Monday, August 03, 2015

A HANGING

What would you have done if your loved one had perished in the bomb blast in 1993 in Mumbai? 
Hope and pray that the perpetrators were brought to justice. You would have rejoiced when one of them gave himself up (for reasons best known to him) or was he nabbed? That he helped in the investigation would not have mitigated your hatred for the man when you read or heard that the man was one of the masterminds. 
You wished him punished; in the least you wanted his life snuffed out. It wouldn't really mean much to you if he was hanged or shot or whatever. You had seen the mutilated body of your loved one & flinched at the thought of their suffering. If given a chance, you would have preferred a tortured death for the perpetrator. 
You would have rejoiced when more arrests were made, but your joy quickly turned to confused sorrow when none were given the death penalty. 
Your one chance of redemption was the death sentence awarded to Yakub Memon. You clung to that last straw. Forgiveness isn't for mere mortals, you said. Some one mentioned about the 2000 deaths in riots preceding the bomb blast; and that none of the perpetrators had been punished. But they were not your loved ones, were they? 
Someone was seeking the abolishment of capital punishment. You prayed that it should be after this hanging.
Someone spoke of a Presidential pardon, you hoped against hope that the present incumbent wasn't like his predecessor. That woman had commuted not less than 37 death sentences. 
Someone mentioned that 97% of those on death row were dalits and Muslims. To hell with statistics you said. 
When the media reported a last minute parlay to commute the death sentence, you grew restless. Get on with it! was your silent prayer. 
You cursed those prominent citizens who signed a petition asking for commuting the death sentence; what did they know of your suffering. 
Your despair turned to joy when you heard that nothing had worked and Yakub would be hanged. You woke up this morning, whispered a prayer thanking the Almighty as you heard that the culprit had been hanged. 
Evening fell. Somewhere in the depths of your soul you felt an emptiness. Justice had prevailed, or had it? Your loved one continues to be dead. You look at the photo of your loved one and tears well your eyes. Justice? 
What would you have done if your loved one died in riots that preceded the bomb blasts? Hope and pray that the perpetrators were brought to justice. But nothing of that sort has happened. You look at the photo of your loved one and tears well your eyes. Justice? 
And darkness falls signifying the end of yet another day.

(First published on July 30th, 2015 on my FaceBook page.)

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