and from comparatively soft Barkha Dutt to biased Arnob Goswami; everybody looked jubilant and there was chanting, “Justice has been done… the dreaded terrorist responsible for hatching conspiracy to attack Indian parliament, Afzal Guru, has been hanged and the collective conscience of billions of people of India has been satisfied”. As the race started every channel was claiming to take credit for being the first channel to give this breaking and blasting news to its country men that Afzal has been hanged (though he was murdered). At 8:00 am, the confident, well dressed Indian Home Minister, with a smiling face that gave the notion that it was he who dared to do it, appeared before an overcrowded press conference and declared like a king: “Afzal Guru has been hanged in Tihar Jail this morning.” These words and the expression of Sushilkumar Shinde were almost similar to those used by US president Barak Obama on May 02, 2010, when he informed his country men and the world community, “We have got him, Osama has been killed in Pakistan.” A new twist to the series was added on May 02, 2013, when Sarabjit Singh, who was on a death sentence for his involvement in killing of 18 innocent citizens in a bomb blast in Pakistan, was beaten to death in a cowardly act, most probably at the behest of Pakistani agencies in Court Lakhpath Jail in Pakistan.
People in India have been crying all along that terrorism has no cast creed, colour, religion and nationality and that a terrorist is a terrorist, irrespective of the fact who he is and what for he is fighting. If this is how terrorism is interpreted by world community in general and mighty state of India in particular and is believed to be true, then people of India will have to give a thought as what the difference is between Osama Bin Ladin, Ajmal Amir Kasab, Afzal Guru, Chamel Singh and Sarabjit Singh. Whatever the answer of the people, even a layperson can make it – “The only difference is that some would have killed people of India, some people of Pakistan, some Americans and some Kashmiris”. Just when the news of Sarabjit’s brutal death surfaced, the electronic media and grand politicians including Shinde were again on toes, but this time red faced, very angry, highly frustrated and aggressive. They informed their countrymen about the tragedy of death of Sarabjit Sigh, called him a national hero, a martyr, a great visionary personality. They seem to be very much concerned about humans and human rights – in a country where animals like dogs enjoy more comprehensive rights than ill fated humans.
Government of Pakistan need to be condemned for not hanging Sarabjit as per the Supreme Court ruling and trial (of Pakistan) in accordance with the law of that country and also to satisfy the unexpressed collective conscience of people of Pakistan. Stoning him to death in a barbaric, unlawful and inhuman way – if someone doesn’t condemn the manner adopted by Pakistanis he can’t be a human. But people of India will have to answer, If Afzal Guru and Sarabjit Singh were convicted by respective supreme courts of India and Pakistan for heinous crimes, and obviously Sarabjit’s crime was more heinous for his direct involvement into the blast compared to the Afzal who was reportedly a conspirator, as found in the investigation – how can Sarabjit be a martyr, an aspirant for Paramvir Chakra and how does he deserve glorification and what moral right Indian grand politicians have to visit his home and shed tears and condole the family and how can these ‘double standard Indian stalwarts’ call Afzal Guru a terrorist?
Those who have a heart, from Kashmir to Kaniyakumari and from Kabul to New York, and who have been victim of state and non-state terrorism should definitely stand by the family of both Afzal Guru and Sarabhjit Singh. One more question the state of India should answer, if not to the family of Afzal but at least to the family of Sarabjit, is that whether Sarabjit’s family feels happy for not returning Afzal Guru’s body to his family. Obviously, whether it is Afzal Guru’s wife or Sarabjit’s wife, Afzal’s son or Sarabjit’s son – they all dislike the state actors of India and Pakistan for snatching their beloved, and let us pray and hope that every Sarabjit and Afzal should return home one day, though everyone knows it is hope against hope as the state of India never wants issues between two countries to get resolved, which would stop this dirty game of death and destruction.
Author is a Member of Legislative Assembly from Langate