Barkha Dutt in The battle for life (September 9) has taken forward the debate on capital punishment. Though many countries have abolished the death sentence, India is yet to do so — if at all. After all, the State should not be debarred from using capital punishment if it benefits society. As Dutt points out, the State is authorised to eliminate terrorists. The debate on death penalty needs to be continued till the time is ripe to develop better deterrents.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh
It must be realised that in India, influence, power and wealth can create an exit route out of any maze. The only people who end up on death row are the poor and socially marginalised. The present dispensation of justice needs correction as the majority of the nation is disillusioned with the judiciary.
It is unfortunate but true that people with money, muscle and political power always manage to get away in spite of evidence against them. The BMW case is just one of the many road accident cases where the rich have got away. Thankfully, the Mattoo and Jessica Lall cases have now been revived. There is no question of abolishing the death sentence in India. Laws are not only meant for reforming the accused but judgments also serve as balm on the wounds of the victim’s family and friends.
Barkha Dutt is correct in guessing that she is not alone in supporting the death sentence. Those who oppose the death sentence should have a word with the many who have lost their near and dear ones to gruesome acts.
If the court chooses death for the man who killed Priyadarshini Mattoo, no one will be sorry. If criminals and rapists like the accused in the Priyadarshini and Jessica cases are not given the punishments they deserve, it will send out wrong signals to other influential criminals.
Make the vaccine mandatory
The drive against polio in western UP (Crippled effort, September 15) has been held up because of the misinformation drive among Muslims. As a nation that upholds the ideals of liberty and minority rights, no stone must be left unturned in creating awareness of the vaccine and dispelling the misinformation. It is imperative that drops must be given, even if forcefully, by going from family to family. Compliance must be made mandatory.
Despite an intensive publicity campaign to promote the Pulse Polio campaign, the desired results have not been achieved. Apart from State agencies, more NGOs must be involved to make the programme a success.
Justice, at last
The 1993 Mumbai blasts case, which took hundreds of lives and left many more injured, is coming to its logical end. Though the Tada court has convicted some of the accused, they will undoubtedly appeal to higher courts. It may yet take decades for the case to be completely closed. The kind of emotional appeals that the convicted have made shows that they expected the judiciary to take a lenient view.
The three masterminds behind the 1993 Mumbai blasts are still at large. The judgment will be incomplete until they are arrested and punished. If they cannot be caught, they should be shot wherever they are. This may be harsh, but this is the punishment they deserve for masterminding the killing of hundreds of innocent people.
Take a stand
Sanjay Dutt’s film Lage Raho Munnabhai is all about Gandhian values that an average citizen does practice, if not always, at least some of the times. Dutt must also follow Gandhiji’s philosophy and admit to the truth about his involvement in the Tada case. He will be even more respected then.
Thank the media
With reference to Pankaj Vohra’s article Bending the law (September 11), the media must be appreciated for awakening the nation to the injustices in the Jessica, Mattoo and Katara cases.
With an unbeaten 141 runs in Kuala Lumpur, Sachin Tendulkar has once again silenced his critics. His bat showed his class and authority and it was almost as if he was never out of form. With his power-packed display of 13 fours and five sixes, he gave a strong message that talent, along with practice and discipline, can always make a sportsperson bounce back. It is also a tribute to modern medical techniques for treating sport injuries.
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