Tuesday, 18 February 2014

If Rajiv Gandhi's killers can be spared, then why was Afzal Guru hanged?

The three persons have been convicted for the murder of India's Prime Minister. Yet, the killers of Rajiv Gandhi are going to live.

The Supreme Court has decided to commute their death penalty into life imprisonment. The honourable court's decision is final.

There is no scope for disagreement. But politicians, citizens and activists in Jammu and Kashmir, now ask why 'Afzal Guru' wasn't pardoned.

Was his crime as serious and in the same league. In his case, there was no direct evidence but to satisfy the 'collective conscience' of the society, it was decided to hang him to death.

Even his family was not formally informed about the decision to hang him. It was undoubtedly an inhuman act. His family could have met him a last time before he was hanged. But the government machinery was sure that they had to kill him. Was it a lust for blood?

The signals aren't right. In J and K, it sends the wrong message. Punjab government did it best to save Bhullar from death penalty. The trio--Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, have been spared the gallows. Why? It is not court's decision alone. 

The reality is that the prevailing jingoistic atmosphere where nothing is allowed to be discussed, if it is 'sensitive'.The BJP is the second biggest party. But it was never serious for capital punishment for Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan. It wanted Afzal Guru to be hanged.

While in most cases, the mercy petitions aren't disposed or the convict gets reprieve by PRESIDENT. However, Afzal's death penalty was not commuted. Why? Is it because he was a Muslim? These are really serious questions. The manner in which Afzal was made an enemy of the nation, proves how media and politicians joined hands to kill him.

It augurs bad for the nation when there is such clear difference on case to case basis. Are we a bloodthirsty nation?

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