Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab’s hanging?

On the eve of the winter session of Parliament and with the Gujarat 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.

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, on the fallout in the country, on the fate of Sarabjit Singh, etc—are still to be weighed.

Above all, in the very week India refused to be a signatory to a United Nations resolution banning the death penalty, the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, 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.

The former diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar writes on rediff.com:

The vast majority of world opinion abhors meting out death penalty for any crime. This majority includes countries such as Russia, Israel UK and Germany that have been victims of terrorism. But Indian stands with stony hearts like the United States, China, Pakistan and Iran.

India’s plea is that it is its sovereign right to determine its own legal system, that death sentence is carried out India only on the “rarest of occasions” and that too with great deliberation. But India parries the big moral issue, which is that execution by the state (or the community) is nothing but a barbaric practice dating back tp primeval times when the thumb rule used to be “eye-for-an-eye”.

For India, it is a particularly agonizing question because Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism,  three finest flowers of its ancient civilization, all equally forbid such killings. Indians needs to reflect. I wonder if Gandhi would have condoned Kasab’s execution.

Read the full piece: India snuffs out Kasab‘s life

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46 Responses to “Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab’s hanging?”

  1. Sapna Says:

    Misplaced sympathy!

  2. the colonel Says:

    i am very positive that the mahatma would have said yes.

    something so horrendious was done at jallianawala bagh by the british.

    but the logic of these two cases were different.

    a definite yes

  3. Annabond Says:

    For your kindest information, with all due respect to Mahatma, once had a n opportunity for requesting the British to cancel the death sentence given to Bagath Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. If he has requested for the same then chances of British considering it was very high.

  4. Vasuki Raghavan Says:

    Political reasons aside, “an eye for an eye” would have been to hang him publicly, plan a covert operation to execute his family, and train 10 people to perform a similar attack in the neighboring country. Dont you think?

  5. Bk chowla Says:

    Whatever,Kasab deserved to be hanged

  6. Deepak Says:

    As usual you come out with your liberal soppy view point about death penalty!! Kasab’s death was justice finally delivered!!

    Hope Afzal is hanged next – but this namby-pamby Govt, will sh** in their pants even if they think about hanging him!!

  7. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I am alright with the ‘soft state’ moniker but I am wary of soft-in-the-head failed diplomats like Bhadrakumar!

  8. Vinay Says:

    “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.”

    This is utter bullshit. First, we need to be practical and pragmatic – all this rhetoric about “land of the Mahatma” makes no sense at all. It is just empty talk, nothing else. Maybe we should get rid of the military too, being in the “land of the Mahatma”!!

    It is 2012, and we live in a tough neighbourhood. It does not matter whether we are the “land of the Mahatma” or “lund of the Mahatma”. What matters is that we need to survive and prosper as a nation.

    3 years down the line, if there is another Kandahar hijack to free the terrorist, all this Mahatmagiri will go for a toss.

  9. Nishaan-e-Pak al kasabi Says:

    Please stop invoking the Mahatma on this piece of human waste. Mahatma’s quote was for humans and animals, this kasab crud and his fellow puki scums are not worthy of any respect we give to a life form.

    They should bury this pig in some public place so people can go and pee and crap on him whenever they feel like it.

  10. dr ramesh Says:

    President pranab and Sonia Gandhi have to be appreciated for their political will to hang kasab.
    Congress has virtually taken away the wide from bjp sails on the issue of terrorism.
    Maharashtra police and administration have done a super job by maintaining secrecy in this task. They have accomplished the task as a non event, thereby giving no chance for controversy.

  11. 4thaugust1932 Says:

    Get real.
    During Indo-Pak partition in 1947 all Muslim majority regions are to be merged with Pakistan http://goo.gl/7MYij
    Indian forward caste regime betrayed to promote 2 million brahmins hegemony in Jammu region http://goo.gl/SnMBw
    Now 1200 million people in India are suffering viz Mumbai/Pune/Delhi/Coimbatore/Hyderabad/Parliament blasts, 4 cross border wars and a potential nuclear war with Pakistan.

  12. Renu Says:

    From land of mahatma, i,e. Porbandar only the Kasab and gang entered the India.

  13. Deepak Says:

    Its funny how people are talking as though Pranab has done something great by rejecting Kasab’s mercy petition. He has just done his job!! We will consider him great if he takes a decision on Afzal Guru’s petition with the same speed!!!

  14. Chet Says:

    “Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, three finest flowers of its ancient civilization, all equally forbid such killings”

    Where in Hinduism killings of evil persons prohibited?

    The Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and the other puranas are all about upholding dharma and the killings of evil persons. If you read the Ramayana, it even justifies the killing of Tataka, though she was a woman.

  15. chidu22 Says:

    Gandhi would perhaps not condoned the hanging because he always bent backwards to please the errant and petulant Muslims, every time at the cost of Hindus.

  16. asha Says:

    Now churmuri has to quote a article from the good for nothing diplo-mat M K Bhadrakumar…a new low for churmuri. It is diplo-mats like MKB who were responsible for the shoddy treatment India got in the comity of nations and was treated like a door-mat. The less said about the “Mahatma” the better. Anybody remember the reaction of Gandhi to Moplah rebellion in Kerala and the massacre of Hindus during partition. The sooner we bury this nonsense of Gandhi’s non-voilent(?) legacy the better.

  17. asha Says:

    Congress takes the people of India for a ride yet again…Afzal’s petition for clemency pending before president for more than 2 years but Kasab’s petition gets rejected in a matter of days. Kasab was reported to have been suffering from Dengue and he is hung very conveniently in Pune and buried. Is there not some rule that says the person being hung has to be heatlhy and in good physical condition. So is this another scam by Congress to score some cheap brownie points at the expense of national security. Only time will tell what really happened or may be not…

  18. Nastika Says:

    Q) Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab’s hanging?
    A) Yes. But that would be his personal opinion.

    Indian State & MK Gandhi are 2 different entities. And they differ on many issues.


  19. harkol Says:

    Perhaps not! Gandhi had many great qualities, and his philosophy of non-violent struggle is generally accepted as the best way to bring about social change with least amount of bloodshed.

    But, he wasn’t right about everything. His economics of keeping India in villages wouldn’t work unless Indian population growth was near zero.

    British, for all their exploitation of India, were a country and its govt. answerable to a large section of people who could be shamed. So, Gandhi’s pacifist ideology worked with them. But, it won’t work in the face of mindless religious extremism fanned by nebulous entities, who have no shame in exploiting the weak.

  20. Sanjeeva Says:

    What Mr. Bhadrakumar has to say when a person kills hundreds of innocent people in cold blood? How he is supposed to be treated? What Mr. Bhadrakumar has to say to the dependents of such victims, many of whom might have become orphans overnight? It is alright for him to sit in his safe confines and write goody goody things, pose as an ideologist, but he should ask the persons who have suffered for no fault of theirs before writing his bakwas trash. Probably, he will brand the sufferers as Hindu fanatics, stony hearts and sadists or will say that they should not have come to the railway station in the night, Right?!
    Dr. Ramesh, “accomplished as non-event”?! You are being naive. Today’s newspapers are full of bold headlines as if Indian astronauts have landed on the Moon!

  21. praje Says:

    Daactre… what about Afzal Guru? Maybe Sonia Gandhi wants Deve Gowda/ Kumaranna to become president/ prime minister to hang Afzal Guru.

  22. joseph frankel Says:

    Gandhi would first have gone into the root cause, like the time of partition, when there were “terrorism” on both sides of the New Border, and hundreds of thousands were murdered, and Gandhi went out to save lives from both communities without bias. .   The root cause of all this is that the Kashmir issue is disputed, and people are resorting to terror strikes to get what they feel is their rights.  Might cannot be right, when both powers are nuclear armed.  One popular channel anchor goes on as though he were the global Chief justice projecting the show only with his views to prevail like a mono dictator ?   The issue has to be sorted out by both parties as Gandhi would have wanted peacefully. Give or take, the people have to decide.   Kasab’s death does raise questions,grave doubts and lawful points, when public last heard of him, it was reported in the national press that he was stricken by the deadly Dengue Fever. and that very surprisingly he was treated in the jail itself, which was shocking and very alarming.                            Then next it was announced that he was hanged without prior public notice, in great secrecy.   Was he with dengue a medically dying man and the act of hanging was to mete out the punishment before his sick death, only authentic truthful medical records can confirm the actual status of the convict  ?    In India’s history ‘Violence could not win Independence.  Non Violence won in the end.”    Though the sentence appears totally legal, it definitely endangers other Indians condemned in Pakistani jails.    It is a shame that Timesnow and ND TV did not bring creditable public figures Arundathi Roy and Bhushan to talk on their shows. Poor Bhushan for airing his honest opinion was beaten up mercilessly.    Or were these topmost figures wantonly omitted.  India should work for peace, and also for the true happiness of the Kashmiris, which would be welcomed globally. Mahthma Gandhi was morally the greatest Indian and Gandhi !  His morals should prevail Joseph C.Frankel.  Exponent of Human Rights.


  23. babuds Says:

    OP, your statement on Israel that they do not follow eye for an eye policy is hilarious. In practice they demand and get 100 eyes for an eye. Read recent goings on in the Middle East.

  24. Sanjeeva Says:

    Mr. Joseph frankel, You are right. Gandhiji would have gone first into the root cause. And as you know, the root cause is the big bang theory from where the earth emerged, then ice age, stone age and other ages and Darwin’s theory, emergence of man, then Adam and Eve. After that all the trouble we have in this world. So finding out these root causes, Gandhiji would have given his opinion to stop hanging an innocent life. You are quite a reasonable and logical person – A Thinker. Please go on thinking….

  25. dr ramesh Says:

    One may not agree with Congress party ideologies and its leaders but one has to accept that the NEHRU FAMILY has been the worst sufferers of terrorism, INDIRA AND RAJIV, mother son duo sacrificing their lives for the country. No other party has that pedigree.
    Pranab coming from INDIRA SCHOOL OF POLITICS has taken a strict, no nonsense attitude towards terrorism.
    After reading details of OPERATION X, one cannot but admire Maharashtra police. Mobiles of police involved in the operation switched off, some of them quarantined in the jail campus till hanging was over — very interesting, thrilling read.

  26. Guru Says:

    You just dont know how much pain Khalid Sheik Mohamamad is in.


    This is a delayed Justice… to the family of the martyrs and for the people of India.
    Even Gita says that to protect ones’ family, it is dutiful that we take on to aggression. Those who defy this are cowards.No better way to interpret this.
    The fact that we have spent 30 crores on this terrorist C-7096 (does not deserve to be remembered by name) is appalling.
    We do have some more waiting…
    Hope they are hanged at the earliest..

  28. Gouri Satya Says:

    Chanakya’s “Artha Sastra”, a treatise on management of State affairs, advocates severe punishment for anti-State indulgence. Chanakya is also from the same land of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

  29. asha Says:

    >> INDIRA AND RAJIV, mother son duo sacrificing their lives for the country. No other party has that pedigree.>>

    Really and the reason for that would be….shall we say it was their own making, encouraging Bhindranwale to take on Akali Dal and encouraging Prabhakaran to take on the Sri Lankan Army….you live by the sword you die by the sword…

  30. Goldstar Says:

    Now it turns out the hanging of Kasab is unconstitutional. It is an “encounter”.


    By not informing Ajmal Kasab of his right to seek a judicial review of the rejection of his mercy petition, the UPA government has committed a serious wrong

    if Congress wanted to do an “encounter” , they should have done it a long time back and saved all “biriyani” costs.

  31. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Dr Ramesh, I have noted your admiration for the Nehru and Gandhu family for suffering the worst excesses of terrorism. In the same vein, is it too much to ask whether Devegowda and family make similar sacrifices while facing terrorists? Your views please. Just asking you kind, Sir!

  32. Manjunatha Says:

    What does the author (MKB) mean by “the vast majority of world opinion”? After that he says India, China, US etc would not oppose death penalty. Isn’t it contradictory?

    Wish he would dare to express his views to the relatives of victims or survivors of the Mumbai attack directly face-to-face and see what happens.

    When we do not care about values that Gandhi actually preached and followed, why are we debating on something he did not say anything about?

  33. dr ramesh Says:

    Oh yes,
    DODDI BUDDI, When Congress decided to pull the rug of prime minster deve gowda ‘s govt, bjp made an offer to support the govt from outside, but HDD rejected it on the basis of ideological politics. He resigned, when he could have clung on to the post.
    HDK— 20 month tenure as CM, the best in 15 years is just a sample, the best of his leadership qualities is yet to come and if he realizes his potential, he will be an asset to karnataka.
    Both HDD AND HDK, when in power have resisted CORPORATE SECTOR CORRUPTION, they have rejected to tow their line, they have called a SPADE a SPADE, that’s why English media brands them a rural party, anti urban ….. blah blah,
    But people of karnataka admire their zeal, that’s why they are still relevant.

  34. Deshmukh Says:

    Gandhi and his bleeding heart left wing liberal mindset is the reason we are in this horrible mess today. This is what happens when you are stuck with an impractical ideology instead of getting to the nuts and bolts and making tough decisions.

    No, Gandhi would not have approved kasab ‘s hanging, and that’s another reason we should be thankful he is not around… that would have been the green signal for the thousands more Islamic jihadi terrorists from Pakistan to pour into our porous borders and launch more killing sprees.

  35. jayashree Says:

    This is like what Rahul Gandy said ” Nalini would have been acquitted if Rajiv Gandhi was rhere!!”

  36. pramod Says:

    Good post, churumuri. What Kasab has done is a terrible heinous crime but we as a nation must have the courage to not do what Kasab did. Put him in jail for hundreds of years if you like but there’s no need to kill him.

    On a different note, it is disgusting that there are comments here claiming that pakistanis are sub-human.

  37. Deepak Says:

    @Goldstar – The Hindu article writer is just bsing!! Judicial review of President’s decision is applicable only if President commutes sentence. It is not applicable if he rejects the petition, for the simple reason that President hasn’t done anything – he has only allowed the SC judgement to be effected!!

  38. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Mad + Abusive Bullshit = Madabhushi

  39. Manjunath Rao Says:

    Hinduism DOES NOT forbid killing of evil. In fact it is the duty of every right thinking Hindu to fight evil. Whoever thinks hanging Ajmal was violent are shortsighted. They should realize that hanginging him was an antidote to violence. It was done to prevent further violence. Hindus have for long realized the need for fighting thron with thorn.

  40. Souvik Says:

    So many posts favouring Kasab’s Hanging ! No wonder …. what else could you expect from civilized beasts !


    BY Hanging Kasab and arguing in favour of it in such a crazy way we have shown that so long as this system exists likes of Ajmal Kasabs will never die !

  41. Deepak Says:

    @drramesh Really the Gowdas must throw out that Danish Ali and make you national spokespersons for JDS. The way you defend your party is admirable. Just a couple of points – when HDD refuses to take BJP support it is ideology, but when HDK takes BJP support it is great leadership!! Why this hypocrisy. HDD & HDK like all politicians will do what is needed to gain power, why don’t you admit it?
    Can you say for sure that HDK will not join hands with BJP after next assembly polls? No, you can’t because it is probable that JDS-BJP-BSR may join hands after polls with HDK as CM!! BJP will of course do anything to prevent Congress from coming to power.

    And regarding corporate sector blah blah, why did HDD back corporate heads like Ramaswamy, Mallya and Rajeev Chandrashekar for RS seat? Was there no quid-pro-quo involved?

    C’mon sir, father and son are as good or as bad as all other politicians. Don’t try to project them as some kind of God, which they are not.

  42. NS Rao Says:

    I am sure MKG would’ve pressurized and made sure that Government of India pay blood money to Kasab’s family in Pakistan even if Kasab was hanged against his wishes, and provide additional aid to Pakistan in order help Lashkar-e-Toiba to build their private army against India.
    I say this because, there is a saying – History is always true.
    Good – creepy Kasab was got rid from this world. Congratulations India!

  43. shiv Says:

    Majority of our diplomats are idiots and leftists, so their views don’t count.As for Israel or russia do not enforce death penalty, they more than make up by sending their rockets and heavy duty armoury to blow to smithereens anyone acting funny,british does it slyly bt sending americans to wage war , as far germans, better don’t annoy them,.India in contrast is full of mushy balled wimps.So by imposing death penalty we get our hard ons.Take your pick.

  44. dr ramesh Says:

    u r absolutely right when u say HDD and HDK are as good or as bad as any other political leaders in our country, that’s what I have been trying to say, but some sections of English media, even so called elite kannadigas, techie kannadigas have different yardsticks when they talk about corruption.
    CONDEMNING JD S, OVERLOOKING BAD DEEDS OF OTHER PARTIES because of caste and other considerations.
    This double standard is unacceptable.
    B) The most important point people against capital punishment for terrorists are missing is, jailed for life terrorists are always security threat for the nation and there is always a threat for kidnap, hostage drama for release of terrorists.
    Remember kandhahar.

  45. Faldo Says:

    Anything that we say here about MKG would be pure speculation. However, I would tend to agree with our good colonel here. If one were to look at MKG’s reactions to the second world war and Bhagat Singh’s sentencing both of which went against his basic tenets, it can be seen that his statements were neutral sounding rather than overtly favoring one or the other side.

  46. karthik Says:

    shut up mr.bhadrakumar..enough said!

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