Yesterday Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar and many people have their own opinions about the hanging. A few question the delay in hanging, whereas others are more worried about the fact that his family was not intimated regarding this execution. I have my own views which I am giving here.
First and foremost, I will have to excuse myself on the Capital punishment issue. I don't subscribe to the theory of execution of anybody for any offence. Whatever the crime, I don't think we as humans are entitled to take any other humans life, whether proven or not proven guilty. This is my own personal opinion.
That apart, Afzal Guru's hanging has brought about plethora of comments from intellectuals, right wingers, left wingers, laymen and the very own 'Aam Aadmi', both pro hanging and against it. While I support the freedom of expression on part of every body, I place forward a few facts before the readers.
The sentence was accorded to Afzal Guru based on evidence (though circumstantial, as most liberals say) by the Supreme Court of India. This is one Institution in India which I trust and respect implicitly. This Institution, through the 65 years of Indian Independence has not been touched by any outside influence. It has no history of corruption, bias, blemishes or any other malaise.
The person sitting as a Chief Justice of India, when he or she takes over that office loses his own identity, caste, religion, sex. If the person doesn't lose this identity then he/she will not be able to give proper justice without any bias. Therefore, one has to understand that the Chief Justice (and the Bench of CJs) pronounces judgements based on the evidence available and after a lot of deliberations and often with majority vote. In case of Afzal Guru, the evidence may be circumstantial, as many point out, but remember, another Bench of Supreme Court had dismissed his 'Mercy Plea' in 2007. We have to give the esteemed Judges some credit, that one bench upheld the sentence in 2005 and another one rejected the plea in 2007. The argument that the evidence was circumstantial does not hold any water. If indeed it were true, than the Supreme Court wouldn't have remarked "Attack had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if the Capital punishment is awarded to offender"
When the Supreme Court Judges utters something, it becomes a holy gospel in the legal parlance. Therefore it is wrong to assume that the Wise Men have not given justice to Afzal Guru. With regard to the Capital punishment, they don't have any other option as the highest punishment in case of rarest of rare cases (like this one) laid down in the Indian Law is Capital punishment. So basically they are just doing their duties to the best of their ability. So we Indians have to look at the crime and judgement from beyond the prism of religions, caste, creed or sex.
One other thing which I noticed was, pseudo intellectuals like Arundhati Roy giving some comments in The Hindu, regarding the hanging. Ms.Roy has to understand that opposing anything and everything the Government does without any knowledge may gain her some readers for her next book or some ultra left sympathizers but it is also hurting the Country. As I have already explained in my previous blog, comments like these for so called intellectuals are not needed in India. We are a growing nation, which has not yet developed, therefore the freedom of expression thing can't be taken for granted. Remember there are millions of Indians out there, who are still illiterate and living on subsistence, who are more worried about carrying on their day to day existence and don't give a damn about freedom of expression. It may work in the West, which are more mature democracies but out here we are still in teens.
The timing of the hanging, though raises serious questions. Why did the Government delay so long in the execution of Supreme Courts order, is something only higher ups in the Government can answer. I think, if this hanging had indeed been carried out in 2005, there wouldn't have been such wide spread reactions to it. Mr.Rajdeep Sardesai in his tweet said
Kasab hanged just before winter session.. Afzal guru hanged just before budget session! Coincidence?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 9, 2013
This is worth pondering. I think in years to come Capital punishment will be abolished in India, but till that time to Question the Supreme Court judgement, is unwise, uncalled for and retrogressive to India Future.
I leave you with a video of Mr.Guru recorded on 20.12.2001 for your information.
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