While the media tries to assess different aspects of Afzal Guru’s hanging, the question arises what the execution means to a Kashmiri. I, a Kashmiri, feel it was reflective of a lack of vision in the Indian leadership. Thanks to New Delhi’s insensitivity to Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has been caught in some controversy or the other — the Shopian rape case, fake encounters, etc. All he seems to be doing is tackling the Centre’s wrongdoings. The imposition of curfew in some parts of Kashmir after Afzal’s execution is the most recent example.
Blaming Pakistan and the Hurriyat for all the wrongs in Kashmir has worked well for New Delhi over the last three decades as far as electoral politics is concerned. But this tactic has the potential to backfire. The Centre should work with the people of Kashmir and repeal laws like AFSPA which give huge powers to the security forces. Afzal Guru got a trial, although filled with contradictions, but there are thousands languishing in jails for years without any legal aid. Time has come for the Indian state to rethink its Kashmir policy.
The secret hanging and burial of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail is unacceptable. “Law and order” is conveniently used to deny human rights. We are yet to come out of our colonial past when suppression and oppression were legitimate. A democratic country cannot be run by undemocratic methods.
K. Narayana Rao,
It is morally wrong on the government’s part to have not informed Afzal Guru’s family of his execution well in time. The responsibility for the delay should be fixed and the person concerned held accountable. This was not an ordinary goof-up; huge personal emotions were at stake.
Writing editorials and reports empathising with Afzal Guru, thereby creating doubts in our system and democratic institutions which have stood the test of time, is not a responsible thing to do. Should we not spare a word or two for the police personnel and the gardener who lost their lives in the Parliament attack? Even their family members bid them goodbye on the fateful day with the hope of meeting them in the evening.