irresistible tendency to make moral observations. The only thing one can learn from Indians is to live cheap. We need not learn everything from Gandhi, other Indians have brains too. The Indian media obsession with Gandhi is really irritating. The same media would not have cared for him one bit if the Britishers had not made him a larger than life figure.

  9. Deepak Says:

    Ah, was waiting for this. Wondering when it will come and it has finally come. The outrage against the killing of the hero of Kashmiris, the angst against the brutality of India. You liberals are amazing – you have absolutely zero patriotism and wait for a chance to rally in favour of anti-nationals.

    For all those ranting about how Afzal is the modern Mahatma, here’s the truth. Check out this video http://t.co/L4Wh4LeB where Afzel Guru confesses his role in the Parliament attacks. The liberal loonies should atleast now wake up and realise that Afzal is guilty and got what he deserved. But knowing how our liberals are, they will probably claim that Aaj tak and IB tortured Afzal to make him confess !!!

  10. RC Sharmas Says:

    Hai, hai. Even the five terrorists should not have been killed. Parliament should have

    But I wonder. What did Gandhi do to stop the genocide of Hindus and Sikhs? What have the so called Gandhians done to wipe the tears of Pandits?

  11. harkol Says:

    I am wondering what is the basis of all the articles apologizing/condoning Afzal Guru’s hanging!

    Let us consider facts, as told by calm, composed & remorseless Afzal Guru in AajTak TV interview:

    1. Afzal Guru himself admitted that he was the conduit for materials given to the terrorists.

    2. The folks he hosted/fed/transported were Pakistanis, belonging to JeM. He knew that, and he knew the target of their attack – still he provided them support.

    3. Afzal Guru said he did it for money, as his situation needed the money.

    Now, he may be a smaller cog in the wheel of things. And it is quite possible that there was a techno-legal defense to say he didn’t deserve to die for what he did.

    But, if we are to get serious about terrorism, the message has to be clear – You do a treasonous act, you are a traitor and will be treated as such.

    Why we should keep feeding a traitor for life? Why take the risk of keeping a known terrorist in Jail? Just so someone can kidnap/hijack and ask for his release a la Masood Azar?

    We are a civilized country and don’t punish our murderers by Hanging. Heck, we don’t even insist they spend their life in jail and release them in 14 years!

    Is it too much to ask for those who wage war against India, and have potential to damage security of India in future aren’t kept in high security prisons at tax payer expense?

    How much should we spend (and pay in blood) for saving collective conscience of a few editors and commentators?

  12. Mysore Peshva Says:

    The state is Jammu & Kashmir, not “Kashmir.”

    Unfortunately, Gandhi’s pacifism, noble as it is, has had to be replaced by a — more timely — just-war doctrine because the Lashkar-e-Toyba has already declared war and will not negotiate. Mohammad Afzal was in his own way a casualty of that war.

  13. asha Says:

    Harkol,

    It is high time MSM is ignored…poor guys they are singing for their supper and have lost all self respect and credibility with public

  14. Faldo Says:

    While it is true that there are many voices against the death penalty, I think it needs to be mentioned that since 1995 this type of punishment has been used only four times – the last two times it was applied to people who waged war against the country. So it is not as if this has been used in a vengeful sense as these editorials seem to imply. When we talk about a consensus against this form of punishment, it is important to note that thirty odd countries still favor this and they include the four most populous countries in the world. Some of the countries who enforce this penalty are greatly affected by the scourge of terrorism. Other comments to this post have explained why this form of punishment can be a deterrent to such activities.

  15. Sanjeeva Says:

    Those killed in the attack on Parliament were ordinary citizens. Suppose the terrorists were able to kill few hon’ble MPs or there was an attack on The Hindu and the D.H., what would have been the editorials?

  16. Yella Ok Says:

    After Shivraj Patil, we have another ineffective home minister who botched up the execution by not informing the family at the right time. All the self-righteous indignation of the “limo-liberals” would have been meaningless had the family part been handled correctly – personal delivery of the post, flying the family secretively to delhi to meet afzal, etc. Are these difficult things to think of for the home ministry think tank? No point in MMS being “upset” after the horse has bolted

  17. asha Says:

    >> Suppose the terrorists were able to kill few hon’ble MPs or there was an attack on The Hindu and the D.H., what would have been the editorials>>

    Some years back Deccan Herald was attacked by vandals belonging to the ROP because DH published a story titled Mohammed the Idiot…ever since DH knows how to behave and what to say when it comes to ROP issues…violence has its own way putting MSM in its place unlike terrorist hindu’s

  18. Nastika Says:

    Today’s news says

    Several banned Pakistan-based militant outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), have pledged to take “revenge” for the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.

    The question why would Pakistani groups want to avenge Afzal Guru’s execution. Is it because of
    1) Human right violation concerns?
    2) Opposition to capital punishment? OR,
    3) -your guess-

    ~*~

  19. Doddi Buddi Says:

    If India is diminished by the hanging of Afzal Guru so be it! I wouldn’t mind an execution of this sort on a daily basis! Thank you.

  20. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Thanks to BJP and other like-minded parties, Afzal got his just deserts.

  21. chinnu28 Says:

    Churmuri is now really becoming KAHI… It is a treasonous act. He is a Traitor. What should a nation do a tratior? Why we should only look at Gandhi here or why not we look at CHANAKYA? Or CHANAKYA has become communal to Churmuri if we relate them to AFZAL & KASAB. For the entire world India is soft state & soft target. Look at Israel… Sorry… That word is communal right.

  22. dr ramesh Says:

    Afzal guru, he may be a traitor, but he has got a raw deal from Indian democracy. If judiciary can grant extension of relief to veerappan aides even after president of India rejected pardon plea, why didn’t afzal guru get the opportunity? .
    This PICK AND CHOOSING of executions will further alienate kashmiris.
    People may read this development on caste lines, afzal was hanged because he belonged to a particular community, veerappan aides are being given preferential treatment because they belong to a particular community. This is unfortunate.
    President is the first citizen, chief of armed forces, if his order can be overturned- where is our democracy heading for?
    Law should be same for all, whether a kashmiri or a tamilian or a kannadiga.

  23. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Dr Ramesh,

    Let me clarify the issues you have raised:
    Afzal guru, he may be a traitor, but he has got a raw deal from Indian democracy. If judiciary can grant extension of relief to veerappan aides even after president of India rejected pardon plea, why didn’t afzal guru get the opportunity? .
    //Afzal’s case was clearly decided by the SC and he was only awaiting a presidential pardon which was rejected. So where is the raw deal you are referring to? In the case of Veerappan aides, there is a similar case pending which is being heard by the SC; so that is how there is an extension.//

    This PICK AND CHOOSING of executions will further alienate kashmiris. //Again you are randomly stating the sequence of events and you are confusing facts//

    People may read this development on caste lines, afzal was hanged because he belonged to a particular community, veerappan aides are being given preferential treatment because they belong to a particular community. This is unfortunate.

    //What is unfortunate is that someone like you–presumably a professional dentist–has so little grasp of facts as they have been reported extensively in the media. The case of community-based hanging or Hindu/Muslim bias does not exist.//

    President is the first citizen, chief of armed forces, if his order can be overturned- where is our democracy heading for?
    Law should be same for all, whether a kashmiri or a tamilian or a kannadiga. //His order has not been overturned; SC is only being careful with the process.//

  24. harkol Says:

    Ramesh Sir,

    You are right about this. Afzal Guru & Family should’ve been informed and given time to take action against the govt. decision, as there was a considerable lapse of time between the sentencing and hanging.

    However, a subtle difference between veerappan gang and Afzal Guru. Guru was cought for aiding foreign terrorists (JeM), and our experience suggests that keeping a terrorist in Jail for life is a recipe for ransom demands in future. So, he didn’t get a ‘raw deal’ – the mistake govt. did is to delay it and then botch up the process, which perhaps will indeed alienate some sections of Kashmiris.

  25. Venkatesh Says:

    Gandhi and his pseudo-secularism and “bend-over-backwards” appeasement of the muslims is the reason India is in this hell hole today. The man was no mahatma – he was an extremely opinionated and misguided human being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He should have never been in politics in the first place, if the country was to have prospered.
    I would take Gandhi’s opinion and “file it away” in the circular file.

  26. the colonel Says:

    the home minister of india should not be from maharashtra.

    they are GREAT in BOTCHING.

    no, i am not speaking in bengali

  27. Nagashayana Says:

    I am appalled to read Deccan Herald’s claim in the editorial.

    The SC didn’t convict Afzal Guru without appreciating incriminating evidences against him. If Deccan Herald’s claim is anything to go by, then the SC would have given him the benefit of doubt. Neither he was denied a fair chance to defend himself. Had this been an uncommon case of sabotaging natural justice, Deccan Herald’s editorial would have made sense.

    This case falls precisely within the ambit of “rarest of rare scenario’ formulated by the SC. The ultimate aim of punishment is to create a deterrent effect in the minds of potential offenders.

    Editorials, like the one referred to in the post only fuels the bogus claims of fringe elements in Kashmir.

    The way how Union Government handled and delayed his hanging churns the conscience of any right thinking man. The human rights of a convict must never be sacrificed at the altar of appeasement politics, after all.

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