Avirook Sen in The Express Tribune:
I love India. I hate many things about it. I cannot stand its poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and often, impotence. But I think what makes me bristle is its celebration of death, when cloaked in the gaberdine of retribution. Ajmal Kasab, a labourer from Faridkot, was hanged on the morning of November 21 and India celebrated.
He was ‘jhatka’ meat. ‘Operation X’ (the evocative codename for the macabre process of getting him to the gallows with the least fuss) was clean, efficient and secretive. There were no sly YouTube videos, even the prime minister didn’t know. The judicial proceedings — I read them with interest — were almost flawlessly fair. Then, it came down to the mercy of the highest authority in the land on such matters — the president. And the heavy, invisible will of that strange entity called “the people”.
I do not like “the people”. There are many of them. They rejoiced, gloated, when news of the hanging came in. I report on a murder trial in India on a regular basis — one that has the possibility of a similar result. On my way to court, I heard the radio — a jockey cracked a joke about the hanging; a young reporter with a mock under-teen delivery asked the hangman “how he felt”. Television took the story forward: why not use the “momentum” (!) to also hang Afzal Guru for the parliament attack case? More: