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India snuffs out Kasab’s life

The ‘top-secret execution’ of Ajmal Kasab, convicted for perpetrating the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai four years ago, diminishes us all Indians. 

The vast majority of world opinion abhors meting out death penalty for any crime. This majority includes countries such as Russia, Israel UK and Germany that have been victims of terrorism. But India stands with stony hearts like the United States, China, Pakistan and Iran. 
India’s plea is that it is its sovereign right to determine its own legal system and death sentence is carried out India only on the “rarest of occasions” and that too with great deliberation. But India parries the big moral issue, which is that execution by the state (or the community) is nothing but a barbaric practice dating back tp primeval times when the thumb rule used to be “eye-for-an-eye”.
For India, it is a particularly agonizing question because Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism,  three of the finest flowers of its ancient civilization, all equally forbid such killings. Indians need to reflect. I wonder if Gandhi would have condoned Kasab’s execution. 
To turn to its downstream impact, there is going to be repercussions for India-Pakistan ties. The ‘dialogue process’ may be deemed as moribund, which has implications for regional security. The dialogue was worth having, if only to keep India-Pakistan tensions under check.
With no Mamohan-Singh visit to Pakistan on the anvil, with no Siachen or Sir Creek agreement on the horizon and with the feel-good CBMs petering out, where are we heading at a crucial time when the ground beneath the feet will rapidly shift between now and end-2014? 
Both countries are in a state of drift and weak governments often have a need to flex muscles. But Pakistan will, hopefully, assess the meaning of the ‘fast-forwarding’ of Kasab’s execution. Actually, it absolves Pakistan of any further need to go through with the motions of the investigation. Ironically, the ‘file’ is closed, no matter what India might say.
Kasab’s execution needs to be seen primarily from the perspective of India’s internal processes. Many Indians are apparently ‘celebrating’. It may seem a morbid thing to do, which indeed it is, when a human life is snuffed out — any human life, howsoever evil it might have been — but it has a meaning of its own in the present Indian context. 
Indeed, the two main political parties — Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party — are instinctively vying with each other to express satisfaction with the execution. What is the basis of their bizarre posturing? Usually, these hardened folks express satisfaction when they anticipate some political windfall. 
The dismal truth is that both Congress and BJP are courting the ‘Hindutva’ constituency. The BJP has a natural claim to right wing ‘middle class’ Hindu opinion. But Congress seems to have one eye on Narendra Modi’s likely arrival in Delhi as the BJP’s great helmsman. 
A ‘soft Hindutva’ image is just what Congress needs in order to neutralize Modi’s seamless, radiating energy. The party calculates that Muslim voters alienated by Modi are in any case its pocket borough (since the Indian Muslim has no place else to go to other than the ‘secular-minded’ Congress), while the ‘soft Hindutva’ posturing might additionally enable Congress to poach into the BJP’s natural constituency. Welcome to Indian democracy. 

Posted in Diplomacy, Politics.

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21 Responses

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  1. prakash basfor says

    I pay tax every day,month, year and for past 28 years since my birth. Some time When I see bill saying Rs 500 in which Rs 100 is tax, I feel its OK, it is for my poorer brothers and sisters. But when I read news reports of Bomb proof Kasab cell, I feel that was my hard earned money which was spent. This guy, Kasab not just killed 100 people(directly or indirectly)in 26/11, but have touched every true Indians life. Sir Bhandarkar, I believe u too are in some way touched by Kasab. I truely agree with you, that a Life is life howsoever bad the person is. You know even Kansha and Ravan had life then why were they killed. I believe they should be alive, but god themselve had some other plan for them. I bet You hate that Hitler, Osama, Gaddaffi and likes are killed. I dont know where you live but jst try and stay for a day in Assam (Kokrajhar), Chattisgarh and Gaya remote villages, you will come to know how much you will wish for the end of some lives.

    Even GandhiJi had said, Dont be violent, but dont let anyone to hurt you as well. Already Pak Taliban has thretened that they have planned 26/11 like attack in next 1 month and that they are in Hyderbad Deccan also. Instead of mourning Kasab’s death, save our brothers and sisters by providing them some suggestions, on how to be alert.

  2. Guest says

    Sadly most news reports even the prestigious TOI carried reports that he was sick with dengue. How a sick person suddenly get executed. He should praise the mosquitoes that bit him for it save the tax payers so much money. He living in bomb proof cell, over 46 crores to protect and care for him. It is not shameless expenditure for a person they are wanting to kill themselves. But the government failure to protect him from mosquitos, The Param Vir Mosquitoes should get the highest honors that to saving tax payers for this expensive inmate. What is more embarrassing a government having Kaseb die of medical illness due to substandard jail infrastructure the international embarrassment, or killing a already dead person claiming a secret hanging.

  3. ram mohan says

    While everyone is welcome to have his own view on the subject but the law of land has to take its own course. The only thing questionable in the matter is the timing of it thus inviting conjectures of possible political motives.

    As to whether we have invited another instalment of terror is the issue that needs thinking.

  4. Guest says

    Both countries are in a state of drift and weak governments often have a need to flex muscles.
    With no Mamohan-Singh visit to Pakistan on the anvil,

    Sense your sentiment in this article, deeply respect it and share your profound sensibilities on the matters pertaining to Indo-Pak diplomacy and its implication to regional security. If one goes by the reactions to your blog, the terror master minds have indeed succeeded in inflicting the divide they were seeking to inflict. But the development over the situation is not over yet, and it can be still undone. For this Bhartiyata and the Idea of India got to prevail first.

    The first setback to Bhartiyata came after Lahore yatra. When Mr. Vajpayee with aspiration to revive the perspectives of freedom movement leaders like Mahatma, Rajaji, Patel, Azad, Nehru and other secular leaders towards Pakistan undertook Lahore yatra, the Pakistani response was Kargil.

    Thereafter efforts for ascendancy to Bhartiyata met with cynicism from BJP sympathizers. Congress even came up with a Mungerilal kay Sapnay formulation which struck a chord. The ties with Pakistan was consigned to back burners; and the master minds of divide won another battle.

    But amidst these setbacks a crucial positive development took place. The Sino-Pak-US collapsed with then President Clinton virtually dismantling the old Kissinger doctrine. Thereafter terror onslaught on both nations increased, but the capabilities of both conventional and strategic forces being far stronger on the defending side, institutional mechanisms evolved rapidly to contain and constrict the terror deployment. Indian state has indeed become relatively far stronger than Pakistan and the terror forces.

    Yet, paradoxically, concur that despite strong state institutional capabilities, government appears weak and drifting in India, and the Hindutva agenda of BJP and soft saffron of INC is a manifestation of these trends. The enlightened political agenda for regional security is hijacked by pandering to commonplace popular reactions. This indeed is a reactionary political agenda. But there is real ground for optimism in this regard.
    Pakistan has not yet accepted defeat and not yet ceased its low intensity warfare. A bilateral visit by Indian Prime Minister makes sense only to firmly signal such cessation.

    Middle class is certainly a thinking class. The same set of people, who were subject to cathartic initial reactions, given the secure and strategically superior framework provided by present Indian context, thanks to momentous post-Lahore yatra developments, are likely to be more rational in their afterthoughts. Post catharsis reactions, expect middle class responses to reverberate to the vibes of Bhartiyata which Lahore yatra aspired to instill, and also to the idea of India moorings of original Indian National Congress.

  5. santhosh jose says

    Dear Sir,

    I agree with you that hanging kasab was not more ‘heroic’ than killing a louse on the nail.
    But saying it was avoidable can not be agreed upon.
    Hope you remember the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 for the release of dreaded terrorists like Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar. We all remember our pathetic then foreign minister who escorted the estranged
    passengers back home. If we had prolonged the hanging ,who knows pak taliban might have tried to do the same to get kasab released. So in order to stop happening such a fiasco again the hanging was inevitable.

  6. Rupakshi says

    Wasted too much tax payer money on this murderer. Should have been shot immediately and be done with.

  7. Zahid Iftikhar says

    Ajmal Kasab was a terrorist. He got what he deserved. In such an obvious case of mass murder, the death penalty is 100% justified. By the same token though, the Indian terrorist Sarabjeet Singh should also be hanged.

    Peace from Lahore…

  8. pranab sadangi says

    Ridiculous article. Not worth to comment. However he has the freedom of expression.

  9. Shailesh Saxena says

    Mr Bhadrakumar,
    Your ideas are only Contempt of Court

  10. Sautiya says

    I agree with this Blogger… We Indians are diminished by killing Kasab. Why on earth we should have done that.. what had kasab done to us anyways? did he Kill anyone? He didnt even kill the person who gave him water to drink.. How on earth such a noble soul can be hanged. I respect Kasab and Also this Author.. Both deserve noble price for Peace

  11. NIT DIESEL says

    I am sorry to state that as with the major political parties, the author is also seeing the whole scenario from the political angle.We always have a soft image and have forgotten how to take a tough stand even when we are slapped several times by weak opponents. The author should remember history where Prithviraj defeated Gauri several times and left him unharmed everytime.But Gauri showed him no mercy and that was the onset of muslim rule over India.
    We should be clinically tough but need not be cruel.

  12. Preeti Mishra says

    What a shit blog. Can the blogger please clarify the following
    1) Who gave him rights to speak about the whole Indians? As I understand most Indians like me are happy when Kasab got hanged.
    2) How do you calculate majority when India and China are on the side of continuing capital punishment?
    3)Where did you get idea about capital punishment is a act of Hindu right wing and not Islamic? Telling right wing Hindu is uncalled for.
    4) Why does the author wants to bring division on the basis of religion? For his information there are other parties than Congress who gets Muslim votes. For example Mulayam in UP, Mamata in WB, MIM in AP and so on. Why do you think Congress is not caring for Muslims?

  13. Ajay C says

    This article is bizarre at best! Started off about one thing and concluding something totally different. Lacks sense.


    Only mad dog like Bhadra Kumar can write an debased article like this. I wish his wife or son got killed in the terrorist attack to feel the pain. Such creeps are arm chair pseudo secularists preaching from the comfort of their AC room. Utter shame on you.

  15. iadmires says

    Completely disagree with the author. I would like to remind the history of india to this author that prithiviraj chauhan condoned gori for 17times instead of killing after his defeat. This led to india being captured my Mughal forces for more than 400 years. It is time for us to learn from history. Secondly, the eye for eye concepts comes into picture only when we send terrorist to pakistan. However, we did not do that but execute our legal process (Although it is delayed).

  16. Raghavendra Ravi says

    Misplaced sympathy.

  17. Rajiv Mahajan says

    People like Bhadrakumar are the emasculated section of Indian Society which has been born of influences of Budha

  18. Dhruba Jyoti Sarma says

    Who is this guy – Bhadrakumar ? Why is he baiting Indians ?

  19. Dwarkesh Shah says

    Are you serious??? if you are then i must say you are crazy

  20. mahyaar bhot says

    this is succha sic piece of article.. user seems to be one of those human rights activist… he may have realised the importance of hanging of kasab if his own family member had been killed in the terrorist attacks.

  21. swapnil patil says

    It is extremely sad that Mr Bhadrakumar takes such a harsh stand on the death penalty to Kasab (and Capital punishment as a whole in India) considering the following.
    1. The record of hangings in India does suggest it is rarest of rare (they didnt even have a hangman on roles for kasab) and there is the long list of commutation of sentences
    2. For all the nations, who arent “stony hearted” as per Mr Bhadrakumar, Do they face such incidents as 26/11 frequently?.
    3. And why the invocation of religion? if you hang someone by law – religion is involved. but terror has no religion even if radical religious leaders are driving people to terror in name of religion
    4. And as far as Gandhi being invoked – frankly my dear no one gives a damn anymore – notwithstanding the respect One need not blindly follow everything said by any leader.
    5. And lastly, as far as the hanging being kept secret is concerned, isnt it better to have done it quietly than to have made a spectacle out of a hanging. Infact it would have been better to have kept quiet for a longer period of time.

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