Sunday, February 10, 2013

news of an execution

yesterday morning i read on the internet about an execution. it was a long-awaited event by many in our country, and greeted with a range of emotions, ranging from a sense of satisfaction of justice finally having been done, to a sense of glee. we had proved that we are not a "soft" state, after all. 

but i have a sense of disquiet. given the judgement and verdict in the highest court of the land, which said that though the evidence against the accused is only circumstantial, given the nature of the crime, the collective conscience of society would only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender. is this any basis to take someone's life? arundhati roy states it more clearly here.

in addition, what worries me is the manner in which the execution was carried out. after years of delaying a decision on the mercy petition, and keeping the convicted man on death row (which amounts to torture, according to the same highest court in our country), it is rejected, the family is given no time to come and meet him one last time, and now they are denied the body for burial. is there no dignity in death for a person killed by the state? does his family have no rights at all? - they are all innocent victims of the whole process. one of the righteous on TV argued yesterday that since he did not think of the families of the victims when he attacked Parliament (he was not one of the attackers, incidentally), his family does not deserve any such consideration in turn. but is that a reason for the state not to be humane? where are we headed as a nation?