India woke up to a morning without Afzal Guru at 8 a.m. on February 9, 2013. The boy who came all the way from Kashmir to Delhi to join a medical college with a burning desire to become a doctor and then an IAS officer ended up as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the history of India. The most favourite student of Prem Nath Suri, Rattan Lal, Triloki Nath and Shyam Sunder was hanged.
The hanging of Afzal Guru may reignite the flames of violent separatism at a time when calm had descended after more than two decades of half-beginnings, missed opportunities, broken promises and voluntary compromises. They should have done it earlier. This was not the right time. We have to understand that every individual belonging to the world of terrorism is a product in the global market and they have their own ways of raising their GDPs. Their Wall Streets have their own economic portfolios and political manifestos. They exploit our moves. They have become part and parcel of our lives. We can love them, we can hate them but we cannot ignore them. One thing we cannot do with the bayonet is sit on it.
The idea of India in its journey from a snake charmer to a software Guru of the globe has been through many tides and ebbs, lows and highs, ups and down and crests and troughs. This idea of India is as important as the land and the people of India. We strengthened this idea by giving a fair trial to Ajmal Kasab but we have countered the effect of the message conveyed to the world by not being so fair to Afzal Guru. We cannot afford to forget that we are the largest democracy of the world, we set examples.
In my view, Parliament was attacked twice. Once on December 13, 2001 and again on February 9, 2013. Yes, we have attacked Parliament by denying dignity to the dead. These questions have been raised by the brightest and the most brilliant minds of our country. They are not infiltrators. They love their country, India. They live and die for their country. They don’t have any Swiss bank accounts of their hidden fortune. In spite of all that, they have raised questions because they know that it may prove to be a unfortunate accident of history. The narrow-mindedness of the leaders of the State and the not-so-caring attitude of the Centre has most probably divided the State into separatists and potential separatists.
In Afzal Guru’s case, many blunders have been committed. Most of us are busy pointing fingers at his not-so-fair trial but nobody is interested in the truth behind the curtain. Was he not involved? Yes, he was very much involved. He was the one who received phone calls a couple of minutes before the attack by the attackers of Parliament. He was the one who identified them after the shootout was over. Then why was he denied a fair trial? The answer is simple. And that is that someone was trying to save the masterminds of the plot. He was just a small fish. Those who think that Afzal Guru was innocent are wrong. But equally wrong are those who project him as the master planner of the shootout at “Parliament House”. The truth is that he was involved but his role was not that of a mastermind. Then who was the mastermind?
(The writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org)