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Oct 9, 2006

NDTV Big Fight...on "Clemency for Afzal Guru"

NDTV TV Big Fight


Actually, let me first correct the title - the programme was supposedly on the topic "Should there be death penalty?"... But it was more of a discussion on clemency for Afzal Guru.


The discussion run by Vikram Chandra standing lamely in the boxing ring had eminent Supreme court lawyers Prashant Bhushan and Kamini Jaiswal defending Afzal Guru and supporting the clemency claim – and lawyer KK Sud and RSS member Seshadri Chari on the other side.

Anyway… I don’t intend to present a transcript of what happened… just some comments on a few amusing comments from the panel.

Prashant Bhushan : In support of Afzal Guru and clemency plea…

“Afzal Guru isn’t the main culprit. He wasn’t the one who attacked the parliament – but was only one of the people involved in the conspiracy. So he isn’t entitled to the death penalty”

Really interesting to hear this argument from a supposedly leading lawyer of the land. I am sure someday this gentleman won’t hesitate to defend (for the right fee of course!) the Dawood Ibrahims, Tiger Memons or Mehmood Azhars either. And the argument works more appropriately for them. Dawood Ibrahim doesn’t go pillion riding himself with an automatic weapon to shoot his victims, neither does he kidnap anyone himself… nor did Tiger Memon plant the bombs in Bombay markets personally. For that matter Bin Laden is innocent too – he didn’t fly the aircrafts. All of them are innocent people who were just na├»ve enough to conspire, aid and plan the terror acts. That’s no crime. The deaths that resulted aren’t their doing… it’s the small time terrorists they coaxed, trained and planted who are the real threat to the peace in the world.

“The death sentence is retributive punishment – not reformative. It will lead to further violence.”

True. It’s an eye for eye method. But Mr Bhushan, do you remember what happened when the reformative approach was used with Mahmood Azhar, Hamid Gul etc…Mufti Sayeed still has grandkids who can act in a kidnap drama to ensure that terrorists get to do their catwalk down Lahore streets. Or some legal nuts like you will get them out like Bitta Karate…

I also fully agree with the fact that – he kills one, you kill him, they will come back to kill more – cycle is unending. But what do you want to the country to do. Send out an invitation – please come and kill our innocent citizens in trains, in religious places, in work places, in bus stands, in institutions of learning and in the Parliament (yeah! The security guards outside were innocent – I wouldn’t have really felt as much anguish if they had killed some politicians instead!). And each time we will pardon you, because Gandhigiri is the in-thing. Keep killing more of us… till you get tired.

Kamini Jaiswal: In support of Afzal Guru and clemency plea…

“The trial may not have been transparent and fair”.

Maam’, why this extra-judicial sermonizing now. If you find the trial was not complete and lacked meat – what prevented you from doing the right thing in the court. (Maybe the fee wasn’t good!!!). If you couldn’t do it in court, is it fair to question the court rulings in TV studios? If a lawyer thinks the court process wasn’t complete, its not something to question in the TV studios – unless brownie points matter more to you.

“History has proof that Valmiki was reformed – so Afzal Guru should be given a reformation chance too”.

Wow!!! Suddenly pinko’s regard Valmiki as history when it is convenient. Earlier he was only mythology. I don’t get the argument though – what kind of reform they expect in a terrorist who was given the chance once (he was allowed to surrender once when he was a JKLF cadre – and he ended up rejoining J-e-M).

“Peace process is on in the valley. Not pardoning the terrorists will lead to further escalation in the valley”

This is the most amusing argument of all – and the most widely offered argument by politicians of all colours. A country facing a proxy war – a covert insurgency by terrorists and Jehadi forces is being asked to tie its own hands at its back and offer a sliming face to the bullets of the terrorists – because if you try to defend yourself, the terrorists will not be happy.

People who have allusions that there will not be any violence and the terrorists in the valley will lay down their arms if Afzal is pardoned, either live in la-la land or have a vested interest in saving some terrorists. For others, just look up the escalations in the valley around each so-called confidence building measure – be is Round table conferences, starting of bus-services to POK, organizing local elections or getting a peaceful Amarnath yatra organized. Visit www.tkb.org for some simple data.

For the remaining panel, I worry that a RSS member was invited to present the contrarian view – which unfortunately is used by the media and pseudo-seculars as a point in proof to claim that it’s the right-wing which wants him executed – and convert the issue into a religious one.

For me – I don’t care what RSS thinks – but for me it’s not a religious issue. It’s a national issue – anyone trying to wage war on my country is a threat to the nation and worthy of death sentence – irrespective of his birth… irrespective of whether it’s a Mohammad Afzal Guru or Mahamood Azhar or was a Hindu Veerapan.

1 comment:

Neha said...

Is this a Hidden agenda of Congress for coming election to get back to power telling we hav strict laws to curb terrorism ? Because Prathibha Patil never gave any chance to go throgh the cases held for mercy under her regime. Simply wased her valuable time to visit foreign country under her tour program. Our President Pranab M is doing great job now.
Jai Hind