Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Can India do away with the Death Penalty?

We all woke up today with a very significant news breaking out of our televisions and computers. Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death in Pune. There has been increasing demand from the human right activists to the law makers to do away with the death penalty, now as we don't have the 14 years cap on Life Imprisonment. Can India afford to do this?

India right from its independence has been witnessing the barbaric, inhumane acts of terrorism. There have been thousands of casualties which includes significant percentage of women and children. These attacks are a great threat on the sovereignty of the nation. Only death penalties can be viewed as the form of punishment which set examples to future terrorists so that they fear the Indian law. There have been many cases in which there have been inhuman attacks on women like acid attacks, sexual assault- which sometimes leads to the death of the victim. There have been gross attacks on the right to life of dalits and other backward class people wherein the victim is humiliated, beaten up, sexually assaulted, killed in many instances. The law has to take stern action not just to punish the offender but also to set an example so that the similar offenses are not repeated- which is kind of main objective.

Taking a different perspective now let us think is death the only answer to this? If we take the terrorism angle then it takes to a different paradigm in which the fellow offenders, helpers see the death as martyrdom and take it as case study to educate future offenders!! Keeping this apart, if we consider domestic offenders then we should probably think a bit more deep and try to analyze- is a sudden death or a long lousy life in captivity with no freedom more effective. Probably accused prefer sudden death than a long painful, stressful, lonely life in jail. So are we justifying the punishment given to such gruesome offenders? In a altogether separate note, we do not live in a barbaric society where death for death can be the rule.

As we see there are certain loopholes in the concept capital punishment (death penalty). India being an active democracy, well lately at-least, has to consider people sentiments and aspirations. Its high time the law makers give some time to think through this.