Is death penalty justified in Modern India?

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of 26/11 massacre was hanged on 21st November 2011 at the Yerawada jail in Pune. The whole operation was conducted in a very silent manner within the jail premises, not even giving an iota of hint to the outer world.

Ajmal-Kasab-hangedFinally, the 25 year old from Faridkot village of the Pakistani Punjab, convicted for the murder of many innocent people in Mumbai, is dead after four long exhausting years.

The question put forward on the public domain now by some Human Right Groups and other Humanitarian Organizations is, “Is the death penalty justified in the world of today or more precisely, does the death sentence chalk out any solution to the main problem?”

If we go down the memory lane, the last mercy petition was dismissed in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee by the then president Dr.Abdul Kalam Azad. Charged with the rape and murder of a schoolgirl on March 1990, he was executed in August 2004.

Amnesty International, a Human Rights group, had launched a campaign back then against death penalty with the association of many NGO’s.

Kavita Srivastava of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) was one of the many few, including famous cine artist and social worker Nandita Das, against capital punishment for Kasab.

The rationale presented was if the sole purpose for provision of capital punishment is to instill fear and psychosis in minds of the violators of rule of law of this land then how the legal system of our country can be termed as humane and enlightened.

Will the hanging of Kasab bring down the real perpetrators and masterminds of 26/11 to the book?

Kavita was vociferous and strident in expressing that the President should have showed clemency and set a new paradigm to rest of the world that India is built on great moral and human standards.

The other imperative fact is that the day before hanging Ajmal Kasab, India had voted Death penalty Amnesty Internationalagainst the resolution of “abolition of death penalty” in the United Nations along with 39 other countries including US. Therefore, should it be termed as a sign of softening soft state stance of India against such dastard acts of hostility by the terrorists?

Most citizens of the country perceive the particular case in a completely different light. Government of India is quite articulate in describing it as a “rarest of rare” case; otherwise such a tradition of capital punishment is not followed in the country.

Though, the case took four long years but the course of law was duly followed throughout the procedure which shows high respect towards the judicial set up of the country by the Indian state. Even Imran Khan, chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaaf, a political party in Pakistan, was in full praise for the way trial was being conducted by the Indian state during the trial in an exclusive interview to Barkha Dutt of NDTV; although he retracted from his statement now after witnessing opposition from the prevailing militant groups in Pakistan; in the wake of Kasab hanging.

For many among the Indian intellectuals, the case could have been dealt with more solidity and difference. For them, Kasab should have been tried as a prisoner of war, as it was a clear case of “Act of War” against India than a mere operation of terrorist activity on the Indian soil.

Though this is an unrelenting debatable issue but the truth is that Ajmal Kasab is dead. This may breed dissatisfaction in the hearts of many Human Rights activists and Anti -Capital Punishment Forums but the sense of contentment on the face of families of Tukaram Omble, Vishnu Zende, Devika Rotawan,Hemant Karkare, Sadanand Date, Shashank Shinde  and many other martyrs, speak a different story altogether.

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

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5 Comments

  1. says: Ravi chandra

    Will the hanging of Kasab bring down the real perpetrators and masterminds of 26/11 to the book?

    If India finds the so called perpetrators and have them hanged by neck– the question would be perhaps, be framed like this–“Will the hanging of XXXX bring down the real perpetrators and masterminds of TERRORISM to the book?

    Still Human Right activists are eveready to shed their tears for the perpetrators and not for the victims. I wonder they ever feel the pain of the members of families who have lost their near and dear ones for the sake of vandalistic attitude under the mask of religious fanaticism.

    Will you accept your members of family killed in a brutal manner by a team of members under the name of “Act of War” and still plead for their clemency????????

    If you would like to cast aspersions on the Govt. for the way it had dealt with the issue you can darely point out that Kasab was provided with the sophisticated accommodation by spending crores of rupess while the people who have lost their lives were not been properly compensated with.

  2. says: pandey

    well,I appreciate your viewpoints and appreciate your deep insight in the subject, approximately 31 crores were spent on Kasab till the date of his execution……….it itself speaks volume about the issue

  3. says: pandey

    the next part ,relating to the same subject, would be getting published in coming days and will make the matter more clear..do read that article too

  4. The message the post tries to send is loud and clear. I am very happy at last to go through a post on this critical issue that, presents a very rational judgement. We humans have been on a killing spree from the day we realized that, we stand at the top of the ecosystem. A simple and a single question has always disturbed me that, who has given us the right to take the decision of someone’s life or death. Do we owe more on the decisions of his survival than, the person himself? I see this event more as an act of, ‘revenge over evil’. I really doubt how many of the victim’s kin would have really relished this event. However, there are many blood-hungry people who would go to extreme lengths to claim the justification of this event. These people should search for their souls and ask themselves honestly how are they different from others, the culprits? We are using a currency of blood and have forgot the intrinsic bondage of love, brotherhood and humanity.. And, lastly everything that happens in India are mostly politically fueled. Politics has surely played a pivotal role here also.

    1. says: Ashish Pandey

      Atanu , It is very heartening to see that you are going by discretion of a human being with right intellect.You are right in pointing out the quenching thirst for blood in this ever so violent society.Atanu you must go through the next article on Kasab that will be published in few hours from now.It will further make it clear what does Kasab execution mean for UPA.

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