Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Politics of Clemency

Why is there so much furore over the hanging of Mohd. Afzal, a criminal condemned of masterminding the attack on the Indian parliament - the very symbol of Indian democracy?? Now let's find out a few things about this "innocent" soul who according to many was just at the wrong place in the wrong time. Wikipedia describes Afzal as :

Mohammad Afzal is a Kashmiri accused and convicted of conspiracy to storm the Indian parliament in December 2001. In 2004, he was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India. The sentence was to be carried out on 20 October, 2006. The sentance is now stayed, after his family filed a mercy petition to the the President.

So if the whole world considers him as a criminal who had the courage to mastermind the attacks, why is he given so much importance all of a sudden?? Why are so many news channels and newspapers taking pains to publish stories against his hanging?? India being a democratic country gives the right to each person to plead for clemency upon sentence of capital punishment.

But here we have a TERRORIST, who planned a attack that led to the death of :

One gunman, wearing a suicide vest, was shot dead, the vest exploding. The other four gunmen were also killed. Five policemen, a Parliament security guard, and a gardener were killed, and 18 others were injured. No members of the government were hurt.

He caused so many deaths and now we have a former CM of J&K ( Mr Farooq Abdulla) saying that the whole country will go up in flames if he's to be hanged, that the judges who convicted him will not live long. This is an open threat from a person who ruled Kashmir for so many years. This shows the level to which a politician will stoop just for gaining political mileage out of such a gruesome act. Who cares how many policemen, military and para-military force members laid down their lives to protect the symbol of democracy that is the Parliament of India.

What was the purpose of this daring terror? If the Parliament were symbolic of the national pride and personality it was an attack on both. If the Parliament were symbolic of democracy, it was crime against democracy. If the seculars would regard the Parliament as a symbol of secularism Afzal attempted to wipe out that very icon of secularism. If the Parliament represented freedom and the rule of law in India he exerted to snuff both. This attack nearly brought India to war with Pakistan in the year 2002, a week after the attack, India mobilised and deployed its troops to Kashmir and Punjab in what was India's largest military mobilization since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War amid calls from the United States and the United Nations (UN) on India to exercise restraint. If the politicians were serious then, what happened all of a sudden now?????

Now if one were to examine the grounds on which the clemency is demanded, the 1st arguement from his wife is: He wasn’t given a fair trial. He wasnt given a good lawyer. His confession was forced.

Well even if he's innocent as his wife and other supporters say, then why hasn't he opened his mouth even once saying that he didn't have any hand in the attack. Now about the part that he was beaten into his confession, still he's not eligible for clemency as the only violation here can be Human right's violation to a prisoner under custody. But no one's mentioning about that!

Now on the arguement that there would be widespread violence in Kashmir if he's hanged; well that remains to be seen and what any Indian citizen should do at this moment is support the judiciary for taking such swift action on a case that is of such national importance. We should support the justice system and not the dreaded criminals who will be rescued by another hijack like that of IC-814 which shouldn't be allowed in the future and repition of IC-814 is a well founded fear and I think the then governement did a big mistake succumbing to the terrorists demands.

If Afzal were to be given clemency, it would only mean a moral victory to the terrorists, frankly speaking taking away the life of a convicted-terrorist, is a much better alternative than, spending the hard-earned money of the Indian taxpayer, on life-time maintenance of such a terrorist. This is reason enough and exact justification for hanging Afzal. If the politicians can successfully get clemency to Afzal, then it is assured that Terrorism is bound to rise to greater heights and trouble all of mankind.

The family of Kamlesh Kumari, a CRPF Jawan who died in the attack has said that they will return the Ashok Chakra awarded to her, if the president accepts the petition. This the last thing that should happen to India. This would demoralise the million's of troops who secure the borders of our nation and are ready to lay their lives for the safety of each and every Indian. The government should never consider the clemency petition and should set an example to each and every budding terrorist that he wouldn't be allowed to walk away with a few years in jail to come out and commit another heinous attack.


atticus said...

personally i've never advocated capital punishment because taking the life of a person.. criminal mastermind he may be.. does nothing to the society other than satisfying the basic carnal instinct of the caveman... the eye for an eye...
we have come a long way from our neanderthal ways and its high time we think about whether capital punishment makes any difference to the law and order situation...
as for this case.. its upto the president i guess..

sindhya said...

well afzal needs to get the highest punishment possible.the justification tat he wasnt provided with a lawyer is kinda baseless.. coz he could very well hav defended himself..n as u rightly said
"the Parliament as a symbol of secularism Afzal attempted to wipe out that very icon of secularism"
n well lettin a person like him go will only increase the number of afzals..let this b a fair warning to all those other afzals out against wat atticus said i say an eye for an eye is necessary in tat at least others dont try to take ur other eye too..anyways this is a gud piece of writing..:) but i agree with the fact that ultimately its upto the president to giv or not giv clemency..

GoldenPhoenix said...

If persons such as Afzal are given clemency then it would make a laughing stock out of the democratic setup of India.The appehensions about the possibility of violent protests in J&K
might be wellfounded but since the alternative is the sacrifice of the little faith that people have left in the constition i believe that Afzal should be given capital punishment.Anyway i have full faith in our esteemed President's discretion and i am sure that he will make the right decision

preema prasad said...

Da.. blog is looking really nice..actually i didnt see any space to give comment abou tthe appearence of the whole bolg so am taking a little space here..

Deepa said...

not a single proud Indian would bear a any1 attack the very fabric of India administration hampered with.Afzal has comitted the crime of playing with the the symbol of Indian freedom.He cannot just walk away with it.But a death penalty wouldn't amount 2 his crime.He needs 2 stay in the prison 4 the rest of his life!I agree with atticus on 'the eye 4 an eye'.It wouldn't take us anywhere near wat v want.It will only help 2 build up the vengence & tension.But Afzal does deserve a punishment that would set an example 4 all the budding 'Afzals' out there!V need 2 wipe out terrorism.But hanging 2 death is not the answer 2 wat v want!

Anonymous said...

Well capital punishment...nothin less than that...But the solution given by Deepa doesnt suit terrorists like Afzal..Remember IC-814...For the exchange of the passengers we had to release the notorious Maulana Masood Azhar who later founded JeM..And wat happened ?? Millions died because of JeM and Masood Azhar.. So sending Afzal to prison for the rest of his life is not a good idea..U need just another hijack and he will be released...