Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Kasab : The Martyr?

Have been going in out studios since the past few days regarding the Kasab verdict. The soulless sole survivor captured. I had a stimulating radio interview with BBC. I was pushed into a spiced up discussion about terrorists' hero Kasab. The anchor was very spirited and well informed, and more importantly – not opinionated. I loved the format of the show- with callers patched in the discussion… making it truly real-time.

The main viewpoint of discussion was "Execution or Life Sentence". In my response I said –
"I personally am not for death penalty unless it is the only option. If there was even an iota of hope that such hardened criminals could be "reformed". I would stand for their rehab. But in this case, given the alarming Thoughts of people world over asking for nothing less than the harshest penalty, I am sure no one has the patience or the intent to show any leniency towards him. And also, Kasab has shown signs of remorse and regret. What he regrets is that he was a wee bit late at CST, he was really upset that because of his late coming he lost the opportunity to gun a few more. So now the question is… could we explore a Gandhian stance and be patient with him, despite his wild nature" .

This foreword by me kick started a spirited debate and discussion. There were many views; here are some of the thoughts that I found worth mentioning, within and beyond this radio chat.

Thought: "if Kasab would be hanged he would be seen as a martyr by his tribe. So let him live for life".
Reaction: Yes. He would be seen as a martyr by his tribe. Now, do their thoughts matter to us so much. That just to prove that he is not a martyr we spend a colossal amount in keeping him alive. Anyways, tax payers wouldn't want their money to be used for securing a terrorist. And when I say this I echo the sentiments of the many in my hugely and variedly populous country.

Thought: "Everything is mediated from the Pakistan Soil. Let's wage a war against Pakistan"
Reaction: Yes, the nation should take steps. But sometimes we need to look beyond empathetically. Pakistan is a nation still reeling from terror. Whilst we demand real answers from Pakistan, we should not forget that there are some lovely human beings in Pakistan too. We can condemn policies, we can persistently insist on answers and action against terrorists. But it isn't civilized that we think of waging a war against Pakistan. War is no solution. No matter who is right, war will ensure that nothing is left… in humanity.

Thought: "For Kasab this is jihad"
Reaction: It is very easy to take religion and validate your viewpoint no matter what it is. There are always two ways of looking at things, and one would look at it only the way he is comfortable the most.
Not only jihad, people could sit here and argue and counter the argument about issues like any issue by quoting religious texts and proving it is right to be wrong… and inversely. According to me "Religion is not prescribed; it is open for interpretation and is interpreted in a way that suits us best".

Thought: "India is a very humane nation. They wouldn't execute people"
Reaction: "Rubbish." We might have a culture of being compassionate but that doesn't deter us from taking a tough stand if need be. Yes we wouldn't execute people like we chop onions and tomatoes or lash up criminals… inhumanely, but our judicial system does give every criminal a fair trial. And post the trial if the accused is found guilty, and if the law of the land says "execution" so will it be. Irrespective of what we think.

Thought: "For his handlers Kasab was just a pawn, a small solider"
Reaction: "of course". Kasab is a pawn, so do we let him spawn terror or set him loose, or have an sympathetic Thought to him as he is just a small fish in a big pond?.

Thought: "Killing is never the answer"
Reaction: Yes, it is never justified to kill somebody in an ideal world. How I wish we lived in an Ideal world though.
And yes, just in case of a war, no matter who wins, humanity loses.

Thought: "Life imprisonment for Kasab because killing is uncivilized. We should let him live the rest of his life in a jail for that's the only "punishment" "
Reaction: Define Punishment to hardened cold-blooded criminals like Kasab? Would "punishment" to him be civilized in any way? In fact, it would be humane to not have him.

Thought: "We should hang Kasab in public view or stone him to death"
Reaction: Viewing and participating gory acts of killing, be it killing a goat or a chicken or a human leaves a dent in our memories. It shakes the conscience, and makes us numb. I am not saying this, human psychology says. Read up before suggesting such stupid recommendations. Kill the "Kasab like thought" that dwells in your mind first.

Thought: "we are a gandhian nation"
Reaction: Wow! So all Indians are vegetarian? Wear just khadi?
Well… I don't know about Kasab… but Brand Gandhi is a pawn. Definitely.


Thought: The victims will find reprieve and a sense of closure if Kasab is hanged.
Reaction: Well, may be! But temporary.


And to sum it all… this quirky reaction …

Q) Let's say "execution" is not an option. Your punishment to Kasab then will be…?

Reaction: He should be given the job of an underpaid motorman in a Mumbai local. And should be asked to say "STRIKE" at peak hour openly that all commuters can hear.
UPDATE On May 06 : Kasab gets death sentence. 

I dont feel happy that a 20 something guy is dying, dont mistake it for sympathy. Just that it is not a nice feeling. Though it is not safe to keep him living. And it is cruel and inhumane to him too. 


Srushti Rao said...

Hmmm Agree on some points though dont agree on some...

I strongly feel that Kasab should be hanged as it will send a strong msg to all the people of his kind that u cant mess with India and get away with it. As far as he being a Martyr amongst his people is concerned... do I really care... let him influence other people we will hang them too.

He is very confident that he will go the Afzal Guru way - lets prove to these people that we have a strong judicial system and death sentences can be carried out in this country. Lets do a express check out on him and hang him within a week. Save my Tax money... I would love the pelt stones at him and stone him to death, if our judicial system allows that lets punish him - Stone till death.

Lets not make him a hero by just talking about him. Take action. Hell needs him... lets send him there.

*Aham* said...

agree with u in parts.. :) @srushti

Raj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Aham* said...

Mr. Raj, you havent read my post properly. and i am not in favour of life sentence.. death sentence it should be.

and secondly, i donno if you sat in an AC room and just ranted.. I def did my bit.

Raj said...

Hi Aham,

Sorry if I misread and misunderstood your post, I thought you were in support of "life Sentence". Since you are supporting 'Death sentence' for him, I'm with you.. I deleted the above comment sent by me.

Haha, well, I ranted that comment sitting below normal ceiling fan.. :)


Pinku said...


am with you on this.

Death it has to be.

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