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Condemn Or Condone?

Condemn Or Condone?

May 31, 2010

Can justice be intelligently imposed without violence and death or is that a utopian thought?

Shocking scenes of destruction and sorrow dominated headlines for the past few days in India as 150 innocent people lost their lives in the train allegedly derailed by Maoist rebels in the eastern state of West Bengal. It is a usual tactic and there have been several instances in the past where trains have been attacked and innocent lives lost. But even as such violence plays out intermittently there has been much debate in India on how to deal with the Maoist menace. Human rights activists have sprung to the defence of the Maoists saying the government should stop any armed offensive against them and address the root cause which is years of socio-economic subjugation.

Similar opinions have also been voiced by human rights groups when Ajmal Amir Kasab, the key accused in the 26/11 terror attacks was pronounced guilty and given the death sentence. Many believed the 20 year old was just a pawn; a henchman who did what he did out of desperate poverty and hopelessness, that killing him was hardly going to be a solution to the larger problem of international terrorism. There were several voices in the mainstream media, on social networking sites and blogs opposing capital punishment altogether saying it was a medieval practice banned in most developed nations and that India should do the same.

While I tend to agree that violence of any sort ought to be abjured by the state and only used in the rarest of rare circumstances, a lot of what is being propagated by these so - called human rights groups is easy armchair philosophy and pseudo intellectual hogwash. Why for instance should a man like Kasab who has killed 166 people be allowed to live on tax payers money when the crores spent on his security could be put to better use? Moreover is being self-righteous about his death really justified when he has himself violated the fundamental right to life of 166 people? Agreed, he might have chosen to become a Taliban recruit out of economic desperation and brainwashing, but doesn’t every human being have a basic morality that they need to uphold to prevent social anarchy from setting in?

With the Maoists, as with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the issue has been that of years of suppression and discrimination leading to an uprising of sorts. As with all the other revolts in history this one too has turned bloody, fraudulent, power hungry and deflecting from its real intent and thus needs to be brought under control in order to bring some sort of closure. If, like human rights groups propose we wait for development to reach these people (which is when they believe the violence will stop), we will probably end up with many more years of bloodshed where innocent civilians will needlessly suffer.

I don’t propose a China or US like policy where capital punishment is meted out indiscriminately and people are held guilty without trial. But the problem with many of these self-proclaimed human rights groups is that their elitist views are very often hopelessly out of sync with an angered public that has been at the suffering end of these atrocities for years. For them too, we need to spare a thought!


  • shafeeq
    19.12.10 11:14 PM
    firstly, kasab and maoist are not the same thing. It is a mistake to equate the two. Kasab is some outsider who came just to create a spectacle. To terrorise. The programme ends there.
    Maoists, that is what we keep hearing, are here to establish an alternate order. Good, bad or ugly is a different thing. But the difference do matter.

    and then this will easily lead to my other objections:
    The people who we call 'Maoists' are not foreigners. They are our own. More importantly, the problem is not that "development" has not reached them The problem is that it has. But not theirs, but ours, your and mine, as we displace them out of their own land, for our dams, our mines...Innocent blood is already getting shed, there.

    What are these atrocities you say that "we" the "angry public" are facing? Does it match up to their deprivation?

    and I honestly think the "armchair" ppl you were referring to might have lost touch with us, but they definitely are in sync with those whose views never get represented on mainstream media, which after all, are after our purchasing power, for they don't have any.
  • Rajiv
    25.08.10 07:07 PM
    Will victims be able to get the justice of the the losses they have incurred?

    There is 70% reoffending by the prisoners within 2 yrs of their release in the UK.
    England and other western nations are learning the eastern philosophy of "Restoring Justice" by way of letting the offenders realise the harm caused by their actions and a way to correct it. It sounds simple and soft, however I have seen this go along way in correcting offending behaviour and providing justice to the affected.
  • Bhagwad Jal Park
    Bhagwad Jal Park
    21.07.10 03:16 AM
    The Maoists don't want development. They want nothing short of the overthrow of the Indian government. This is clearly stated in their written policies. If they were so damn concerned about their poor, let them divert their 1400 Cr. revenue stream derived from extortion to helping poor people instead of murdering citizens who have never harmed them.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the death penalty per se. We kill animals daily for food in fairly pathetic conditions. No reason to place human life above an animal life. If we really want to become civilized, we need to stop killing animals and humans :)

    The death penalty is dangerous because it can't taken back if it's discovered a mistake was made.
  • @Tsu
    31.05.10 10:55 AM
    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind!

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