Hanging is futile

  • Khushwant Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 24, 2013 22:09 IST

The hanging of Afzal Guru on Saturday, the 9th of this month, should once again remind us of the futility of killing murderers. It does not have the slightest impact on the incidents of murders. By now we should have learnt that  killing killers does not reduce the number of murders that take place. Most advanced countries have abolished the death penalty.

It has not increased the incidents of murders. There are other forms of punishments that have proved more deterrent than depriving the guilty person of his or her life. Hanging them is medieval barbarism.  More effective deterrent would be to isolate them from society and deprive them of every kind of contact including use of postal and telephone facilities.  

Following this argument, I believe that hanging Afzal Guru was a mistake. The President should have used his powers to convert death sentence to imprisonment for life with hard labour.  People convicted of murder should be force d to live in isolation without any contact with their family or friends.

They should be made to do the menial job like clearing latrines and sweeping prison floors for the rest of their lives. That is why I believe that hanging Afzal Guru was a mistake. It sent the wrong signal to the public. Most Muslims believe that his life would have been spared if he had not been a Muslim. I am inclined to agree with them.

I hope very much that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is a forward-looking man of liberal views will, during his tenure in office, initiate legislation to abolish death penalty.


“When my client’s wife first handed the new-born baby to him, “Jian Feng’s lawyer told a court in norther Chinea” he was appalled at how incredibly ugly it was.  He is a handsome man, and he had married a beautiful woman, so naturally he suspected his wife of infidelity, and confronted her.

“After DNA tests confirmed that they were indeed the natural parents, the wife confessed a secret to her husband. Before they had met, she had undergone more than $1,00,000 worth of intense cosmetic surgery in South Korea, to drastically improve her appearance.  She showed him “before and after” pictures, which confirmed a marked improvement in her looks. When Feng found out about  these procedures, he was outraged, and immediately filed for divorce, claiming that the woman had convinced him to marry under false pretences.”

Jian Feng later told the judge that “I married my wife out of love, but as soon as we had our first daughter, we began having marital issues. Our daughter is incredibly ugly, to the point where it horrifies me.”

(Courtesy Private Eye, London)


Husbands are an unpredictable lot
Ever craving for what can’t be got
When things are cold, they like it hot
Always wanting what is not.God help them!

Then heart’s desire,now they have won with their pretty spouse,  poised ever ready to comeLife becomes one long, long stretch of funWith all play and not an ounce of work done.God bless them !

(Courtesy Poets International – MM, Rajmani Kumar, Bangalore)

Test of patience

My friend Melvin Pinto’s otherwise healthy marriage was tested often by Melvin’s outspoken admiration for tall, loggy women.  His pretty wife, Nancy, generally ignored these comments, but once in my presence, she lost her temper and asked angrily, “Melvin, if you like tall women with long legs so much, why did you marry me?”

Witty Melvin answered, “ I thought you’d grow !”


At the opening of a new school, an aged minister addressed the audience “ Ladies and gentlemen, many of you may be sorry to see the end of the fine old school, now merged with the girls’ high school.  There are naturally some things that boys can do that girls cannot, and some things that girls can do that boys cannot.  But believe me, the best are the things that boys and girls can do together.”

 (Contributed by Reeten Ganguly, Tezpur)


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With Malice Towards One And All

A first lady for all seasons

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