Balwant Singh Rajoana shouldn’t hang for his crime. Nor for that matter around 79 others who languish in different jails, condemned by the courts yet awaiting a presidential pardon. For most convicts this interim period between the presidential pardon and the court conviction is a death alley in itself. Political compulsions, caste prejudices and religious sentiments often result in sentences hanging in nether land, they don’t die but are left to die. My sentiment does not take away the severity of the convicts acts and its consequences on our political, emotional and historical landscapes but let true democracy raise its head amidst all this. An independent judiciar overseeing a fair trial and doling out strictures with reform written all over is true grit democracy.
A crime is usually committed under a given set of circumstances. Economic compulsions, misguided ideology and an acidic brainwash by societal misfits most often compel young men to cast blood stones but if we as a democracy don’t see the core, show complete empathy and give an individual a chance to reform, how are we up upholding any freedom and specially the ultimate freedom of human life and dignity. Hanging by rope is archaic and lasso’s us to medieval times and practices still practiced in certain desert fiefdoms not far from us. How can we scoff at them and celebrate our liberty at the same time? True democratic balls are needed when even a condemned man is giving a chance and a compassionate ear by the state.
The state is my psychiatrist, the state is my healer and the state is my confession box too. And that is true democracy. A man convicted to death by hanging is the same as us albeit with a different set of extreme circumstances. Let the rope burn once and for all and let there be a selective roar of ‘reform to the condemned’ emitting from sane rational mouths. Why, Look at how long a leash the devil has been given? No more hangings.