Politics of punishment

Source: TOI

 The higher the penalty, the greater the rigor that the courts are expected to display in arriving at the decision. It is however hard to apply this principle, ironically enough, to the highest possible penalty: namely, death. This has been admitted by the highest court of the land over and over again, the last time being literally on the eve of Ajmal Kasab’s hanging. In a verdict delivered on November 20, Justice Madan Lokur said that in capital offences “it has become judge-centric sentencing rather than principled sentencing”.

But then, can this be said even about the decision to hang Kasab? If there was ever an open-and-shut case of capital crime, it was of course that of the only attacker to have survived the 26/11 massacre. So, whoever the judges were at the three levels of courts that had handled his case, it was most unlikely that any of them would have spared him the noose. It takes a crime of the magnitude of 26/11 to carve an exception to Justice Lokur’s formulation that the recourse to the death penalty depended on the judge rather than any principle. There was still an element of uncertainty about the punishment awarded to Kasab. And that was whether he would be executed at all and, if so, when.

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6 replies

  1. I think every Pakistani deserves hanging punishment, whether a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer. Alas what a country of peacefull muslims, some people who come and kill others, some others who sympathize the killer and some others who give threat of further terror attacks for executing the killer.

    • Dear Brother Haque: I am terribly sad about your recent comments on the posts in TMT. The power of an argument comes from its logic, persuasion and empathy, the essence of the teachings brought by Promised Messiah and not from name calling, or declaring someone an idiot. I differ with Mr. Quarahi on several counts but the best way to counter his points is to produce a good solid evidence based article. I also differed with Mr. Qureshi when he called Anjem Choudray stupid in his comment. Love ultimately conquers all. As for the retribution, for what Pakistan is doing to its Ahmadi Muslim citizens, we raise our hands in front of Almighty the ultimate arbiter. But in the tradition of our Holy Master we only say that Allah guide these people who are mistaken. I understand your sense of frustration where Indian Muslims continue to suffer due to irresponsible and irrational position taken by some people from Pakistan and I entirely agree with you. How about giving some evidence of how well Muslims, dalits and others are doing in India as compared to Pakistan. That would be a good way of convincing Mr. Qureshi and a more rational one.

      It is not TMT policy to call anyone stupid or Paki- nor are our editors expected to make a comment like this. Nationalism on all sides can be healthy and unhealthy and the Quran talks about rising above it to call it a spade a spade without fear or favor. We call to attention whatever we believe is wrong in the world and it does not matter whether it is my country or someone else’s. We must not loose sight of following decency in our argument. Every individual is different and the key to finding out about what they have said is to ask people to explain things more so one can understand and respond with evidence.

      To Mr. Qureshi: I extend my apologies. We hope that we will continue to benefit from his challenging comments and emails. I hope that he will explain more what he means without getting offended. I know he believes that we have a persecution mentality, and he is entitled to his views and making them known. My perception of Pakistan comes from very well done international surveys and indices which all points towards a downwards spiral. This is certainly not due to persecution mentality and are not done by Ahmadies. Most sane political and economic commentators are extremely worried about Pakistan. We continue to pray for it and for Allah to save our beloved homeland from those who are bent upon taking it in a destructive direction. I also recently traveled to Pakistan and found everything “normal” and “vibrant” but obviously objective evidence does not point to that feel good view. We as a nation are in denial and I do hope that we wake up before its too late.

      May Allah give all of us patience and fortitude.

  2. “I understand your sense of frustration where Indian Muslims continue to suffer due to irresponsible and irrational position taken by some people from Pakistan and I entirely agree with you.”

    Dear Alim sb. you definitely sound a sensible person. Which you are by understanding the reason of our(Indian Muslims) deep frustration with Pakistan and it’s people. I was sure that someday i will meet someone from Pakistan who understands our point of view.

    As a muslim i am supposed to be loving and caring towards my people(Muslims in general and fellow human being). But how will i have love and affection for those whose continuous provocation leads towards anti-muslim sentiments in my country? Often anti-muslim riots happen in India as a means of taking revenge of what is being done with Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh. If Pakistan and Bangladesh either stop this ethnic cleansing of Hindus in their soil and further stop taking excuse of wrong doings of Hindus towards it’s Muslims in India as a justification for terrorist attacks, peace and amity can be established in all sides of the border. I am not ultra national or right winger. It’s just that i believe in absolute justice as taught in our faith. I do not get any special allowance for advocacy of India. It’s just that no one understand our concern and seems to impose their version of our story. India like any other country in the world is not perfect, it does not mean that people from pakistan start pointing fingers at us. Honestly speaking if a black Muslim or Chinese muslim or an White Muslim will criticise India or my people i will take give it a thought. However if it is by any Pakistani, as per historical evidence it is obviously based on Kafir phobia and Anti-Hindu hate. I have a multi ethnic, multi racial and multi national(Ahmadi) family. I have cousins who are half Indian(Ahmadi) and half Pakistani(Ahmadi) and 100 percent American and they are very dear to me like my own younger brother. From my great great great grand parents side i possibly have Hindu ancestry who converted to Islam and My mother belongs to family of Indianised Arabs family who came to India for tabligh. Being myself a person of multi racial and multi cultural background why should i spread hate against a specific nationality?

    I myself feel disturbed at posting things against people who are supposed to be my brethren. But what can do if Pakistanis keep asking for Kashmir, then what option am i left with than to justify similar things in Pakistan.

    Why should i hate Pakistanis in general as a population group? Why should not Pakistanis let us live in peace? Who on the earth gave license to Pakistanis to talk about Muslims of India? If Pakistanis do have grievance with India. Free it from topics such as condition of Muslims in India, Kashmir problem which makes us direct target of Hindu extremists. Can we expect this much from our ‘brothers’ for whom it is said that we are as if part of the same body, if any part is hurt whole body feels the pain?

    Forget India, now think of USA. Muslims of Pakistani origin who live there have the same stand for Pakistan and its policies as do we Indian Muslims have. Being Indian should not make our point invalid.

    For the fact of condition of Muslims in India. I will like to say that currently i share my apartment with a long time friend of mine who is a Hindu. He never made me felt different. Although he is a vegetarian but he will not mind if i cook meat. I have a cousin of mine who is qualified muballigh from Qadian and doing P.hd. in Sanskrit from a primere Hindu university. he said that he is being respected in the university and one of his key faculty there is a sunni Muslim. Off course communal riots happen in India too. In fact i have also seen anti-muslim sentiment. However, if Pakistan stops talking about us. We will be able to take up our case more conveniently. When Pakistan or Pakistanis like Zaid Zaman Hamid start talking about us, we automatically look as villians in the eyes of fair minded Hindus and sikhs of India and places us in a very uncomfortable position. I am very much involved in many civil rights activity of Indian Muslims but reason i do not discuss it here is that i feel uncomfortable when Pakistani editors start talking of Kashmir problem etc. and every good work i might have done will be lost because of actions of others.

    Hope i have conveyed my agony to a person who sounded like a fellow muslim brother. and let us keep continuing our 2 rakats prescribed by Khalifa V(a.t.) for peace in Pakistan and for Ahmadis elsewhere.

    • Jazakallah brother Muhammad Azimul Haque This sounds like your real self. Grateful for the article above. Please do make these sorts of posts regularly for TMT. We would love to show that Islam and India are compatible and this has nothing to do with loyalty or disloyalty for Indian Muslims as Islam encourages loving your country as a part of your faith. We deeply believe in the universal message of Islam which is secular in its essence. Some in Pakistan will definitely benefit from such posts to see how states can be secular. Do patiently answer any criticism of treatment of Indian Muslims and do not let the loony fringe of Pakistani intelligentsia offend your sensibilities too much.

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