taaki aksar na ho afzal !

My email to B Raman .. lets see if he replies.......

meantime, comments invited from readers


Dear Shri Raman

ref : http://www.saag.org/papers20/paper1972.html

Frankly , I was a bit dissappointed to see your article end non-conclusively and suggesting an abeyance - the main reason being the possibility of the punished being made into a hero/martyr (as per islam) . Zooming out on the bigger issue of islam itself, its almost as though one has to give in to what that religion is, how much ever illogical it sounds ... as tho' one doesn't have a clue as to what to do with a RELIGION which

* Asks to kill non-believers ( eg: 9:5 ... and plethora of other verses ) ... (the definition of non-believer is given in Chapter 109)

* Considers the land in which its not a majority as the land of struggle ( dar-ul-harb)

* Declares that singing praise of the land (vandemaataram) is against the religion

* And makes heros out of terrorists who have killed inocent lives

Isn't it obvious that India is forced to take islam as it is, and change accordingly ?


Alternately, here's a suggestion, which may sound ridiculous, but for want of an alternative.... - since it is the RELIGION that tells him to Kill , since its the RELIGION that makes him a martyr and hero if he is punished, since its the RELIGION that tells him that he will get virgins in heaven - how about depriving him of that fundamental aspect ? Feed him some pork forcefully or convert him officially - as per law. If the law has the right to take away one's life thro' death penalty, and freedom through imprisonment, why should it not have the right to take away ones religion thro' proper means ?

And convert to what religion ? - either that religion against whom the fellow did the crime, or give him a choice - Jainism (which wud be an exact extreme oppossite of his religion) , Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity... you have plenty to choose from (atleast the local church I am sure will be more than glad to bring the water for dipping ...)

Will there be a better humiliation for him and the rest of the clergy encouraging the likes of him ? WatchOut before you do the next crime in the name of Islam - if caught you may lose your religion !!

time permits, would like your comments


lazysusan said…
Good letter. Hope Mr. Raman replies.

Another angle to this issue is that, if we keep convicted terrorists alive, in our jails (suppose Afzal gets pardoned), then you can except a hijack in the near future to free him (remember, Kandahar episode).

I wonder how Mr. Raman missed this ? (well anyways, I havent read his article).

Moreover, a attack over Parliament is not just a terrorist attack but also treason, hence Afzal should definitely get death penalty, no matter what his religion.

And infact, Govt. of India, if you are reading this, please arrest & deport (which country would want them anyways?) these 'protestors' of death penalty for a traitor, they are potential terrorists or atleast their knowing/unknowing helpmates.
drisyadrisya said…
Hi S

As a matter of fact BR has touched upon the point u raised , in the beginning of his article

But then he overrules it by the "afraid of being made a hero" argument

Personally I respect BR a lot, especially for his energy and enthusiasm at this age, but I disagree with his analysis in this case
drisyadrisya said…
BR has come out with a follow up article http://www.saag.org/papers20/paper1978.html

But he still doesn't answer it well... and no mention of my suggestions.

Meantime, two other interesting links on the issue


petition : http://www.ivarta.com/cause/iv005_afzal.aspx
Anonymous said…
Very interesting thoughts. And nice title. Why do you call Jainism as extreme ?
ranjith said…
Arun, interesting points!

Shri Raman's, If-punished-made-being-martyr argument is a poor argument i think.

If he is not punished, what if the police force and the special task force get demoralized ?! Polic guys are catching these terrorists risking their own life. What if police guys feel that it's not worth risking our life coz the terrorist is gonna get away at the end. What if it leads to an inactive polic force ? Isn't that more critical for the nation?

Also what if the rest of us ("junta") lose faith in the whole system ? Isn't that more critical than a few kashmiris losing faith in the peace process?!(first of all jihadi kashmiris have no faith in the peace process!)
What if the mercy leads to creating many Nathuram-godese-types who decide to kill all the Gandhi-types coz they lose faith in the whole system!?!

i havent read raman's article carfully! i wonder if if anyone worries about all these!!
drisyadrisya said…
1) Dear Anon... what I meant was Jainism emphasises strongly on ahimsa - extreme to the extend that the Jain Gurus tie up their nose and mouth for fear of killing micro-organisms while breathing. Islam on the other hand is full of violence- both in theory (read Quran) and in practice( read history)

2) Ranjith, at the end of this I am attaching my follow up email to BR's follow up article. In a way I am glad that BJP has taken up this issue - hope it becomes a Nationwide awareness.

On the question of "who cares" these days - well, yes, I too sometimes get the feeling that especially in India - the new "cellphone" generation of youngsters (typically middle class) don't care at all, but I would not yet give up hopes on the silent majority (eventho' for short terms the vocal minority seems to win) . By the way, the Afzal petition has got 400 signatures in less than a day

Well, there is also a factor of "fatigue" for those who have been in this for a few years.. a dejective feeling that things will not get better ever.. I guess thats unavoidable, but I wud assume, rather on an optimistic note, that young blood is getting in too (I have had the chance of interacting with a few on my india trip)

anyways, so here's the pending email


Dear Shri Raman

Thanks for a follow up article, but I think its still doesn't give a solid conclusion


* Is it this late that one starts thinking whether or not its wise to punish the terrorist (the attack happened on Dec 13, 2001 !! )

* If every group in the world start making all their punished terorists as heroes and martyrs, essentially it will be unwise to punish anyone for any crime !!

* In anycase, the islamists have enough "heroes" and they will continue with crimes, whether there are heroes or not. In such a situation, is it not wise to be a strong state compared to enhancing the image of india as a weak and too-lenient-to-terrorists state

* A potential alternative would be to make him suffer in jail.. that would be a good punishment and won't make him a hero either.. But the islamists have a way out there too- hijack another plane or kidnap a co-operative ministers daughter, and there goes.... so esentially if some one is determined to destroy your country, no matter what you think is wise, they will always find ways out !!

* And my following suggestion remains uncommented upon....

froginthewell said…
I am uncomfortable with the idea of death penalty, also ideas like feeding pork. Some say there is no direct evidence against him - I don't know the truth of the matter.

What do you think will be the effect of feeding pork etc.? More muslims will feel that India is out and out to torture islam ( whether that feeling is justified or not ), we will end up just creating more bitterness and antagonism; it is not going to prevent terrorists from attacking again. Or they may respond by desecrating hindu symbols and holy places or killing more and more hindus.

We should be strong in dealing with terrorists, agreed, but while we do that we should try to be as dispassionate as we can. In gIta shrIkRShNa never tells arjuna about the atrocities of the kauravas; he doesn't say anything that provokes ire. Instead he asks arjuna to be as dispassionate as possible in discharging one's duty. I am afraid this kind of writing is passion-inducing, let alone one that calls for dispassionate but firm dealing with terrorists.

P. S. : It is not something I like to argue against you; I am just writing what comes honestly to me. Hope I am not sounding belligerent.
drisyadrisya said…

If its dispassionate action that you call for, then as per the laws of the Nation, you simply conduct the death penalty (whether u like it or not is a question that we will adrress a bit later, but thats the law of the Nation)

Its when unnecessary passion (read greed for votebanks, and p-sec appeasement) comes in that one starts thinking about "pardoning" selective criminals

Coming to the point of death penalty - even if you go by Gita, can't you take it in the spirit of say 11.33 ? That they already deserve to be killed (for their crimes), so execute it in a dispassionate way... I do not see anything wrong in death penalty

and lastly, tell me what you suggest as dispassionate yet strong action ? show an alternative- and be specific .....
froginthewell said…
I am not saying that dispassionate death penalty is against the spirit of the Gita. An action per se cannot be branded as passionate or dispassionate - I felt the manner in which "feeding pork" etc. was advocated betrayed a lot of passion - I may be wrong. Also, as I said, feeding pork etc. may create harmful repercussions in the society. I admit I am unsure as far as the truth/falsehood of the evidence is concerned.

Also, I am not advocating selective pardoning of criminals; and I do see a lot of hypocrisy in psecs wanting to do that. For cases like this I would want something like 111 year rigorous imprisonment or something like that ( which means the person will not have an opportunity to do any more damage; but if later innocence is proved he/she can be released ) - isn't that a firm/strong action?
drisyadrisya said…

You are exactly right- an action per se is not passionate or dispassionate- its the way its executed ... so feeding pork can be done in a dispassionate way, and imprisonment for 111 years COULD potentially rake up sentiments...

The guy COULD potentially sit in the jail and write "inspiring" stuff for islamists to atke to terrorism ....

as i mentioned in my previous post, islamists COULD hijack another plane and get him released and he will become much more a hero in action as compared to a martyr, and cause more head ache

essentially, whichever way u look at it, if there is a will (to destroy this nation and its beautiful religions), the islamists will find a way ..

So you might as well stick dispassionately to the laws on the nation or come up with something, like i did , which is meant , not to rake up passions, but to beat the very purpose with which these religious "wannabe martyrs" are born

and all the argument about the "community getting hurt" ... Oh well, thats essentially a psec talk ...
froginthewell said…
I am not saying that feeding pork cannot be done in a dispassionate way. I felt there was a lot of passion in this blog's call for feeding pork. As I said, I could be wrong ( since this was based on my gut feeling ).

As for the imprisonment, I meant the kind of imprisonment where he cannot publish stuff or mail others. It is possible to do it in such a way that absolutely no harm comes upon the society.

And there is nothing psec in my point regarding how muslims will take to this; my point was only that instead of it being a deterrent the response will be by desecrating hindu holy symbols - perhaps this can be done in a legal way too. It will cause only damage to the society and engender bitterness, what is the benefit of following such a course of action? What was the reaction after there was a news item that some American interrogators had flushed Quran down the toilet?

Anyway the point about the local church being glad to bring the water for dipping was funny :-))
drisyadrisya said…

it doesn't matter whether I have passion behind my suggestions as long as the way its implemented is in the proper way

One could use the same logic and say vandemaataram during the independence stuggle used to rake up "passion" and so it was not a dharmic way...

I would say, a good mix of philosophy and practicality is whats called for...

and the reason I said psec was beacause you seem to fall into the same trap... the trap set by islamists... nobody talks about te hurt sentiments of the hindu community, 10 of whose members (including a lady constable) was dead, trying to defend an institution against these islamists, but only talks about the potential hurt sentiments of the minority community

you may deny it again, news, but thats psec talk in my dictionary
froginthewell said…
My statement about the attitude behind it was an independent remark; that in itself was not meant or claimed to be an argument against implementing the feeding-the-pork thing. I am not professing sympathy for the hurt sentiments of the islamic community; I am merely saying that in practice feeding pork will lead to only undesirable effects like others desecrating hinduism/attacking hindus, which would hurt my sentiments ( much, much more than any insult on islam might hurt me ).

By the way I think any good philosophy is intensely practical. vEdAnta is all about practice and not theory.
froginthewell said…
I forgot to reply about vandE mAtaram : that was the kind of thing which pulled people up from rajas to tamas. Passion is better than sloth - it might help lazy people like me to get over tamas, but no so, I guess, with people like you who are already active.
drisyadrisya said…

I have to go go back to where I started .. you can deal with a religion in a plane field, only if that entity in itself is logical... only if that entty in itself can be dealt with within a realm of common sense and basic decency

To a religion, which doesn't seem to advocate it, and which , when looked at whichever way , essentially tells u "You better become one amongst us, or be prepared to be damned", one may require novel ways of dealing with it

Or else, as i have been asking everyone, tell me a way, u can stop islamic terrorism... a practical way, and I shall comply

yes indeed, vedanta is indeed practical, but u see, u can still be like someone who keeps on reading a lab manual, without ever entering the lab
Anonymous said…
Indians should adopt the "shoot-to-kill" policy the Brits adopted whilst fighting the Irish terrorists in Ulster in the 1970s...saves on needless wrangling in the law courts!