G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let Ajmal Amir Kasab Stay in the Hell of an Indian Jail

Debate is raging in India on the subject of terrorist Kasab’s entitlement to legal assistance.

If Nathuram Godse नथुराम गोडसे- the killer of Mahatma Gandhi- was entitled to a lawyer and a 'grand' speech (the speech that still motivates Hindu extremists), why not Kasab?

Ram Jethmalani has the most interesting take.

He says: “…If I had been a judge I would not sentence Kasab to death for a different reason. It is only by remaining in the hell of an Indian jail that he would realise that what the Mullahs told him is false.

Long stay in an Indian prison will detoxify him of all the superstitions and illusions instilled into him. Those who did it surely deserve a sentence of death if caught.”

This sounds like the Hindi film villain Ajit’s rationale on why someone should be thrown in the tank of liquid oxygen: Liquid will not let him live, oxygen will not let him die!

Hell indeed comes in many forms.


‘I never expected hell to be as bad as this.’


The Spectator

3 comments:

mangesh said...

Dear Aniruddha,
In fact, there should not be any debate on this issue. We go by
our Constitution and criminal laws like the Criminal Procedure Code
and the Evidence Act to deal with a criminal under the Indian Penal
Code. Kasab has committed an offence under the I.P.C. and has to be dealt with under that law and given penalties prescribed under various sections of the law.The suggestion of Mr. Balasaheb Thackeray that he should be straightaway hanged is silly and evidently expressed out of anger or hatred. The demand of some people that he be publicly hanged in front of the Parliament or Taj Hotel is also equally silly. We are not a barbaric nation like Saudi Arabia or Yemen to do such things. We must stick to the provisions of our Constitution and laws. Kasab must repeat MUST be given a lawyer to defend himself. If no Indian or
Pakistani lawyer is willing to defend him, the Court should appoint an attorney to defend the accused (Amicus Curie). In the alternative, the Judge himself can cross examine the prosecution witnesses and even examine defence witnesses if any named by the accused. The accused too have the right to act as his own defence attorney though he is not a lawyer himself.
The comparison of Kasab's case with the case of Mahatma Gandhi's
assassination is odious as all comparisons are. Nathuram Godse
committed murder. Kasab has waged war against a country along with
others. Under the Geneva Convention, even war criminals are entitled to defence lawyers. The Nazi criminals were given defence attorneys at the Nuremberg trial in 1946.
As regards administering punishment, Mr. Ram Jethmalani's opinion is ludicrous. Who told him that conditions in Indian jails are as bad as hell? Leave aside prisons in Islamic countries, American prisons too are worse. Moreover, Kasab has committed a very heinous crime, has mercilessly killed even women and children (which act is taboo under the Holy Quran), and waged war against a country. If he is found guilty, he deserves to be hanged till he is dead, as it is a rarest of rare case. In such cases, life imprisonment is given only if there are some mitigating circumstances. We are a civilized country and let us remain so.
Mangesh Nabar

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Mangesh.

Comparison may be odious but some perspective is necessary.

For me, Nathuram Godse's crime was the biggest in the known history mankind.

As I understand, Indian prisons are easily some of the worst in the world.

2ndlook said...

The thought of Afzal Guru, Kasab rotting in jails is a delicious idea!

Jethmalani, in spite of his usual mercenary view of thinks, has his uses. The discussion of Indian jails vis-a-vis US or other jails is so banal. Jails are not supposed to be luxurious - and hell is other people. Living with so many criminals and jailers in apart of the world is surely a bad idea.

But India has the a low prison population with a poor police-to-population ratio and a crime rate which is not above the average - with the second highest gun ownership figure in the world.

A unrecognized achievement of the Indian police! Something that we don't know - or blithely ignore.