EditorsEdit : No slackening that noose, Mr. Hangman!
It’s difficult not to take sides in this matter. You are either for hanging or against it. This is one question where there can be no fence sitters. I suspect that is why it is also one of the most fiercely fought over issues, all over the world.
Personally, I am against hanging the man. I would want him to be tortured for exactly the same time, the people who he helped kill suffered due to their wounds, before they died. This might sound extreme to many. But if you live in a country which is being attacked everyday by terrorists, it's difficult to remain in a Centrist position on such matters, any longer. However much I dislike the rightists and however much I hate their casteist and communal politics, I have to agree that they have a point, when they contend that the law which is good enough for punishing a billion other Indians, is good enough for this man too. And we cannot afford to send a signal to the terrorists that, should they be caught, they could one day walk free and live a life again, despite their heinous acts, which rob other innocents of their lives.
Naturally, we have the leftists of Arundhati Roy and her ilk staging dharnas, yet again, to disband capital punishment. But then these NGO 'zolawallahs' can afford to do that since they are protected from the same police and army, whose lives the terrorists are bent on taking. These shrill voices are best ignored.
Now Afzals' pardon plea is with the Govt. and we are hearing familiar political voices from familiar quarters- people who think the Muslims in this country want Afzal pardoned. So we have them telling us, "Khoon beh jayega" - if this guy is hanged. As if we would be running scared. Then they contend that this would make him a hero. Well, if some people want to make murderers their hero, who can stop them? But that doesn't mean you condone murder, fearing the consequences!
But what if this man is really pardoned? It would be a sad day indeed, but a happy day for would be murderers. After all they could ask for clemency and there would be no earthly reason for the Govt. not to grant it to them. Crime would pay and how ! I guess the next logical thing to do would be to , as American comedian Will Rogers once said "...legalize it and then tax it out of business".