Yakub Memon may be dead, but not his last words. They still ring in my ears.
Minutes before his death by hanging, Yakub had said to the Nagpur jail authorities, sirf main aur mera rab janta hai ki asliyat kya hai. Main aap logon ko maaf karta hoon kyuki aap toh sirf duty kar rahe ho! (Only my God and I know what the truth is. You all are only doing your duties, so I forgive you.)
The Supreme Court adjudged Yakub Memon guilty and he was hanged after exhausting all his options for reprieve from death. His mercy petition went through three levels of assessment, and only after his role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts was proved beyond doubt, that he was finally sent to the gallows. That’s a good thing, a beauty of Indian democracy and its justice system, but there is also this nagging doubt in my mind.
Was Yakub truly deserving of death sentence? Could life sentence not have served the purpose of keeping people like Yakub away from the mainstream? I believe only God has the right to take life away from you and I. The justification that the convicted person killed many people holds no water. He killed and raped because he is an animal, devoid of any sense of right or wrong.
The murderers and the rapists have a short-term mentality. If an anti-social element commits a rape, he does so out of sheer desperation. He lacks the ability to think about the consequences of the act. All that matters to him is the tempting prospect of climaxing. This man has no heart, no compassion and thrives on powerlessness on the part of the victim.
A murderer is motivated by vengeance, by violence and hatred. He does not fear the law.
A Government is different. It is not driven by vengeance and doesn’t operate on a short-term basis. Handing out death sentence has never been a deterrent, there is no data that proves it. Confining a convict for life is as bad as death.. One’s dead, the other a walking dead. Why end a life?
There is a political offender, too. Tripura governor, Tathagata Roy, who claimed that those who attended 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s funeral, “are potential terrorists” and that intelligence agency should keep a close tab on them.
As a governor, he should have exercised caution when taking to social media platforms, like twitter. He should refrain from advising the national intelligence agencies, it’s not his place.
India consists of over 1.2 billion people. There can never be consensus on even the most agreeable issues. People, who believe Yakub Memon should not have been hanged, have a right to their opinion as long as they don’t impinge on the others.