Is it only hanging Ajmal Kasab that will help us attain Moksha?

Well, the day has finally arrived. After 4 years of political leg-pulling and rhetoric, Ajmal Kasab the lone terrorist survivor of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, has been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India. Apart from the death sentence the verdict also establishes that India officially accepts the fact that the plan for the attack was hatched in Pakistan, and it would be of common benefit if our north-western neighbour co-operates to bring to book all the perpetrators as soon as possible. Our politicians are quite happy with the verdict because something positive about the system has finally come out and the aam aadmi, tired of scams, scandals and porn-stars in mainstream cinema, is jubilant that they have something to believe in finally.

But the deeper fact remains that, Ajmal Kasab is more of a robot- a certain brainwashed, misguided and ill-informed humanoid- who was just one of the small pawns in the game. A robot who had been engineered to kill, indoctrinated to false tenants of his own religion; who doesn’t know a single verse from the Koran, yet is convinced that he had killed for Jihad. Reading the events of his life, you can easily figure out that Kasab belongs to a certain uneducated, poor and unemployed strata of Pakistani society which has been continuously dragged into terrorist organisations, most probably seduced by the conformity of achieving a goal in life through this.

The most important question that we Indians should ask ourselves at this point, when our politicians and media have created such a hype about the death sentence, is that whether this verdict of capital punishment, executed now or thirty years later, gives any reason for us to be happy? What are we actually jubilant about? Is it that a mindless psychotic mass-killer is going to the gallows? Or is it that this verdict completely seals the future of a terror free India- just like Dhananjoy Chatterjee’s hanging in Kolkata in 2004 has stopped all rapes in the country? Or are we happy because this verdict is going to send a strong message across the world conveying how strong India is on its anti-terrorism stance?

The culmination of this legal case of such extraordinary magnitude and grave circumstances in a death penalty is not something out of the blue. But the sad part is that the reactions from our politicians and political parties, starting from the calls of a certain saffron party to hang Kasab publicly to another rejoicing the end of biriyani for him, just shows how superficial our political system is. The system wants us to believe that hanging one man is our answer to that unbelievable incident in Mumbai. And what about the millions of poor and misguided youths in Pakistan, in India, all over the world, who fall prey to the malicious sleight of politics, power and greed, and will continue to become Kasabs and Abu Jindals. Someone pulls the string in some distant land, and some puppets dance in illusion. And that dance kills millions of innocents.

May be our politicians know that they can never undertake that gargantuan task of creating a beautiful tomorrow breaking the shackles of inequality, exploitation and immorality. So the system as a whole manufactures certain farces for us to believe in and be content with. May be because of that just after the Coalgate scandal comes up Kasab’s hanging verdict, and we the foolish credulous Indians, forgetting the 186,000 crore where corporate crocodiles with political alliances have sucked dry the country’s resources and economy, will soon be rejoicing at the hanging of a single man. May be because of that we will always remember how gruesome 26/11 was and how boldly it was avenged by the country, forgetting the facts that, “Food inflation in double digits. Vegetable prices rising 60 per cent in a year. Child malnourishment doubles that of sub-Saharan Africa. Families cutting back sharply on milk and essentials. Massive increases in health costs bankrupting millions. Farmers unable to afford inputs or access credit. A drinking water scarcity for many, as more and more of that life-giving substance gets diverted for other purposes.”  (P. Sainath, The Hindu)

May be this kind of living on farces and make believe stories have become just a part of our lives- that’s why people who have all their lives insulted people from the NE states as chinkis  suddenly threw open their arms to embrace Mary Kom and her success, may be that is why the alibi of prosperous industrial development successfully covers up the acts of a mass-murdering Chief Minister, and may be that is why every middle class child has to sacrifice his or her childhood dreams and join in a dream-chasing dash for securing a bright career in this doomed country.

But yes, there are things we should be happy about. We should be happy about the importance of the Kasab verdict from an international and strategic point of view. And we should be more happy I think, on the fact that on the same day as the Kasab verdict came out, a special court in Gujarat convicted former BJP minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet Mayaben Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, who reportedly felt like Maharana Pratap after massacring Muslims, in one of worst episodes of the post-Godhra riots- the Naroda Patiya massacre.

Ajmal Kasab should be hanged (although the debate on capital punishment continues) following the judgement of the highest judicial authority of the country. But let’s not act as if the country can attain Moksha by this, please. There are far more deadly wounds to be healed, grotesque crimes to be solved, and strong acts of justice to be affirmed; and along with this we need long term pro-people financial and educational plans for the overall development of the nation. Only then can our democracy achieve what it should.


Photographs courtesy: 1. Reuters 2. AFP 3. Arko Dutta

Abhishek Saha, a final year Civil Engineering student at Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, is a freelance writer and photographer. He can be contacted at 

11 thoughts on “Is it only hanging Ajmal Kasab that will help us attain Moksha?

  1. Perestroika says:

    One suggestion. Stop reading The Hindu and start reading The Indian Express. The latter is much wider in coverage, unbiased, undogmatic and, of course, well-written as compared to the former.
    Your writing will change accordingly.

    • Anwesha says:


      There’s no denying the fact that newspapers influence our outlook on the social issues, but the fact remains that none of us is blindly following the newspaper. It is only because we furnish our own opinions that newspapers are alive. Moreover, everyone has the liberty to choose the newspaper he/she wishes to, and does that for a viable cause/reason. On our parts, it is better we express our views on others opinions rather than go around suggesting newspapers.

      Thank you,

      • Perestroika says:

        LOL, no need to be so formal. In case you didn’t realise it yet, it’s me, Avro. 😀

      • Anwesha says:

        I have. 🙂 And I didn’t mean any offence.

      • Perestroika says:

        And what I meant was, at its best The Hindu mostly publishes views and ideas which you already know and/or agree with.

        The Indian Express, on the other hand, is slightly right-wing (though mostly in the economic sense; socially, it is still very much left wing and even libertarian in its political views. It has a historical antipathy towards the Congress owing to the Emergency- it was one of the two main newspapers, the other one being The Statesman, which refused to succumb to Indira Gandhi’s censorship- even the Hindu had surrendered).

        So anyway, it often contains articles which really expand the ambit of what you were or might have been thinking; case in point being this brilliant op-ed article expressing the Chinese side of the story of its totalitarianism or this one which is another brilliant piece of reporting

        The Hindu has degenerated to a large extent to a newspaper which covers up shoddy reporting lacking in substance with polished verbiage or bombastic rhetoric.

      • Perestroika says:

        Okay, the links were fudged by blogger.
        Here they are:
        1. the article on China:

        2. the reporting on Raisina Hill :

      • Anwesha says:

        I am in no position to debate with you (or anyone, for that matter). My point was just that every individual crafts his own views based on his ideals. Every newspaper follows its own ideals, as well. So at the end of the day, it’s a combined product of our own intellect with some influence from the media as a whole.
        Hindu’s degeneration has also been noticed and contemplated about by me (and many others, too, probably), but as I said, I am in no position to take up any discussions regarding it. Maybe that’s because I feel I shouldn’t. Nor should I be advocating any of them(newspapers).
        In the end, it’s to each their own. 🙂

  2. Anwesha says:

    It was a very bold and resolute view. We live in a world of myriad pseudo affairs, where half the things are not what they appear to be. And it is imperative that we learn to see through, and get rid of the complacency which is, unfortunately getting viral now-a-days; the so-called “chalta hai” attitude. So, I do agree with your outlook that Kasab’s case does not and should not imply our strength and capabilities. It is well and good that he be hanged but we should not be satisfied.
    The conclusive comportment of the article was laudable. And the entire piece is well-written.


  3. Hoimawati says:

    change d headline..if u can..its too plain..n d verdict ws quite predictble..if d same militant ws an influential person..things wud hv been diff..
    i liked readin it..u hv taken all d aspects n combined it into a whole..els it wud hv bn monotonous..kip writing:)

  4. Khan says:

    Well composed and balanced piece(u know i like such writing :))..
    Ajmal Kasab-One more ignorant sacrificed in the illusion of “jihad” and a thousand more ignorants rejoicing it..endofstory

  5. Sagar Mishra says:

    Well, if it is a report then surely its really a great work and is really appreciable but if it is seen through a opinion’s perspective I mean if it is someone’s opinion then I must say the writer is unable to convey his message as to what he expects from the govt. or the SYSTEM !!!!!!!

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