I saw the events of the dreadful night in Mumbai many times on the Television. I read a lot of what the newspapers published about the matter. I read through scores of frustrated posts in Facebook complaining about the Biriyani being served to Kasab and draining of the billions where there are so many people in our country who cannot get one square meal in a day. I also read about the decision to hang Kasab and read about the possibilities of backlash from such a decision. I lived nervously for a few days in Saudi Arabia after the hanging of Kasab whether the decision would have any bearing on my life (being a Hindu) in Saudi Arabia.
I never reacted on this matter till today. This is very unlike me as I like taking a stand as per my morals and values whether or not I would be politically correct. I have a simple equation in life. I pray to the Almighty in the form my parent (especially my mother) has introduced to me. This is my only connection with religion. For this act of mine, I have outsourced the responsibility for the well-being of my family and me to the Almighty. I rarely spend any of my limited thinking ability on this aspect of life. Today, after listening to a lecture on “Justice”, I am sort of forced to express my thoughts I have had around Kasab. There is a dilemma. On one hand, just like any other common citizen of India, I feel it was a very delayed decision which resulted in a huge cost. On the other hand, I have always maintained that the people sitting in the Administrative Offices of our country are the best set of brains that the country has. My conclusion in this aspect is straight forward as it is the toughest to get into any of these institutions and thus only the best can make it there.
Why did it take so long to make a decision on Kasab?
From the proceedings, it was clear that first of all there was an issue of getting a lawyer to represent Kasab. A lawyer representing Kasab was of prime importance as that is the minimum foundation of our democracy. If we are to be called a civilized country, we should not deny justice to anyone. We should treat everyone as a human being and not rusticate any person, even the worst of villains, to be treated like an animal. Even a criminal like Gabbar Singh is handed over to the Police and not killed in the end of the movie “Sholay”. That is our moral standpoint. There was a need for a platform to hear the story from Kasab’s point of view. I state this even though his complete act of villainy was clear and was captured live on camera. The reason for this thought is simply because even though we believe that “Seeing is Believing”, there is always a possibility that what we see may not be the ultimate truth.
Take an example. Suppose a man is caught red-handed murdering another person. Simple logic states that the man should be held guilty for murder. However, there could be a possibility that man is actually insane and has reached this state due to insufficient care and/or indifferent handling of the family and/or the society. In that case, though his act of murder cannot be ignored and cannot be pardoned, he possibly does not deserve the worst punishment. Possibly, he should be given the chance to live and should also be taken adequate care of so that he can recover from such mental illness. It could also possibly be considered that he could be reintroduced into the society after his recovery and having served his term.
In the same incidence of the murder, it could be also possible that the man actually murdered the other person in self-defense. It could have been possible that if he did not murder the person, his life and some more lives would have been at risk. It can be argued that under these circumstances, the man should have taken help for the authorities and not taken the law in his own hands. This is true. However, we also know that there are many situations in life where we have to make decisions as there is no time or situation for considering the better options. If this be the reality of the situation, then the man deserves even lesser punishment in my opinion and should be definitely restored to the society after rehabilitation.
Suppose, the same incidence of murder was a result of another incidence like the victim raped the murderer’s daughter and thus the murderer murdered him as he could not find justice. I am sure as a society we should not support or encourage such act under any circumstance. This is in spite of the fact that many movies in India in all languages portray such acts of heroism. The Indian movies may be copying the concept from Hollywood movies like Death Wish. Nevertheless, the society is getting such messages and it is not unknown fact that one of the main means of education in India is through the film industry. Anyway, such a criminal does not deserve punishment. He should be punished in a form of rehabilitation while we work on making the society a better and safer place to live in. While I was in India last week, I was shocked that in as many as 2 out of 5 discussions over phones with my friends I was discussing about the safety and security needs of our daughters in India.
Coming back to the subject, I was all this while trying to convince that there was a need in our civilized society for listening to Kasab as well, though his crime was beyond doubt and did not deserve any kind of sympathy, leave alone any empathy.
Did the Government need more time to think of security aspects as well?
Though what I discussed earlier, it was quite disturbing for me when Kasab was being kept alive even after the crime was proved and decision was passed by the Courts. Here again, I would like giving advantage to the Administrative Officers. Could they have considered aspects of security to the country in execution of this order? In my knowledge of management, I would not have ignored this aspect. However, I would not be delaying the action without any action. I would be working out the details for ensuring adequate security measure to be pressed across the country before executing the decision. Could it have been possible that the Government was working on similar aspects and much more? India being large and having such a vast diverse population and so much more need for resources, it must not be easy for the Government to put in place adequate safety measures for the citizen against such an organized form of terror.
This also brings us to another important consideration. Is it right of us people to consider such delays as political tactics for gaining advantage during elections? It has been adequately proved that political parties in India do time such events to be able to gain maximize the advantages during elections and/or around important decisions. However, I think we also need maturing to the fact that such delays are most of time inevitable as well. The political parties should use this time for adequate ground work. Only, I would like them improving on the aspect of not always trying to take advantage of such events. However, I cannot default them on this aspect as well. In our daily work life, we try to take advantage of every possible opportunity that comes our way. We justify this as we doing it for the sake of business (though we actually always work on our own appraisals. This, however, cannot be generalized. There are exceptions).
Or, Could have been due to the President?
President Pratibha Patil‘s time in the office will be best remembered by common man like me as a period of luxurious foreign travels and a period of most amnesty to the ones charged with death penalty. I understand that President Patil withdrew death sentence for as many as 34 criminals during her 5 years stay in the office. I have not read any news of any of the criminals charged with death sentence being actually subjected to the punishment during her presidency. I strongly feel that this could have been the reason for the longevity of Kasab’s life.
The decision to hang Kasab came rather swiftly after President Pranab Mukherjee took over. Though, we consider Mr. Pranab Mukherjee as the greatest opportunist in the Congress Party, I at least could not find a design behind this decision and the decision to hang Afzal Guru.
In the end, it is all controlled by The Almighty.
Having expressed all that my mind could think of, ultimately I believe that each of us human beings have a defined expiry date on this earth. This expiry date is controlled only by The Almighty. Till he decides, no one can die.