The Hang Over

He was hanged to death this morning. I assume the nation will ensure that this "deterrent move" will prevent further such acts. Will the public, many of them celebrating not because they lost loved ones but because their limp self-esteem needs a boost, make the State answerable in future should the deterrence not work?

But there are too many nooses looking for heads. As the educated lumpen celebrate such a death, the courts have acquired a halo. There was what news channels referred to as high drama last night when top lawyers decided to further petition for a reprieve after the President had rejected the mercy petition. They asked to meet the Chief Justice of India. A bench was set up and they heard the plea in the Supreme Court at 2 am.

This is being lauded. They are saying that the courts played fair and gave the accused every opportunity. The moot question is: was the 'to hang at 7 am' set in stone that it could not wait? Will the sagacious hangover be seen as the benchmark?

This superman overnight gig conveys little by way of justice. For, the governor and the home ministry had obviously already decided. The quick move to agree to listen to the lawyers seems to have been to assuage such alternate sentiments, since they had already assuaged fhe mob mentality of 'civil society' earlier. This is the same civil society that causes riots, for which of course our justice system has no remedy for deterrence.

Mumbai, preparing for his last remains, was full of policemen and Rapid Action Force. When they talk about ensuring there is no trouble, they mean by supporters. What they fail to factor in are those who wanted the killing.

I stick to my belief that the state has no business to take a life.

“But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.” (Albert Camus)

Hanging Yakub Memon

Communalising the hanging:Owaisi vs. Sakshi Maharaj


  1. 1. There is nothing to celebrate. A person's condemnation to death is a deeply unpleasant necessity and responses/reactions thereto should be suitably sober and contemplative.

    2. We need to think of more humane ways such as deep anaesthesia. No matter how heinous the crime, a convict deserves to pass away peacefully, in a calm physical and mental state. Preferably in company of a friend or family member.

    3. Abolition of death penalty is a seperate debate, far broader in scope and should not be conducted in context of a specific case.

    4. Last but not the least, Pig Memon (who calls himself Tiger) and Dawood are still at large. Justice awaits them.

  2. Deterrence is not the reason why justice is administered. (Although it could sometimes be a nice side effect.) The guy's crime was dealt with in a court of law and its judgement finally implemented. The only people who have the right to forgive, etc. Are the kin of those who were killed in the blasts - nobody else!

  3. Hi Farzana,

    >>The moot question is: was the 'to hang at 7 am' set in stone that it could not wait?<<

    Once properly adjudicated, it seems to me, justice should be swift. I agree with Footloose's item #3, that penalty is a matter of law, properly debated and ratified. I find his item #4 an effort to poison debate. Ad hominem. Insulting, even. I don't know that I'd want to get the law involved over it, tho'. :)

    The anonymi raise an important point as well: Families can forgive for their loss (of a son, daughter, brother, sister, etc.) -- as for the life of those killed . . . isn't that, rather, a matter for the law to decide?


  4. Never found the justification for people to proclaim themselves better human beings because they found it beneath themselves to throw ad hominems on a person who deliberately ensure the death of 200+ random people like Yakub Memon did. I can see the conflict one may have if it was not so cut and dried in the case of a person convicted without sufficient evidence, unlike Yakub Memon's case. So here are three words I would use on that humanitarian Yakub Memon...oh never mind, f** him. Hope he burns in hell or wherever aholes burn.

  5. 257 people were killed in the 1993 blasts and only one person was not responsible for it, directly or indirectly. And political parties that find in Adolf Hitler a figure worthy of mention should not be using these deaths as an example of justice met.


    Agree with all your points. Wonder, though, why Tiger Memon was rarely mentioned in all these years and is only back in the news due to this hanging.


    What swift justice? He was in prison from 1994, and he was served a death sentence in 2007; it was rejected by the President following which he filed a curative petition which was pending when this new verdict was pronounced. It was shoddy, the way it was done.

    Capital punishment is not a separate issue from a death penalty case; one happens because the other exists. Yes, when the case is in the public eye in a charged atmosphere the issue might get influenced on both sides.

    Families can forgive or not. This cannot be law.

  6. Indeed. "Hate Crime" seems not a little Orwellian.


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