Was the celebration over the death of a terrorist needed? Those who celebrated, distributed sweets, burnt pictures of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab after his execution, stand firm on their "philosophy" that perpetrators of heinous crimes should be hanged and India has all the rights to celebrate such "momentous" occasion. The idea might have the support from a large-section of Indian society, but a minuscule population opposed it. They asked, "Should we celebrate, or reflect?"
K Unnikrishnan, father of National Security Guard (NSG) Commando Sandeep, who died in the Taj Battle, during 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks in 2008 said, "It is totally wrong to celebrate anyone's death...There is a long way to go for the sense of closure...Kasab's execution is only one chapter. The perpetrators are still moving around in Pak."
This is what a heart-broken father, who lost his only child Sandeep has to say about Kasab's hanging at Yerwada jail in Pune on Wednesday, Nov 21.
K.R. Ramamoorthy, the 73-year-old non-executive chairman of ING Vysya Bank, and a survivor of 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai said that he did not find any "solace" in Kasab's execution.
"While it is true that he has taken the lives of many innocents, he was brainwashed by others into feeling it was his duty," said Ramamoorthy, in an interview to The Wall Street Journal. "It is the people who indoctrinated him, those who masterminded the attack, who should be brought to justice."
On the fateful day, the septuagenarian was tied up and held hostage by terrorists for seven hours in his room at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai.
Similarly Bollywood actor Ashish Chowdhury, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the Mumbai Terror Attacks 2008 said, "I cannot rejoice Kasab's death. I don't see any point in rejoicing anybody's death. Justice is done to a small part of a huge problem..."
These are some of the sane voices, India decided to ignore on a day when a "pawn" in the fight against terrorism was hanged, after almost four years of lengthy trial.
Moreover, these are the voices from people who are being directly affected by one of the most dastardly terror attacks India has ever witnessed. The magnitude of human loss was huge in Mumbai Terror Attacks, which almost went on for three days. The terror attack was executed by 10 Pakistani home-grown terrorists, who entered India's financial hub and killed 166 people.
The entire episode of blood and gory is condemnable. And, such assassins deserves no mercy. But, does it not shows our "barbaric" side, where we are endorsing medieval style of punishment of criminals, and an entire community rejoicing it? Where do we stand today? Newspaper photographs of school-going kids disturbing sweets to engage in lively and noisy festivities over the death of Kasab in Bangalore shows our weakness of understanding the whole issue.
Rejoicing the death of a foot-soldier who was remote controlled by masterminds of 26/11 won't solve the issue of "terrorism" in India. India is fighting the battle against terrorism from within and outside its own terrority. It's a massive and complex issue. If we look into the home breed militant groups, mostly found in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East India, claimed to be fighting for their respective sovereign states, we will see the "anger" and "frustration" within India against their fellow Indians.
Now, if we go and hang all the militants who are directly or indirectly involved in killing people, then we need million nooses to hang all the criminals. Are we ready for mass killing? And, again witness mass hysteria like a situation, delighted at the execution of "villains".
These is where we can start our debate on the very idea of justice. Is delivery of justice means hanging a person, and endorsing capital punishment as the rightful means to make India safe and secure. Indian authorities cannot escape their duty by merely rejecting mercy pleas filed by people on death row. Leaders and law-enforcing agencies need to make India a safe nation, where we can breathe in free air, without any fear. And, surely that needs lot of introspection and smart execution. Probably, then we can celebrate, distribute sweets and burst crackers.