Ever since childhood we have heard “khoon ki saaza phansi hoti hai” (commit a murder & u’ll go to the gallows). Something like, if you don’t do your homework, u’ll have to stand outside the classroom. A naturally presumed punishment for a specific offence. Till date i find it difficult to think otherwise….not because of any vindictive line of thought but as i (and many others) have grown up conditioned that way.

The pro and anti death-penalty movements were an alien concept and so were the ramifications of state-sponsored executions. Should capital punishment remain or not is a matter of much debate. The people who are fighting hard to have it eliminated offer a number of reasons. They say the prisons are correctional facilities where people are held to repent for their sins and by executing them the state was not only denying the person a chance to correct him/herself but was commiting their own share of the same barbarous crime. And besides it was never going to be a deterrent to similar crimes.

As pompy questioned on swb’s blog.. what would one do if he/she was related to hetal. would it be easy to accept the fact that the murderer was being allowed to breath, eat, live when the little girl was brutally tortured and denied her only chance to live on this earth. The same could also be said abt the convicts relatives.

Two days back i was watching the movie “Nuremberg” about the War crimes tribunal that had been set up at nuremberg for the trial of the nazi officers. the details of the enormity of the crimes were unfolded during the trial. most of the defendents looked unrepentent for their actions. some lied, feigned ignorance and some were surprised that what they did was even considered as a “crime”. These were people who used other people for medical experiments, shot babies in mid-air and “eliminated” millions of human beings in gas chambers. And they committed these crimes repeatedly for years in a planned way. People like them or serial killers who kill repeatedly become desensitsed to the harm that they are causing. Perhaps they could be declared medically unfit or insane, but they would still remain a threat to other humans.

executions like those practised publicly during the french revolution or in the middle of soccer games in taliban ruled afganistan are exceptional manifestations of the the mental make-up of the public opinion during those times. during times of normalcy executions are held within the confines of a restricted area. Perhaps to neutralize the horror associated with a pre-determined death….any death.

Before questioning the ethical and moral validity of the death-penalty and its effectiveness in stopping crime, we should stop and think about the last time we wished someone to be dead. perhaps not in real life but while watching an action movie we do scream at the saviour onscreen…”kill that guy man…he’s gonna blow up the plane”. its the perception of a potential threat that is usually analyzed before condemning a person. and in some cases the enormity of the crime. perhaps one of the most gruesone of them happened during the gujarat riots concerning a pregnant woman. i’d rather refrain from mentioning the details of it again over here as it makes me shudder till this day. incidents such as these should never go unpunished.

the parekh family lost their daughter 14 years ago and won’t get her back. currently they are absent from the public eye. chatterjee’s parents are about to lose their son and their grief is genuine as well. On occasions as the current one, people do focus some amount of their attention on the raging issue and discussions are held. my friend for instance, was studying in the same school where hetal was a senior. she remembers those days when the agonizing details of the murder poured in. We do not know what kind of a person dhananjoy was and if he raped and killed hetal on a impulse. Everyone has sometime or the other acted on an impulse and ended up regretting it later. We don’t know if it was the same with dhananjoy. but he did taste blood and perhaps he would not have hesitated to repeat his offence.

What i object to is the theatrics being practised by the media…especially the times of india, which is spinning tales and romantising the entire event.

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