Principle, Piety or Prejudice?
Is it a mere coincidence that almost all signatories to save Yakub were known to have pathological hatred for Narendra Modi?
So it’s not piety or principle, its prejudice. Varun Gandhi who first opposed Yakoob’s hanging, and then realised that his observation could lead to his being shown the door immediately issued a statement that he was opposed to Yakoob’s capital punishment on matter of principle—he wanted capital punishment abolished completely. So, poor Varun, already not in good books of his leadership, had to hide behind the first P—principle.
Anand Grover lawyer for Yakub Memon, after the final appeal was rejected by Supeme Court early morning on July 30 claimed he had no motives for defending Yakub and was doing it pro-bono.
However, in a momentary lapse he blurted out that he was doing this “because he was against Modi”. That’s the real long and short of it. All this nonsense was rightly described by the AG, Mukul Rohtagi, as “abuse of process”. Yakub’s lawyers were abusing the process of law which provided them such luxurious latitude. The abuse of law and the process was not because the 25 ‘eminent’ people had suddenly developed sympathy and affection for Yakub or were trying for fair verdict but basically they are Modi-haters.
It is the third P (rejudice) that motivated these hon’ble gentlemen and ladies to go on appealing to the President and outshout others during TV discussions. Can anyone recall such noisy protestation when Maqbool Butt or recently Afzal Guru was hanged? The personal grudge or hate for present dispensation rather than any feeling for Yakub or due to any principle that the protests and appeals were due to.
This is something law-makers will have to address to prevent such frivolous burning of midnight oil for an unworthy cause. It is the same with all the media barons whose suzerainty has been taken away very subtly by Modi Sarkar. They too crooned for Yakub only because of their political persuasions—hatred for Modi and portray him as the person under whom another Muslim would be hanged- Simple! Political hatred and money, of course.
They indeed loathe Modi. In fact, never before so many ‘intellectuals and liberals, all with secularism as their creed’ have surfaced to try and convince the Government that Yakub Memon’s hanging would be travesty of law. Although right from TADA court to the Supreme Court he was said to be the main conspirator, a large number of tweets regularly appeared. During TV discussions defenders of the ones who thought Yakub was guilty were rudely told they knew nothing. What is amazing is that most pro-Yakub are scholars, scientists, senior journalists. How did they suddenly wake up to conclude that Yakub deserved a VIP Guest House and not the gallows?
The whole thing started with the 100 finally arraigned for the serial bomb-blasts– made of 13 bombs placed at crowded locations. It was the longest ever trial—over 20 years. Conservative estimate is that 257 were killed and 1400 injured. Yakub Memon was found to be the main conspirator. The Supreme Court later decided that the conspirator is guilty more than those who were paid to plant bombs etc. It was also the first time when most Indians learned about RDX, the deadly explosive. For the record, it was also the first serial bomb-blast across the world. When we saw bullets sprayed in all directions by 26/ 11 terrorists including Kasab our blood boiled. How could the signatories forget about the victims of Yakub and Co. Were 257, disposable human beings? Have any of the signatories visited homes of the victims? If these ladies and gentlemen felt nothing about the people who died as bombs with shrapnel hit them, how did their hearts melt at the thought of a convicted person being hanged until dead. Was it piety, the second P, or prejudice, the third P. A normal person, who is not like Yakub’s lawyer Anil Grover, would seek instant death for the perpetrators. But 22 years later Yakub (one of the key perpetrators) has been turned into some kind of a martyr. How did things come to such a pass?
The SC handed out a death sentence to Yakub. This was confirmed in a review petition and the President also rejected his mercy petition in April 2014. There was lull after that. The storm returned when the Maharashtra government announced around July 15 that Yakub would be hanged on July 30.
This was the cue for intellectuals and Leftists to come out from their forced somnolence and through innuendoes take out their hatred of Modi. The third P, prejudice came into full play. A host of lawyers, media nawabs looking pale and lean and hacktivists sprouted from nowhere to seek commutation of death sentence, mercy for his crime and so on.
Over 25 so-called “eminent” persons petitioned the President for mercy and a small list of the ‘eminent’ was published in The Hindu. These flag-bearers name was etched in the Lutyens Hall of Fame. And as Ravinaar put it “among the many Rudaalis from Politics, media and other assorted hacktivists who glorify terrorists and seek sympathy for them.”
The ground for commutation changed according to circumstances. It was initially claimed the evidence was flawed—FALSE. Then it was claimed Yakub had surrendered (Based on some unpublished note of the late RAW officer B.Raman cleverly exploited by Sheela Bhatt of Rediff) so deserved sympathy and not death sentence—FALSE. This even Yakub did not say. When none of that could be backed by any justification, the secularists (called sicularists) resorted to first P that they were against death penalty in principle. In short, save Yakub by hook or crook even when the SC had gone through his case with a fine tooth-comb.
THESE are the hypocrites who scream “Death to the rapists” after every incident of rape; so long they have political reasons to defend the offender.
It is time to distinguish between the state and individual. The state is paramount. National Security Adviser (NSA) of India Ajit Doval has explained the dilemma one faces between “individual morality” and the “value system of the state”.
“State is necessary. If it is necessary, protecting itself will be its supreme role. Individual morality cannot be inflicted on the larger interest of society. The nation will have to take recourse to all means to protect itself. And in this, it cannot afford to subjugate what is in its long-term interest,” he said.
He further narrated an incident on the eve of the hanging, somebody tweeted him a statement by an important leader that—State-sponsored killing diminishes us all by reducing us to murderers too… I am not going into the propriety, exigency or the correctness of the statement. There is something which is in public interest, in the larger interests of the nation and of generations of Indians yet to take birth,” he said.
Elaborating on the instruments available with the state, he said “the first duty of Government of
India is to protect itself. In this protection, conflict of interest is automatic… When state acts in a judicial way in the due process of law, its actions are correct, and it does not reduce you to murderers.”
The eminent must understand what Doval has said, unless they have decided to fade away unnoticed and unlamented. Politics and crime cannot be mixed nor can individual abhorrence overshadow interest of the state.
It is noteworthy here that from July 28 onward petition after petition was filed by Yakub’s lawyers while another mercy petition was submitted to the President. July 29 evening the SC rejected the final appeal and the President too rejected the mercy petition. Wait! It wasn’t over!
Late in the night the lawyers of Yakub filed another petition at the residence of CJI seeking a 14 day gap to the execution. All frivolous attempts were made to somehow stall the inevitable. It is commendable that the CJI again convened the court in early hours on July 30 to hear the final appeal. This too was rejected. That the CJI and SC gave so much latitude is worthy of applause. This wasn’t a routine bail case—it was a case of a man’s life hanging in the balance and the CJI did the right thing and a splendid job. The ones who failed our judiciary were Yakub’s lawyers, our criminal media and activists.
People are not fooled. Almost everyone suspects that the lawyers, activists and media have a huge amount of cash-flow from some yet “unknown” sources that promote Islamic extremism and domination. Although the noise was much less then, similar voices started agitating against the hanging of Kasab and Afzal Guru (both were hanged secretly by the previous government unlike Yakub).
Grover, Yakub’s lawyer, even went on to quote Shekhar Gupta’s stupid argument—that the Home Minister was chasing crooks like Teesta and NGOs instead of preventing attacks like Gurdaspur being one of his motives to defend Yakub. Are you serious? This is one of your stupid motives for defending Yakub? This is truly shameful for a highly placed lawyer because there is no context or connection. All those who defended and wanted mercy for Yakub had no real motive for justice other than their political persuasions and possibly cash-flow. Many activists and media morons went to the extreme of even slamming the SC for being unfair. This, when the SC had stretched itself beyond normal to repeatedly hear petitions for Yakub way into the early hours of July 30 and stretching the legal process for a terrorist that would never be done for other ordinary persons.
And it went on and on and on till the final hammer of SC came down on the appeals around 5am on July 30. “The defence never rests” and it never should is what I consider one of my best articles. But stretching it to frivolous levels is not defence but abuse of process motivated by political persuasions and perhaps truckloads of money. Rudaali-in-Chief Barkha Dutt stayed up all night and when the inevitable happened, she rushed to Mumbai to meet victims of Yakub and the 1993 blasts and scavenge on their misery. One way or another feed on the wounds of any kind. That’s our media.
There are laws and punishment for rapes, thefts and murders—Do such laws or punishments deter such crimes at all? Laws and punishments are no deterrent for “evil” that resides within some men and women. There is no cure for that. Most people would have had no problems had Yakub Memon’s sentence been commuted to life instead of death. But the severe chest-beating by all these crooks only made the public angrier. As against petitions to the President for mercy, some victims also started petitions to the President for death to Yakub. I estimated many in the public wanted death for Yakub not so much because they wanted him dead but because they hold these chest-beaters and terrorist-sympathisers in greater contempt.
Life sentence is sometimes worse than death. As Mr Red so philosophically says in “Shawshank”—“They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take away”.
Either way, those sympathising with a criminal like Yakub are no less criminals There are other reasons for death sentence. India has paid a heavy price in the past. Most people remember the hijacking of IC814 in December 1999 when we succumbed and released three extreme terrorists who have now set up new terror outfits in Pakistan. There’s the case of Maqbool Butt who wasn’t executed and an Indian diplomat in London was kidnapped and murdered—Indira Gandhi later approved the hanging of Butt. And all those hypocrites who claim to be against death penalty in principle remained absolutely silent when India (under UPA) voted in the UN against its abolishment. I don’t suggest India should have gone with the UN proposal but these campaigners remained silent, including the happy-tongue-hypocrite Shashi Tharoor. Terrorists may kill one of a family only once but our media and activists kill the victims’ families over and over again.
By Vijay Dutt