23 November, 2012

Kasab hanged. Justice served. Really ???

(Pic courtesy : bowalleyroad.blogspot.com via Google)

Over the past two days, the Indian newspapers have been full of it.  News about Kasab’s hanging, I mean.  People have been exulting his hanging, saying he got what he deserved and what have you.  Kasab is gone but the memories of 26/11 are still fresh in the minds of the people – people who lost loved ones in the terror attack in Mumbai as well as people who watched / read about it around the globe.  There were many who were seen cheering, jeering and hooting after the hanging of Kasab.  It reminded me of the bloodthirsty lynch mobs that I remember seeing during the Hindu Muslim riots in Bombay, a few decades back.  What were people celebrating ?  A man’s death ?  Or worse still, a man who had been put to death ?

As far as Kasab and the other terrorists who landed in Bombay on 26/11 are concerned, they had, in all probability, been brainwashed to such an extent that they would have come into Bombay prepared to die for their “cause”.  They might have had illusions of “jannat” planted firmly in their minds, if they were to become “shaheeds”.  So then, why are people exulting and celebrating the hanging of Kasab ?  Celebrating having created another "martyr" that the future prospects of terror groups can look up to ?

Kasab being hanged is not the end of it, is it ?  For that matter, what was Kasab ?  Sold as a 13 year old to the LeT by his parents, he was nothing more than a pawn in the hands of those who recruited him, trained him, indoctrinated him and then set him loose on the shores of Bombay with an AK-47 assault rifle.  Where are the masterminds ?  Until and unless these masterminds are targeted, until and unless these kingpins are brought to justice, the purpose has not really been served, justice has not really been meted out.  By hanging Kasab, the little toe in one of the feet has probably been cut off.  That’s what he was, I guess or probably a much smaller potato than even a little toe.  He probably was the little nail on the little toe and that little nail has been pulled out.  The body and the brain behind that carnage in Bombay on 26/11 more than three years back, are very much alive and kicking. 

In this context, it was not really surprising to read a report in the TOI stating that Imran Khan’s so called party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is now demanding the execution of an Indian citizen, Sarabjit Singh, who has been imprisoned in Pakistan for the past 21 years or so.  Sarabjit Singh has been imprisoned in Pakistan after having been convicted for his alleged involvement in the Lahore and Faisalabad bombings in 1990.  True politician that he is, he’s suddenly sprung to life with a demand that Sarabjit Singh be executed.  Yes, Mr.Khan is doing nothing but riding high on the anger and sentiment that is running through some parts of Pakistan after they learnt of Kasab’s hanging.    What Kasab’s hanging has done, first and foremost, is given open opportunities for opportunists like Imran Khan to thrust themselves as the saviours of the nation in an effort to gain public support.

I too was among the many who were absolutely horrified with what happened in Bombay on 26/11.  Sitting so far away, my heart too bled for the city which had been home for the first 24 years of my life.  I cannot even begin to imagine how people who lost their loved ones in that attack felt and are feeling, even today.  The pain must be raw, the agony must be chokingly real.  My question is – has Kasab’s hanging really helped ? Is it really helping heal these wounds ?  If so, how ?  Does the word  justice intrinsically apply here ? 

Kasab’s hanging is definitely more about politics than about justice, per se.  People celebrating Kasab’s death has just brought to the fore the growing tendency that is being witnessed in the human populace – a thirst for revenge, a raging need for blood to be spilled in retaliation.

Mahatma Gandhi was so right when he said “an eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”.  We are surely and steadily heading in that direction and in saying that, I am actually being an optimist because I’m still trying to convince myself that there’s still hope for humanity.  A part of me, the sceptical part of me, sincerely doubts it.

If it is true justice we are talking about, then there has to be diplomatic pressure on the government of Pakistan to reel in the masterminds.  Justice lies in bringing the whole body to book, not by just ripping off the nail from the little toe in a body and mind which is very much alive and impenitent.

1 voice(s) said so:

Aparna said...

Very insightfully said, I have to agree with everything you pointed out, nodding my head all along.