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Updated: November 25, 2012 02:54 IST

A question of rights and wrongs

V. R. Krishna Iyer
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Ajmal Kasab
Ajmal Kasab

"Society made him a criminal and a murderer''

Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death in the early hours of November 21 as a terrorist and as a killer. When he grew up in rural Pakistan, he had had only his primary education, and his parents were poor.

He was doubtless driven to despair, eventually becoming a hardened operator. Society made him a criminal and a murderer. He was of course guilty of the 26/11 round of killings and havoc in Mumbai.

Nevertheless, killing him secretly should be seen as injustice. Handing down the death sentence is a crime, and resort to the means of hanging makes it even more horrendous. In many ways, we are all guilty — all of humanity that abetted his killing and burial but could not reform him.

In my humble view, all humane societies, especially a society that swears by the Indian Constitution that is rooted in compassion, should abolish judicial executions. Mahatma Gandhi was against it. So was Jawaharlal Nehru.

Much more humane and touching has been the kindly attitude of Sonia Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi was brutally killed, and some of those who plotted and moved for the murder were sentenced to death.

Sonia Gandhi, a mother with a gentle heart, wrote thus to President K.R. Narayanan, spelling out her views against the hanging of her husband’s murderers.

She wrote: “[The] Supreme Court of India has confirmed the death sentence on four persons who were responsible for the assassination of my beloved husband Rajiv Gandhi.

“Our family does not think that the four held responsible for the heinous murder of my dear husband must be hanged. My son, my daughter or myself do not wish that the four murderers be hanged.

“In particular, we do not at all wish Nalini, mother of an eight-year-old child, to be hanged. I am aware how my children miss their father and we do not want another child to lose its parents together and get orphaned.

“As you are well aware, my children Rahul and Priyanka and myself are suffering untold mental agony day in, day out due to the loss of our beloved Rajiv. But neither my children nor myself would like the persons responsible for my husband’s tragic end to be hanged.

“Hence I humbly request you to stop their hanging and grant them pardon when they seek your clemency.”

When I was Kerala Home Minister in the 1950s, I had occasion to handle some pleas for commutation of the death sentence. In all those cases, I favoured the avoidance of the death sentence. Even as the State Governor was trying to express his views in one particular case, I intervened and said, no. In two cases I had strongly opposed the death sentence, and my view appealed to Lord Scarman, sitting in the Privy Council. He wrote to me an unusual letter mentioning how he was deeply touched by my passionate opposition to the death sentence.

Indeed, half the number of nations of our world have abolished the death sentence — including Great Britain. Lord Mountbatten was treacherously assassinated. But the assassin was not given the death sentence. For, Great Britain had abolished the death penalty. Even in the United States, many States have no provision for the death sentence. I have no doubt in my heart that Gandhiji’s country should not have killed Ajmal Kasab, who was after all young, and belonged to a poor family. Pakistani or not, he was a human being.

(The writer is a former Supreme Court judge)

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Idealism has to be balanced with pragmatism. We are a poor country, and we have enemies. Keeping people (who have murdered Indians) in jail instead of hanging them causes two problems which we do not have the resources to bear - one, the enormous cost of maintaining them - already due to the various security issues we have seen how many crores were spent on keeping Kasab in jail. Secondly, our enemies will see opportunities to further weaken us by using the jailed terrorists as bargaining chips like it happened in the Kandahar hijacking case.
Ideally speaking, like the learned ex--Justice says, the death penalty is bad.
But balancing the ideal with the pragmatic, it is quite clear that at the current moment in our history, we need to retain the death penalty. Simply because we cannot afford not to.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 13:32 IST

There is thin line where and where we should not have tolerance. Even our great god Lord Krishna asked Arjun to take a right decision and eliminate people who may be or are a threat to society. Compassion should not turn into weakness. Countries like USA and UK do not tolerate killing of their innocent citizens even if it is by brain washed people. Brainwashed or not , they are a threat to the very existence of humanity and should be dealt appropriately.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 14:44 IST

Death Sentence is some form of a "Judicially Sanctioned Murder",we
certainly are experiencing the most difficult phase in the history of
human race.

from:  Venkataramanan Ramasethu
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 14:17 IST

With all due respect to the author of this article and his enormous experience and wisdom, this sounds more like an exaltation of the Nehru family and more so of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.
Sir, I am sure History, for a man of your stature is like the back of your hand. Great Britain, a country which you have glorified in your article, is a country which had colonised the world and looted many countries of their culture, freedom and their rights to live a dignified life. I am sure you will agree with me that they have murdered lakhs of people before "so-called abolishing" death penalty. When it comes to compassion towards criminals and terrorists, a nation can not be and should not be built according to the views of any single person even if the person is Nehru or Gandhiji himself. Practical thinking and adaptation is a must. When India and innocent Indians are being attacked and killed Sir, being a "ahimsa waadi" is going to get us all killed as simple as that.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 11:57 IST

I also appreciate that Kasab should not be hanged. As we children make mistake our parents forgive sowhy cannot we?I was very angry on kasab as he had killed so man people but hearing his last words "allah kasam maaf kar do agli baar se aisi galati nahi hogi".My heart melted for him he should not be hanged.

from:  Twinkle Singh
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 10:04 IST

There can be no comparison of LTTE (Nalini) with Kasab. The LTTE started of fighting Sinhalese chauvinism and ended up killing Rajiv Gandhi... As such they were motivated by a specific cause/ideology (whether right or wrong) and they did not have hatred for humanity or innocent bystanders.
The Islamic terrorists like Kasab have a visceral hatred for everybody not subscribing to their narrow viewpoint.
The reason of LTTE militants might remain suspended whenever the Tamil Eelam cause kicks-in. However the reason of the Islamic militants is suspended for ever as they ask for complete subscription to their viewpoint... and have a litany of causes..

Finally one should also take into consideration the lives and sacrifices of the country men. A live Kasab could have been used as a pawn by the terrorists for bargaining/blackmailing the state (similar to the Kandarhar hijacking)...
Good that he was put to sleep.

from:  Milind
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 09:52 IST

There is no end to making right decision, he was a rutheless murderer
hanging him indicates to the world that what he did is a horrible
thing. If we let him loose like our politicians he will make another
26/11 then whom to blame? because of this kind of weak hearted thoughts
we loose unity and security in india. Just because he is a muslim dont
show this sympathy, thousands of innocent people around the world
dieing because of terrorist attack who is responsible of Judiciary
turns out to be Mother Theresa. In india with the corrupt politics i am
proud that Kasab was hanged to show justice to millions

from:  Harsha
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 08:19 IST

I agreed that India has freedom of speech and everybody has the equal
right of expressing one's own idea. But for the sake of few pages in
print media or a column in e-print,expression of ideas without due
consideration of the families who lost their dear ones in the 26/11
attack is highly inconsiderate coming from a former supreme court
Judge.Our writer must be very familiar with term of " rarest of the
rare" case as i am very sure the case of Ajmal falls in that
category.The execution will never erased the pains and agony of lost
ones neither it will give satisfaction of the sense of a "vengeance"
to the families.The Gandhian principle or the sense of developed
societies as quoted by the author like Great Britain or USA is highly
irrelevant in this case.By making the execution, India makes a strong
message to the World of that it stands and can do against
"Terrorisim". Where is the compassionate side of the so called Human
right activist when mumbai was burning ??

from:  shyamananda singh
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 06:32 IST

The line between right and wrong is very thin.Neither we can judge the
plight of Kasab nor we can feel the sufferings of victims of terrorist
attacks, but a person who chooses wrong way of retaliation will have to
face the consequences. There are so many poor people in the world , that
does not mean all need to pick up weapons to fight against injustice.The
world is becoming more restless day by day because tolerance level of
men is decreasing and ego is taking its place. Only a shift of
perception can save the world now.

from:  Vidhi
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 01:18 IST

Sir, with all respect i would like you to say these words
to the members of the families who have lost there loved
ones without any reason just because of this human being
who was no less than a butcher, just with a difference he
had a gun , more proficient in killing..i believe if you
are a human being you ought to act like one...its true
those who forgive have big hearts.But the acts of
forgivenesses which you have mentioned is done by those
families who enjoy happily a three time meals....say these
words to the families whose sole breadwinner is dead and
are still asking as for which crime was there loved one or
loved ones mercilessly killed by the human ajmal kasab

from:  ajit singh
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 00:48 IST

I disagree with the author. The execution of the terrorist upheld by the honorable court must be accepted by everyone. Justice has been served.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 at 00:15 IST

People from across the border must understand the complexity and situation that these fanatics put them in or exploit them in the name of religion.

from:  shishir
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 23:22 IST

I don't believe any state, least of all, a great nation like India, with legacy of forbearance and
tolerance, should ever take a life, for no one has the power to create one. I understand that a
situation like an active war is different.
The most convincing reason quoted for Kasab's hanging was to teach a lesson for people not to repeat such a terrible act. But interestingly, people believing in such logic forget the fact that these acts are not committed by men with mental strength and sound thinking. These are all acts of the weak and irrational people driven by some kind of fear. Hanging such criminals may not drive lasting peace.
Dear people, please strive for non violence! Shanti, shanti, shanti

from:  Kiran
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 22:56 IST

i think one country should have the right to award the criminal "the
death sentence".because fear of crime can decrease the number of
crime.if there is no fear of crime any one can do it easily.n i m very
happy when i listen that KASAB was hanged,there are many poor people in
india but no one attak on other country n kill many inocent
people.without any burning desire OF war with other no one can be 'A

from:  siddhant
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 22:44 IST

The whole world is divided on the capital punishment.But major
countries have opposed the hanging. Of course awarding life imprisonment is one way of making him realize his mistake.But that will
not help his impoverished family. Whether giving life sentence will
teach him a lesson is not the question. The question is the life
sentence will act as a deterrent is a debatable point. It is noble and
easy to suggest that capital punishment is to be abolished. but the
victim,s family will never agree

from:  E.Sivasankaran
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 22:02 IST

I completely disagree and am appauled by the view expressed in the article. I believe that men in India don't fear the judicial system because they know they can get away with anything. Any sympathy for a terrorist who ruthlessly took the lives of various innocent people must be condemned. Humane treatment is for humans not cold blooded murderers. Take the Katalkar case e.g. where this stalker who was let out on bail attacked the innocent girl who is fighting for her life in the ICU today. This aspect of democracy cripples the nation's social fabric because assailants are unafraid of the law. They are allowed back into society scott free.

from:  Ragini
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 20:38 IST

A professor of psychiatry who deals with traumatized children was
telling in a talk that the depravity of Kasab pales into insignificance
when compared the depravity of the tormentors of the children he treats.
He also says that such people live like honourable people among us
whereas kasab’s crime could be identified and punished. I strongly feel
that death sentence that too carried out in a secretive manner is wrong.
Terrorism of any brand can be tackled effectively only when we start
understanding why they do what they do.

from:  Baikadi Suryanarayana Rao
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 18:30 IST

It is now time to abolish the death penalty in India, as it has been in many countries and as befits a civilised nation. There is also no convincing evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent. Countries without the death penalty have less capital crimes.

from:  Amardeo Sarma
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 17:35 IST

One must understand what is life,death or freedom before debating this issue.People offer opinions on many abstract undefined experiences from their ignorance rather than knowledge.I'm a psychiatrist who has also worked in Prisons.
I am convinced that death is preferable to life without freedom.Captivity imposes more and enduring suffering than death.We who are unfamiliar with death personally,don't know anything about death to pass a moral judgement on the same state.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 17:30 IST

It is unfortunate this man was hanged. He was a mere tool when he committed acts of
aggression against india and its people. But he has been so helpful all this days, acts of
aggression and terrorism and the state of Pakistan had to always lower their head, even in
denial! But for him it would have been difficult for India to estabish the culpability of Pakistan.
And who knows he might have one day turned to repentance. And come out with more truth
and damaging facts against terrorism! We put an end to such a great opportunity.vengence
will never give us peace or solve our issues with terrorism. Understanding, tolerance,
compassion and magnanimity would. As Krishna iyer says, in principle we and our country
need to choose and stand with the more enlightened nations by abolishing death penalty for
anyone, and giving a chance to repent and chage for better! Any type of killing is no good
death, not only for the one dead, but for all of us living and our future generations!

from:  Dr.v.v.chalapathi
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 16:58 IST

everyone.. every human being is a person loved by his family. so, i
would like to ask a question to the writer of this article, who i am
sure wont be a former supreme court judge but is just an amateur
writer, "shall we stop criminal court proceedings totally for the
stupid words like compassion and humanity which mean nothing to these
Articles such as these simply hurt the sentiments of thousands of
human beings who were at the receiving ends of 26/11. what about the
soldiers who died in this.? their families ? dint they deserve
compassion ?
To 'THE HINDU' - please stop publishing such baseless articles that
depress crores across INDIA.

from:  shreyash rukari
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 16:32 IST

There are many poor persons in India, should everyone pick up the weapon to survive. I can't understand, how a Jugde can think about the mercy to such terrorist.

from:  Rahul Dev
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 16:01 IST

I do not advocate the death penalty but until this has been taken out of the statute books, I have no guilt as far as Kasab's execution is concerned. Justice was served as per the provisions in the legal framework of the Republic of India. If people feel strongly enough about this issue then they should fight to have the law amended.

from:  Samir Mody
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 16:01 IST

I could only think of the lines by Kahlil Gibran.

"Oftentimes have i heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as
though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder
upon your world.
But i say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond
the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is
in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of
the whole tree,
So the wrongdoer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all"

I agree that kasab mercilessly killed many people. But what have we
done in retaliation ? If we start killing all kasabs who are just
pawns, this war will never end. Death can never result in peace. The
world needs to focus on eradicating the root rather than disposing its
rotten berries. As the old adage says, "Every child is born good, but
the society and its people make it bad".

from:  Edward Nelson
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:51 IST

I was happy listening that Kasab was hanged. But now, after reading this
article i incline to the fact that death penalty should be abolished. We
are all humans. We commit mistakes. We should be given a chance to
correct them. I agree that killing hundreds isnt a small thing. But we
as a nation that boast to be a follower of gandhi, hanging kasab is
something to be thought of. Kasab committed murder. We too did the same.
Instead we should have reformed him.

from:  Anudeep
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:50 IST

Yes, he must not be hanged If all families of those who were killed (ie.
Victims) in 26/11 had asked for it.

from:  Mohamed Rafik
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:50 IST

If India need to abolish capital punishment. why all the armed military
force. It is because to safe guard the interest of people. hanging
sends strong message against terrorism.

from:  keerthi
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:10 IST

I think it would be pertinent to note that Kasab's actions might not have
been his own, but simply a small drop in the grander scheme of things
orchestrated by terrorist organizations. By that reckoning, Kasab was a
mere pawn, brainwashed in doing their bidding.
Killing a man for being gullible is harsh. A life sentence would have
been adequate. As for resources, need I remind you that countless
murderers get off on lighter sentences, when they have consciously sought
out and murdered innocent men and women in cold blood. India hung a man
who, albeit guilty, was simply led astray by the wrong company.

from:  Emma
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:09 IST

The author talks about one person ,Kasab, who was killed after due process of law. But he does not talk about 9 other persons who were killed during 26/11. Does he want to say that guns should not have used by Indian security forces? Does He suggest that those persons of NSG should be prosecuted because they have killed Terrorists? Author who was once known for logical thinking should not have said only about those hanged but also about those killed 9 members of killer team.

from:  ANIL P.
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:47 IST

In the case we should say each and every person who commits a crime is a
product of his society and therefore he should be free even after
committing a crime and should be allowed to commit the crime over and
again... Hindu should be responsible with these kind of stupid articles

from:  Jeo Joy
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:46 IST

Hanging Kasab is not a deterrent to future terrorists.

from:  Maha
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:43 IST

sir, your article was a fine food for thought. And i totally agree that society as always, shied away from taking its share of the burden of responsibility. Thus it was ebullient when it should have been circumspect. But after a decade of regular terrorist attacks, all of which seemed to offer discomfiting clues, though only in retrospect, Kasab's case had become that of a government's and its establishments', trying hard to regain its credibility before its own people by bringing at least one act or perpetrator to book, in a way that is both exemplary and within the ambit of our legal system. The government cannot be faulted as it had no other recourse.
But the issue of death penalty does deserve some serious deliberation.

from:  anish suresh
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:16 IST

I feel , those countries who are opposing death penalty is just political. What could be the reason behind not giving death penalty to a person who has committed murder/killing ??

A valid punishment is meant to create a fear among other's in the society so that they should not think of repeating this crime again.

I feel Kasab should have been hanged much before after he was found guilty.

from:  Irshad Mehmooso
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:06 IST

There's always your way, my way and the right way. Maybe capital
punishment is not the right way to go. But wasting public money on a
psychopath can in no way be justified.

from:  rajesh gusain
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:03 IST

Being driven to do a crime is not an excuse. Dont the rich commit crimes. You can always blame the upbringing in their case. If you let such crimes go unpunished, next time being driven to crime would be a lot easier. India with rogue neighbors cannot be a soft state. By letting law take its course India has shown to be a mature country.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 14:03 IST

First of all the article represents the personal opinion of a judge and
he may as well be allowed to bear it. Capital punishment is a
contentious issue and is important enough for us to consider its
viability even for heinous crimes committed. However, debatable or not,
capital punishment is exemplary in the truest sense because death
penalty seemingly is the most effective antidote for building a crime
prevention mechanism. Can an imprisonment for a life-time be as good a
deterrent as death penalty? It is not a rhetoric question but an
inquisitive one. We can take the example of rape convicts. On numerous
instances they have been out to the gallows, yet the crime has not
stopped proliferating! Reformation is the key issue that needs to be
taken into account. Kasab till the last minute was not guilty of his
crime, however he went on appealing on the agenda that he was subjected
to indiscriminate brain-wash and hence deserves exhibition of mercy!

from:  Upasana Bose
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:41 IST

What happens if another terrorist unit hijacked one of our passenger planes and demanded the release of Kasab (like what happened during BJP regime)? Wouldn't we have perpetuated this evil? A decade back, I held he same opinion as yours on capital punishment. But, upon seeing the carnage at Bombay, and Kasab's merciless role in it, I feel it was fit that he was hanged AFTER all due judicial process. Of course, we don't need to rejoice over his hanging - he deserved death and much more. I say this without any hatred towards him - it was still a pity that he became a pawn in terrorist game but that did not absolve him of his heinous act of killing scores of innocents. Keeping him alive would have been dangerous for the country. Even in countries that have abolished death sentence, Kasab should have been an exception that called for a capital punishment. I only wish that the punishment could have been a simple lethal injection instead of this archaic noose around his neck.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:27 IST

Just because former Supreme Court Judge says hanging Kasab was not right
doesn't mean it actually was !
Criminals must be punished else there would be no fear and crime will go
on increasing...

from:  Rohit Wadhwa
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:09 IST

The arguments of the great Justice V R Krishna Iyer are most
compelling. I was happy when I heard of Kasab's hanging but now I am
confused. Of course, I was aware that Kasab was less than a poor pawn
in this complex game of the 26/11 attack. The day Kasab was hanged, I
was upset with a human rights lawyer by the name of Vrinda Grover who
was one of the guests on a CNN-IBN TV programme conducted by Rajdeep
Sardesai. I simply could not appreciate Vrinda-ji's stand. Now, with
this article, I am richer, and I am also apologetic for my harsh views
on hearing Vrinda-ji. Thank you to "The Hindu".

from:  Nileen Putatunda
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:04 IST

If the logic is extrapolated then there is no requirement of Army and
armed forces. The world will run and operate on Mercy and Justice.
The next logical happening will be freeing the crime doer and expecting
that the sufferer will forgive all.
a person sitting in the safety of bodyguard can provide such comments.

from:  Shailesh
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:03 IST

I strongly disapprove of the photo accompanying this article; I beg to
differ with the retired judge. Any number of arguments are not
acceptable to us when innocents were killed by these terrorists. In fact
we are so much upset about spending crores in providing safe shelter,
lawyers to plead for to horrible persons like these.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 12:40 IST

with due respect,Mr.krishna iyer..i beg to disagree with you..pardoning
the assassins indirectly intimidate them to get prone to indulge in more
such brutal attacks which drastically affects the state of the nation as
a whole..also showing clemency towards kasab for his destitute and as an
illiterate is by no means can be warranted as you don't need either
baskets of money or a bunch of credentials to know that "KILLING IS A

from:  UDAY
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 12:34 IST

I disagreed

from:  shabana
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 11:41 IST

If not hanged then what we should have done provided him food and
shelter for another decade and spent our country economy on the one who
murdered country's own children OR would have waited for another attack
by some other terrorists or a plain hijack claiming for release of kasab
in consideration....

from:  anand verma
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 11:31 IST

Half the article was about 'soft-hearted' Sonia Gandhi. I don't understand why Kasab should not have been hanged. What is the alternative if he should not have been hanged? Due diligence was given at every stage of the process leading to the execution. Lot of people, including top officials have given thought throughout the process. Though I respect the author's opinion, I feel it is just the opinion of insignificant representation from the whole nation.

from:  Ranjeeth
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 11:29 IST

I disagree with the author's take. I will not repeat what other
readers who share my opinion have already said. But one fact the
author needs to know that Sonia Gandhi and her family's letter to the
President do not really make for a good example. Any pragmatic citizen
can clear see the political mileage they are trying to gain through
this act of forgiveness.

Its high time we dealt with terrorism from across the border and
within our country with an iron hand.

from:  Rohit Kshirsagar
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 11:20 IST

The author makes a valid point against capital punishment. However, it fails to bring
forth remedies or methods that should be implemented to grant justice to the
Half solution is no solution. Kasab did kill people and those killed were family to
many and those families must have suffered in many ways. So, how does one impart
justice to them ?
No hanging the guilty is one good option as suggested above. What's other option ?

from:  Suyash Kumar Tiwari
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 11:12 IST

I disagree entirely with Justice Krishna Iyer. The chances of terrorists
attacking and taking innocent lives to get Kasab released is very high.
These are LeT and Taliban terrorists that we are talking about. Whom
would we blame then for the killing of innocent hijacked passengers?

from:  G Krishnamurthy
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 10:52 IST

With due respect to Justice Krishna Iyer, I beg to differ. Notwithstanding the facts that Kasab was a human being, a boy from uneducated poor family etc., we cannot ignore that he was an enemy of the state and waged war against India. India has a tradition of granting unwarranted mercy and kindness towards our enemies. Prithviraj Chauhan- Moh'd Ghori story is an apt evidence of this trait. Did Ghori reciprocate this when Prithviraj was defeated? Gandhiji could succeed against the British, as they are a democratic society. It is doubtful whether his methods of non-violence could have succeeded against brutal tyrants like Hitler. While running the affairs of the state, no principle,however reverred, be considered as an absolute. Proper balance has to be maintained. An individual can display extreme compassion and mercy at his own detriment and harm. Care has to be taken while applying the principle in regard to the nation. An error of judgement can cause immense harm to our own people.

from:  Pramod Patil
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 06:52 IST

Death penalty indeed is a very harsh crime, but for such inhuman crimes
showing humanity is a weakness that we cannot afford.I would be ashamed
to feel remorse for a person who gunned down countless innocent victims
in cold blood.It doesn't matter how much education he had.You don't need
education to understand killing people is a sin.

from:  Anirban
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 05:53 IST

We Can't catch or kill people like how US killed Osama,
if India would perceive the killers like US, there will be Nuclear weapon parked in our

You see many innocents die without reason and you are arguing for a rogue assasin ?
I wonder why we should think of human values against criminals after all ? I would
consider this as an argument that never stands.

Why should we spend so many crores on some one who killed people, people died
were not just Indians for god's sake but of many countries. kids , women , Old and
most annoying ... Innocent.

They are cowards. they are trained killers blind in all aspects. I respect your noble
thoughts of humanity, but remember when there is no punishment, crime has no
control. If we are really peace loving country, lets give roses to the men dying
everyday in the Indian boarders. Lets disarm the country lets close our eyes and
count number of attacks on us .. just to have a record.

Punishment is necessary, Revenge No.

from:  iiVirtual
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 05:24 IST

I strongly disagree with the views in this article. Of course i am not in favour of
hanging anyone, I even want this to be abolished in our country. But he was an
exception. Everyone has a choice and he made his choice.

from:  Shiyas Basheer
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 05:03 IST

I am curious to know, the author's opinion on death sentence of Bhagat Singh?

from:  Vishal
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 04:43 IST

In the case of Kasab, he was trained by a much lager terrorist
organisation with full support of a nation. Hence keeping him in jail
would only invite more terrorist attacks, where people are taken
hostages and negotiated for release very similar to the Kandahar
hijacking. Hence it was the right thing to do, to sentence Kasab to
death, in the larger interest of the nation, keeping humanitarian
emotions and sentiments away.

from:  aditya elango
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 04:11 IST

Men are not hanged for killing horses, but so that horses may not be
stolen. A politician and a supreme court judge? No wonder this article
sounds like pro-congress propaganda.

from:  Surya
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 04:07 IST

You can cry but some people beg to differ......death sentence should not be abolished, there is some filth that is so much in filthiness that it needs to be wiped out!
Also, sometimes you need a deterrent, as big.

from:  rahul bamal
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 04:00 IST

There are two things to this - firstly the specific case of Kasab and
secondly the death penalty. I would not argue over the second one as I
do find your stance pretty reasonable. However, on the first one, if
according to you Kasab was really unlucky and was in a way forced to
become a terrorist do you actually mean that we should just let him go
scot free, because that is all I could make out your article. By your
logic a person can be absolved of any crime he commits, because it
wasn't just him commiting the crime, it was, in a way, the society
compelling him to commit the crime. Completely absurd!

from:  Anushrut Sharma
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:50 IST

my thoughts exactly..
a civil society understands that people are not born evil, but made into

from:  sunny james toppo
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:27 IST

dear seem to be very experinced than i am but seriously i don't know what are you trying to justify...are you trying to say that kasab was poor, illiterate so his crime are less heinous...i don't think poverty or illiteracy can justify even a single act of murder, leave alone a massacre...sir he(along with others ofcourse) killed 166 innocent peoples in was not in the heat of the moment, but was a very well planned and cordinated attack...even the dumbest person know that what he had done...and let me tell you he was very smart, as he had carried out this operation with such precesion...he always knew what he was doing.
And if the death sentences are abolished in india do you think the system can survive...a already soft nation will become even more softer...these decisions are not taken by copying others(as said by you in the examples), but by considering our own factors and needs which our judicial system demands.

from:  varun
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:24 IST

I've read only the first two paragraphs, and am not inclined to read the
rest. The author's views of blaming Kasab's action on Society is so prejudicial to human society as a whole.
Society has surely made him a bad reporter with even worse discerning

from:  Hemant Walia
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:19 IST

I wholeheartedly agree with your views. The sad thing is not that the
government went ahead and hanged him, the thing that really put me off
was that many people, including many of my friends were smiling and
happy about this. Many felt that the victims of 26/11 got justice,
which I fail to understand because I believe that once the damage has
been done, it can't be undone, and killing Kasab was never the
In fact, keeping him alive for so long was again not a wise thing if
he were to be hanged eventually!
I deeply feel sorry to know that he was yet another man driven to
despair by circumstances, and by his own people to take innocent

from:  Abhishek Sainani
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:08 IST

only emotion and no logic would not serve any good to society. may be
your view is right, but need logic to established it. Certainly judges
know much better than sonia gandhi. President of India should hear the experts voice not sonia's voice.

from:  kalyanmoy
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 03:07 IST
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