The shifting middle ground
Barkha Dutt?s argument on Afzal?s death sentence may be construed as a violation of the judicial process of the country.india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 06:43 IST
In every important debate, two extreme positions are assumed by the participants. Barkha Dutt refers to these as knee-jerk responses and the death of the middle path. However, Dutt’s argument on Afzal’s death sentence, too, may be construed as a violation of the judicial process of the country, if not as downright contempt. So the BJP’s reaction in this case cannot be faulted. With Uttar Pradesh assembly elections round the corner, they do not want to waste the opportunity of playing the communal card. The government has deliberately prolonged the decision on this issue in its quest to appease the minority community and undermine the security of the country.
Middle grounds are essentially self-propagating and the tool of cowards who do not wish to take a stand for fear of hurting their image. Besides, middle grounds are also variable, depending on the extremes. If Afzal had been sentenced to
life imprisonment, the middle ground would have shifted in favour of freeing him.
The move to delay the process of justice by seeking clemency for Afzal by some legal luminaries — who, while pursuing Geelani’s case, had remained silent on Afzal all these years — is deplorable. These people have shown insensitivity to the traditionally non-violent Kashmiri society by claiming clemency for Afzal and implying widespread support for pan-Islamic terrorism among Kashmiris in general. It is a travesty of justice that the agitation is being spearheaded by people who admitted to ferrying weapons from Pakistan and indoctrinated gullible Muslims into initiating a bloody campaign that saw the genocide of Pandits.
Justice at last
At last the wheel of justice in the Jessica Lall murder case has come a full circle, just like in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case. It will reaffirm the faith of the common public in the judiciary. But there are certain points to be pondered upon. Both the cases were reopened after public protest, backed by the media. Why should people be forced to take the path of protest to get justice?
Everyone rejoiced at the sentences awarded to Manu Sharma and others. It is a lesson for all those witnesses who, in future, may think of changing their statements under pressure or for pelf.
It is a matter of pride that in contrast to the corruption and dirty politics prevailing in government, the judiciary has exhibited its competence and professionalism. The court deserves the gratitude of the entire nation for delivering a just verdict, convicting Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill. This judgment will go a long way in fostering faith in our judiciary.
The conviction of Manu Sharma and two others is a victory for the media. The fourth estate has proved that it plays an important role in protecting the common man’s interests. This judgment also reaffirms our trust in the judiciary.
The conviction of Manu Sharma and his associates sends out a message to the rich and powerful that they are not above the law of the land. The verdict also gives hope to those who don’t have the resources to fight for justice.
Apropos of Pargat Singh’s article Ready, steady... (December 21), schools are the sports nurseries where talent can be identified. The talented children then should be groomed to become our future sports stars. They should be provided special packages and the best training in specialised centres that have equipped with modern, scientific facilities.
Rein in Mamata
The people of West Bengal are suffering because of the continuing Singur saga. The The Trinamool Congress’s actions, both now and in the past, show lack of concern for the common man. The frequent bandhs that it calls in the state affect mainly the daily wagers. Keeping in mind the poor, the government must find an early solution to the Singur problem.
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First Published: Dec 23, 2006 06:43 IST