Since the last few days, I had seen many of my friends (Facebook) who were expressing their sense of pride or contentment or patriotic fervour replicated on the occasion of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab’s hanging at Yerawada Central Jail, Pune at 7.30 AM on 21 November 2012, for his role in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
It’s immaterial whether Kasab was hanged or not, what difference could it make? The root cause where the problem lies is the real issue; it’s in the deep undergrounds fertilized by religious ignorance. Of what use is religion if it cannot give us peace which is what it intends to, be it any religion? This hanging is no history, it’s just the passing of time, just another normal day, if the death of Kasab has any significance it had such significance only to Kasab before he was hanged and there must have been peace in his death like the death of any of us, however, he who knew his death was coming must have had a different experience altogether.
It does not have any significance to anyone and not even to the survivors of the Mumbai attack, how can it make their lives any better? Here, if there is any gratification, it must have been to fulfil their desire for vengeance (momentary), which is just another form of greed. Is it any different or in contrast to the greed that actually sustains terrorism, which of course is an extreme institution of human greed.
Robert F Kennedy in his 1963 announcement of the death of Martin Luther, King Jr. . quotes Aeschylus, “even in our sleep, pain which we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God”; such is the human mind, life has to move on, these feelings, often the emotional feelings are but momentary, such is the desire for revenge which ceases to exist with the death of the person avenged at.
“I believe God and religion are different in purpose and objective, the latter exploiting the stance of the former. Let me give you a couple of instances, no religion is free from propaganda of human greed; Heinrich Himler, a close military associate of Adolf Hitler always carried with him a copy of Bhagwad Gita on his visits to concentration camps and used to quote from it. Robert Oppenheimer, the great physicist who fathered the Manhattan project, quoted from Bhagwad Gita after the first trial explosion was conducted; chose a verse from the 10th chapter, “Now I became Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
In the above two instances, I believe, the savageness of humans, i.e., the manifestation of greed preoccupied the misinterpretation of religious texts or is it an interpretation? The same problem is with our Jihad guys, irrespective of their nationalities, be they Indians or Pakistanis. Therefore, the problem is in the human mind and its obsession with greed, and not in a nation or not in a particular group.
Kasab is the real victim, his situation is complex, he is not someone history can forget, he did not die, he lives through the ignorance which still ruins the lives of young yet to be terrorists, and there is exploitation of their minds, or rather the exploitation of the ignorance in their minds. The killing of Kasab is not a lesson to his victimizers, it demands more from his victimizers who would pass on the Kasab baton to potential Kasabs.
Why only people like Kasab should be sent for Jihad campaigns and not the leaders themselves, why not the leaders become suicide bombers? I believe they are equally human and have perhaps the same eligibility as Kasab. Truly, the leaders are destroying the terrorists’ capabilities of rationale thinking through instilling of the fear for God, then what about the fear for death? Which is a greater fear? For anyone it should be the fear for life or death more than the fear for God, that’s where the rationale functions and that’s how it can make survival possible. So, the hanging of Kasab is not to be seen as an achievement and, as if waking up from sleep, India’s National Human Rights Commission condemned it in its aftermath!
RFK also says “Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”
The savageness is in the human mind and that’s where the problem is and that’s where the remedy has to be made and not on the body, here the punishment was bestowed on the body and not the mind. What is the use of applying the balm on the knee when the actual injury is in the mind?
Narayana Rao resides in Hyderabad, India.