Saturday, October 07, 2006

To Hang Or Not?

Multiple courts up to the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence given to Afzal Guru for his involvement in the 2001 Parliament attack. India almost went to war with Pakistan over this episode and in lost over 600 soldiers just preparing for a war that did not happen. Yet, there is raging debate going on in the media about commuting his sentence with the entire country looking to President Kalam to decide the fate of Mohammed Afzal Guru.

This case has taken several colors and has become complicated. In a rare display of unity, people of all hue and cry from the Kashmir valley are asking for the death sentence to be commuted. To add to that, Human Rights groups are asking for the same as they feel Afzal Guru has not been heard. Add to the mix, there is strong religious under current and a possible clemency petition in front of President Abdul Kalam.

The entire issue has been turned upside down. Now it is not whether Afzal Guru planned the heinous act of attacking the very pillar of democracy killing scores of security personnel. It also not about principled opposition to death sentence. It is now about Kashmiri politics.

If Afzal Guru is indeed put to death, it is bound create major waves in the Kashmir valley and the politicians bound to use it to create further wedge and complicate the kashmir issue even more.

But, it Afzal Guru's death sentence is commuted, what message does it send out about India's resolve fight terrorism and judiciary? Won't it embolden more people to go down the violent path?

There are no easy choices in front of President Kalam. In a politically and religiously surcharged atmosphere, whatever he does (or not) is bound to create upheaval with some sections of the society.

But, if India wants to stand firm against terrorism and send a clear message, it must let the rule of the land take its course. It is not about Kashmir or about religion, but is about justice and letting the rule of law prevail.


  1. India is a Banana Republic. Period
    Sorry. It is a BIG Banana Republic with a 'nuke'.

    BIG Banana is made of several small
    Banana Regions each with several monkeys holding it for a while and trying to eat it.

    The Gandhian Indians and the builders of the Republic are Dead, senile or the leftover too depressed to watch it turn into a BIG Banana.

    The citizens of thie New BIG Banana
    have no moral courage, no pride, no
    focus. These .. are content being a
    young banana waiting to rot.

    Coolie Raj is back and this time it not the 'Sugar or Spice' but 'IT and ME'.

    The LTTE Terrorist who murdered the former PM and several citizens is still getting fat and blessed by the BIG Bananas and Little Bananas to continue his mayhem.

    Go figure..

  2. While i am not for death penalty as a punishment at all, I agree that the rule of the land must be allowed to take its course if he has been given a fair trial and the highest court of the land has passed its sentence. Giving into pressure groups will send out the wrong signal.
    But has the sentenced petitioned for commutation of the sentence at all - it seems that everyone else is screaming on his behalf!

  3. Usha

    Yes.. I do have my reservations on the whole 'capital punishment' angle..

    But with the 'law of the land' being what it is.. I simply cannot find any reason behind all the 'hue and cry' about afzal..