Prem Shankar Jha’s assessment in Lurking danger (October 20) on Afzal Guru’s hanging is unrealistic. Ground realities would suggest that the general atmosphere in Kashmir is now so communalised that even if Afzal is pardoned, peace and harmony in the Valley will still be a distant dream. Yet, no one in Kashmir is talking about the safe return and settlement of Kashmiri Pandits, refugees in their own state, to keep secular credentials alive.
Prem Shankar Jha’s analysis has merit. Clemency does not mean pardon and the judiciary goes by interpretation of evidence. This evidence, as has been seen in many cases, can also be tailored. There is a difference between a hard-core militant who kills and a person with insurgent leanings who advocates a cause; the former might need to be eliminated while punishment of the latter may be a step in his reform.
Prem Jha’s article is outrageous. Jha has blamed the BJP for urging the President to reject the clemency plea. But the BJP has only expressed national sentiments. Jha should know Afzal did not show any remorse for his unpardonable act.
With reference to the report No quota benefits for SC, ST elite (October 20), the apex court has given a balanced verdict. It is a fact that vote bank politics has been the bane of governance.
Reservations are meant for the weaker sections of society. If that benefit is cornered by the rich, there is no gain. The Supreme Court is right in saying that creamy layer should be kept outside the scope of the reservation.
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