Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Sham

                       “Oh hang your head in shame
                        Oh, doesn’t your conscience ever bother you
                        Every time you hear my name
                       Well, try and think all that I’ve gone through
                       And then you hang your head in shame
                               And cry…” RC

Conflicting views and opinions that are at logger heads have been aired by many from different quarters after the execution of Mohamed Afzal in the terror attack  on the Indian Parliament.. Much of the observations, statements, outrage, sadness and all other forms of humanly possible expressions have been based with the eye on political brownie points, besides they were mostly bigoted, impetuous and moored in the perverted philosophy of retribution that we camouflage as justice meted out in a civilized and morally conscientious society.

Foremost, every Indian must ask unto them, why a man accused of (indirect) complicity in an act of war on the country itself, was condemned to die by the Indian Judicial system even when it was apparent that the case against him was only circumstantial, when many pegs did not match the holes and when the accusations against him were not impervious nor fool proof. To put it in simple words how conscientious and prudent was it to send a man to the gallows based on circumstantial evidences? When it is often seen these days by the unnerving dissection of judicial pronouncements by the media and the thinking intelligentsia, that the learned college of Justices do err , it was Afzal Guru’s misfortune that he met the fate he eventually got. I ‘m not in any erudite position to dissect the judgment of the highest court but it is apparent after scouring through analysis and comments on the charges framed on Afzal Guru that vital links are amiss. If death penalty is warranted for the rarest of rare cases surely circumstantial evidences and lack of proper legal recourse for the accused, besides the glaring flaws in the case filed by the investigating agencies will in them question the sentencing to the gallows.

Secondly it was immoral, and cowardice of our society and the government that the man was killed in secrecy and without following humane principles, ethics and decency that other abominable felons were provided. It was an Orwellian morning last week for the biggest sham –called Indian democracy!
When the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination were given reprieve because of being confined in the death row for an agonizing length of time, why was not that largess or equitable consideration provided to Afzal Guru? He was certainly not a terrorist, though he did have a shadowy past as an aspiring jihadist and later disillusioned by the jihadist philosophy came back into the social stream of the Kashmiri society. Are we trying to believe that there is no place or chance for reformation in a civilized society and in the human mind? If so there is indeed a glaring fault in the very idea of Christian philosophy for instance! And the action of the Indian State sends disconcerting signals to the discontentment boiling among the youth of Kashmir and also a lesson for those disillusioned with fanaticism and jihadist life,- those who want to integrate back into the main stream..

Thirdly, the hoarse braying for Afzal Guru’s blood and for retribution that was heard on and off and the endorsement of his hanging reeks of a vermin psyche. Does it do justice to what we claim to be a civilized, democratic and just society? If his life was to be extinct to save India, the fact is there are plenty who are at large in different walks of life and even cocooned in the immunity of our legislatures who bear direct and indirect threat to the very fabric of civilized society and democracy.

Finally, Afzal’s execution and the swift course of the law towards that once the Presidential pardon was denied, deter separatist tendencies, militancy and negate all reasons for Kashmiri youth to take up arms against the Indian State? Why has the Indian State failed miserably in transforming the outlook of Kashmiris? Why do they foresee or believe that a bleak future and serfdom awaits them and their posterity if Kashmir remains in the Indian Union?Why do they want to opt out of the Indian Union even when they know the misery of the twin nation theory and the abysmal state of Pakistan next door? Why have the Kashmiris not emotionally integrated with the concept of India? And this, even after sixty six years of independence and signing of the instrument of ascension by the ruler of Kashmir, speaks disparagingly of various governments in New Delhi, opportunistic politics and insensitivity of the Indian State. It speaks of total failure of Indian polity. And such judicial outcome and the execution that rivals the secrecy practiced by the former USSR after confining a person eight years on the death row smacks of political expediency and are not helping the cause of sealing militancy and terrorism in the valley.


Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

The complete secrecy and the unholy hurry displayed by government & not keeping the family informed by mobile/e-mail is certainly indicative that our crass political class has sunk,slithered ,slipped and descended to new unholy depths hitherto unfathomed. We should be covering our heads with burqa's and cowering in shame. We have descended into the dark & uncivilized ages that many nations experienced some centuries ago.We have become a nation of barbarians & indeed as some have described a banana republic !

Insignia said...

I echo your every word Anil. He may have been really a convict, but such a lousy way to do away with him?

What difference exist between what was done to him and Taliban like punishment? We are seriously moving back in time and showcasing our barbaric ways

BK Chowla, said...

I will not question judicial decision especially of the highest courts in India.
Yes,govt had no business of beinf so secretive of his hanging.
Don't forget,this govt had quietly completed the last rites of the braveheart where her family wasn't present

Happy Kitten said...

Afzal Guru is still a mystery for me.. as you said he was an aspiring terrorist..but there is evidence (tel call) that he spoke with one of the killers just before the attack too..I dont think he was unaware of the attack..but then the timing of the death is political and only to score points. There was no need of secrecy and body can be shown to his relatives.

anilkurup said...

@Ramakrishnan Ramanathan,

Looking at what is happening in India , today we must really wonder if we have redefined the meaning of civilised and morality.


"Cry the beloved country cry".

@ BK. Chowla

In the present day of information and right to express , I( feel the courts must be aware that they will have to stand scrutiny too.

Yes you are right about the secretive haste.

@ Happy Kitten,

The call records were not certified and may have been doctored . They were not the authentic version were just print outs anybody can take and doctor.

What I mean is when such possibilities exist and the police force is notorious for such acts why did not the Courts take cognizance of that before banishing the fellow into the nether world?

Shilpa Garg said...

Agree with what you have mentioned. Hanging a person based on circumstantial evidence and to satisfy the collective conscience of society and then doing it so secretly... it all is so weird!

....Petty Witter said...

A topic I don't really know enough about to justify my commenting on except to say that as always this is an interesting thought-provoking post that hi-lights me ignorance in these matters.

rama said...

So much hurry shown in this case, wish they had shown similar enthusiasm in giving death sentence to worse criminals like the Delhi rapists, including the so called minor rapist.
I don't understand, why our government is functioning like this. Our heads are already hung in shame.

rama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

This post brings forth a lot of issues, the first one being the inhuman practice of capital punishment itself. It’s an extremely complex affair and it needs to be discussed in detail. But, it takes mere commonsense to see that eliminating a terrorist or someone who is branded as a terrorist is the easiest way. In Afzal Guru’s case, I’m not yet able to reach a conclusion. (In her article in The Hindu, a point Arundhati Roy raised was about the timing of his call to the perpetrators who attacked the parliament. But Praveen Swami countered it convincingly the next day saying that his arrest was registered hours after his detention.) But the haste and secrecy with which it’s done raises questions. I think it was an appeasement tactic and it had something got to do with Susil Kumar Shinde’s “Hindu Terror” comment. Considering the fact that it had found him and the congress in a mess and put them both under pressure, something had to be done to appease the public, to ensure them that terrorism would be dealt with an iron fist. Yes, I firmly believe it was a case of mob justice and the motif was to distract attention from a thousand and one issues that plague the ruling party at the moment.

anilkurup said...

@ Arun Meethale Chirakkal,

The sim that was allegedly used by Afzal , according to the police version was new, but in fact it was already in use for a month and more.
Arun, the whole case is murky and the police versions are shadowy.
When it is such why the conviction and extreme penalty and why the haste and secrecy?
It was not a case similar to Kasab.

Haddock said...

I read about this "speed post delivery of the letter" in many places, but no where is it mentioned WHEN it was send. So no one can judge if the sender was at fault or the postal dept was at fault for the late delivery.

rudraprayaga said...

For everything there are two versions and so also this incident has.No one knows the fact and fiction,who and what and where and why the attackers conceived the idea.However his last statement,"I was dragged to this," moves our heart a bit.All that happens in India is a filthy political game.The politicians when occupy a comfortable zone protected by corrupt wealth need not be scared of the ones on the ground.

anilkurup said...

@ Haddock,

Speedy post or not, quite archaic and timid that the matter has to be conveyed such.The whole episode was scripted feeble.


Why is not India signatory to the Amnesty international agenda?Certainly the Amnesty's charter is not supporting terror, be it from the fallen ones and or governments.