India has a population of 1.5 billion, which at any given point of time is mired into a thousand controversies. Another one was added on Saturday, when one of the perpetrators on the attack of the Indian Parliament, Afzal Guru was sent to the gallows.
This blog is in response to Arundhati Roy’s article in the Hindu, where she presents a case that Guru’s execution was a blatant disregard for human rights and he was in fact, incorrectly charged based on mere circumstantial evidences.
I, neither possess the flair of words, nor her wide reach of a supine audience. But, as an ordinary Indian, am amazed to ask, why intellectuals like her, come up to the defence of lumpen elements every time they are punished by the rule of law.
It seems, a section of metropolitan intellectuals seem to be fascinated by left wing rebels (read, the naxalites), terrorists(Afzal Guru in this case), brigands(Remember Veerappan) and all such anti-social elements. These anti-social elements have attracted admiring comments from such intellectuals living in posh cities(with perhaps an occasional visit to a dharna/protest), away from the actual realities. Because they live such a bourgeois lifestyle, in a country that is poor and which they claim to represent, they perhaps assuage their guilt by speaking on behalf of these elements.
The only incorrect thing, in the hanging of Afzal Guru was the way in which his family was not informed. But so were the families of martyrs, who died defending the parliament about their imminent death. Did the terrorist speed post them (as the Government did), asking them to bid final farewells to the brave men, before attacking the parliament?
The easiest thing to do in India these days is to hurt sentiments. A prior intimation could have lead to serious law and order situation in the Kashmir valley and in other parts of the country. It could also have lead to a bizarre Tamilnadu like situation, where the assembly passed a resolution asking the death sentences of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination plotters be changed to life imprisonments, after the president had rejected their mercy petition. Perhaps, the veil of secrecy was the necessary course of action.
Another argument that Ms. Roy made, that the conviction was based on circumstantial evidence, which she then tried to demolish in her article. My understanding was that she was a writer and not a criminal lawyer, who could deconstruct and find holes into the judgement of the learned judiciary. Even a cursory reading of the evidence would have indicated to her, that though it was circumstantial, it proved without doubt that Guru was a close aide in the making of this macabre attack.
I have been pondering over a question for years now. Why do these intellectuals never speak when a police officer is killed in the ravines of naxal infected areas? Where did the high ground of human rights go, when 2 of our jawans were mercilessly beheaded by Pakistani army/terrorists (depending on your beliefs)? There was a brutal attack on CRPF men in Dantewada , around 2 years back, when these brave men were ambushed and then mercilessly shot. Did these people not have human rights, or perhaps, in your (and your ilk) eyes, these men are children of a lesser god?
In an earlier article in outlook, Ms. Roy had referred to naxalites as Gandhians with guns. Such vanity of pseudo-intellectuals is damaging and misleading. The ordinary Indian may not be an arm-chair intellectual, but he intelligent to understand the truth behind the canards and myths that get presented before him.