Sunday, November 25, 2012

A hanging

A notable hanging took place last week. Ajmal Kasab, the butcher of Bombay, the only survivor of the group of ten attackers of 26/11, was hanged in Yerawada jail, with tight security and the utmost secrecy, after the due process of law had run its course. The nation woke on the morning of 21 st November to find the news of the hanging running across the ticker tape of the morning's news, just as they had seen the news of the attacks, and the never to be forgotten image of Kasab, swaggering with an automatic gun, dealing out death in all directions at Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, in 2008. Both the Home Minister of Maharashtra, R.R. Patil and the Home Minister of India, Sushil Kumar Shinde, soon came on TV to confirm the news, each emphasising that the judicial process had been carried out to its last step.

The execution provoked mixed reactions, from the public, as well as the near and dear ones of the victims. There were those who experienced closure, and those, notably the father of the NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died in action in countering this operation, who said no one's death can be rejoiced over even if it was a legal necessity. It was universally agreed that Kasab, agent of death as  he was, was only a puppet, and his deadly puppet masters, the real perpetrators of terror, remained  at large, and outside the reach of justice. However, it could be said that justice had been done, even if in small and partial measure. It is interesting to remember, that George Orwell, the writer of the original As I Please, had written a piece with an identical title, a hanging. We wonder what his take would have been, on the case at hand. His customary clarity of thought might have yielded useful insight on the moral morass of the efficacy of capital punishment, even for a case like this. Meanwhile the debate goes on from the newspapers to the tea stalls.

This Monday, it will be four years from those three days of horror, that left 164 people dead, and a city shattered, but proud of the quiet heroism of its ordinary citizens. In their memory,

 "And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been".

We won't forget.
This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

For an earlier post  by Rahul Basu on the Mumbai attacks see this link.


Meena said...

A long time since I read Orwell's
piece; it was a pleasure to re-read it now, following the link from this post.

Neelima said...

I filched the title from Orwell! It was very appropriate.