Attempt to Lionize Yakoob Menon is Liberal Hypocrisy

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Muscat, Oman – John Donne’s meditation on “no man is an island” should ever be on our minds. The death penalty is an abomination for many reasons, not least of which are the insane numbers of people who are exonerated on death row and post-execution. When will we have a civilized country?

In various stages of the judiciary process, we have seen how the police investigation can be tilted if vested interests (those in power) apply adequate pressure, how soft judgments are given in favor of the moneyed or the powerful, how the under-trials can languish in jails for years and tortured to make false confusion, many staged encounters are not invested properly. Some top cops and Directors in investigating agency have been found compromised in their integrity. When there are so many chances of miscarriage of justice in society, it is difficult to take such a rigid stance.

One side of the “Golden Rule” is to define laws consistent with morality. The outcome of Justice is either Guilt or Innocence. Innocence leads to freedom while Guilt demands Punishment. The other side of the “Golden Rule” expresses the need of love for others which is also consistent with the universal moral principle. The outcomes of love are mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

The job of a judge is not to provide mercy but to act as per dictates of law. Carrying out a judgment is the job of the Executive. In the case of Indian Democracy, this role is performed by the government. It is for this reason, mercy petitions are sent to the Governor or the President and never to the Judiciary.

It is a fact that Justice has not shown the ability to have deterred crime. Yet it is equally true that neither mercy nor compassion has been a reason for a crime free world. Sometimes people are confused by their need for expressing Love (for the guilty) with the demands for Justice (for the victims). But those who are saying that execution of Yakub Memon was an equal act of murder,sponsored by the state and an act of counter terrorism aimed at the Muslims they are woefully wrong. In independent India in all 1415 criminals (including Yakub) have been hanged to death so far. Out of these only 73 are Muslims (only 5 per cent) and rest are from other communities,majority being the Hindus.

This proves the Indian judiciary does not dish out death sentence considering religion or faith of the criminals. Capital punishment is given in India in accordance to the gravity of the crime committed. Yakub’s execution is justified considering the crime he committed against the Republic of India and the common people of the country. He connived and actively conspired against the nation and killed hundreds of common people. He did not deserve to live at the cost of the Indian tax payers.

Appeasement is not only a national policy in India today but has now become a part of our national character. In many countries including India, the media and people are more than reluctant to use words like ‘Islamist’ and ‘Islamic terrorism’. But the Indian media and people, on the contrary, feel proud to speak about Hindu terrorism.

We have seen how the global media barked aloud when the Ronghiya Muslims were being hounded and persecuted by the Buddhist Burmese in Myanmar. We saw and read how the Burmese were being deplored in the worst possible language. We take a lot of umbrage when someone says ‘Muslims’ are carrying out violence across the world. We feel our morality injured beyond description in calling ‘Islamic terrorism’. Our liberalism is fake, phony and smacks of hypocrisy.

If we look at the history of terrorism, we will see that since 20th century, barring the current Islamic terrorism, none others were fundamentally theocratic. The IRA, the LTTE were all basically non-religious outfits and their movements, irrespective of whether they were right or wrong, were primarily political and not aimed at establishment of the superiority and purity of any faith.

On the contrary, in the current spate of violence, extremism and terrorism, we are witnessing quintessentially religious, Islamic and smacks of odious bigotry perpetrated by the Sunni Muslims. These are the perversions they use to justify their extremism, perpetuation of their violence against our civilization.

It is an equal perversion that we Indians and some so-called liberals, elsewhere beyond the shores of India, continuously ignore, exonerate extremism, murder of common people and violence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Boko Haram(i), Haqqani Network, KataibHezbollah, Taliban, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Toiba etc.

Yakub Memon was a terrorist and to lionize him and his execution is not only unfortunate but also is a perversion and betrayal of the country, the common people and families of those, this criminal conspired to murder.

Terrorists seek to destroy stability, to propagate their cause and terrify the nations and the government to accept their demands. All terrorism is criminal. Sometimes it is politically motivated and their violence is directed against innocent people.

One of the factor which can be considered as a cause of terrorism is that most nations are undergoing a process of drastic socio- economic change. There is unequal distribution of wealth. Consequently, out of frustration they attack society. Another factor is ethnicity – strife and racialism. When a group feels insecure, it searches for a strong identity and often results in fundamentalism.

To curb the growth and propagation of terrorism, to stop inhuman killing of innocent and peace loving people, the governments of all over the world seek to crack down on the menace and condemn terrorist activities as crimes against humanity.

No one should sponsor terrorism or play a role in it and political blackmailing must stop. Punishment for a terrorist should not be made light.The fight must be undertaken by united world strongly because progress without peace is unthinkable.

Mousumi Roy
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Mousumi Roy has a Masters (MA - Political Science) from Calcutta University and is a visiting professor of International Relations in Muscat, Oman

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