The recent hanging of Ajmal Kasab created quite a stir within a few sections of the society. While those affected by the man’s acts are evidently happy at the ‘swift’ government response to ensure ‘justice’ is done, many not related directly to the incident are quite upset at what treatment has been meted out to him . While even they were angry at the Kasab that looked like this ,
the following version of Kasab somehow melted their hearts.
Fair enough. Emotions are pretty unpredictable , but logic seldom is.
Critics’ arguments basically revolve around three points:
- Violation of Constitutional Protocol : This argues that a lot of procedures were skipped just to ensure certain blood thirsty avengers and political game-players were satiated. A detailed account is this.
- Lost Opportunity: Many rue the fact that Kasab, if reformed could have been a huge advocate for anti-terrorist causes.
- Humanitarian grounds : A twenty one year old innocent boy who came under the ‘influence’ of an extremist does not hold any fault for his action. As a nation traditionally known to forgive even its enemies , we ought to have fared better.
Although the first point does seem valid , it fails to consider that a slower process would have been grave injustice to the people who had suffered, to Kasab who would have had to spend that many more days( years, to be honest) in the torturous hell that is a confined prison cell and to the government officials who would have had to channel all their energies , resources( money and time) , towards this cause. Justice is about giving people what they deserve, and the critics’ suggestion does not give it to a number of people. Further , some calls for the hanging of Kasab to be made public make no sense. The only purpose it would have had was to give our irresponsible media an extra day’s worth of news coverage. Knowing Kasab’s death a day before or a day after , hardly matters. I still agree though that this argument is effective for government bashing.
For those using the second point as a basis of their argument, it really is an irrational bet. First of all, given the enormity of the act at its pure face value, any punishment less than 15-20 odd years would fly directly in the face of the Indian Penal code and to the lives of the people lost in his act. Even if Kasab were released now, I doubt he would be able to inspire people not to join the mujahideen. The youth recruited by the mujahideen come the most impoverished areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the like, areas where people don’t have access to food, education etc. This was evident from Kasab’s own testimonial of how he got influenced. In such a situation , how does one expect Kasab to reach out to these youth and influence them, considering that he can’t even reach out to them. If this problem could have been solved by a terrorist-turned-advocate, I think there are enough sane souls( though dwindling in number) in Indian politics, who would have pushed for this. So, although the second argument suggests a possibly innovative solution , it simply does not attack the root of the problem – economic troubles and inaccessibility.
For those who put forth the third point as an argument , I propose the following deal 15 days back in time : I say to you that Kasab claims he has transformed and I am ready to set him free, on the condition that one of you come forth and adopt him as a part of your family. Would you be willing to take that risk? Also , I wonder where your humanity vanished when the other 9 assailants were killed the same day for the same act. Just because this man happened to be stupid enough to be caught alive, suddenly seems to have found a soft spot in your heart.
And for the humanitarian grounds part , it seems very clear to me that there is definitely no way he can be released before 15-20 years in a confined prison cell , to come out to a life where there would be no one accepting him back – neither his own country not our country. The only opportunity he would have had was to be an advocate to a cause that had no personal incentive for him , but just to fulfill the selfish safety needs of you and me. Is the 15 years of torture worth it? I reckon an instant death by hanging, as cruel as it sounds , is a much better proposition.
May you rest in peace, Mr.Kasab.