Letters to the Editor

Print edition : March 07, 2014

Death sentence

CAPITAL punishment should be abolished (“Life-giving verdict”, February 21). Although criminals end the lives of others abruptly by violent means, a civilised society should not do so. In the Mahabharata, Ashwathama uses the deadly Brahmastra against an unborn baby. He was made a chiranjeevi (one who lives forever) for this crime against a defenceless baby so that he would be able to repent his crime over and over again innumerable times.

A dead rapist is gone and forgotten quickly, whereas one who languishes in jail for a lifetime will be a deterrent to all would-be rapists. Those who deserve capital punishment should be awarded imprisonment until their natural death, not imprisonment for 12 years only.

If capital punishment is abolished, the question of delay in granting clemency will not arise and many problems for the government such as public protests, celebration of martyrdom and the lack of hangmen will be solved. And the President of India can be saved from the ignominy of granting, not granting or delaying clemency.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu

Alappuzha, Kerala

THE article rightly articulated the need to ensure that the principles of natural justice are followed even in the case of convicts who have committed heinous crimes. However, convicts who have scant regard for human life and are guilty of cold-blooded crimes and those guilty of waging war against the state truly deserve capital punishment.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Supreme Court vide its 1983 judgment while dismissing the plea to abolish the death penalty by way of hanging observed that hanging did not involve torture, barbarity, humiliation or degradation.

Hence, the clamour by rights activists to abolish capital punishment is misplaced as the rarest of rare crimes deserve the rarest of rare punishments.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Kangaroo courts

THE gang rape of a tribal girl in Birbhum district, West Bengal, should make us all hang our heads in shame and ask whether we live in a civilised society with a functioning law and order machinery (“Rape as retribution”, February 21). It is harrowing to imagine what the girl and her boyfriend experienced tied to trees on a chilly winter night. Crimes against women are reportedly on the rise in the State, tarnishing its image. Hopefully, the present State government will take quick action to tighten law and order and, more importantly, take proper care of the targeted girl and her family members and mete out the severest punishment to the guilty so that such barbaric incidents do not recur.

Jayant Mukherjee


IT is deplorable that though India has an established legal system, khap panchayats and kangaroo courts continue to function. They do so with impunity because of individuals with a medieval mindset and because political parties give them a long rope. It is shocking that even Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal supports khap panchayats, perhaps because he hails from Haryana, a State that is notorious for the parallel illegal judicial system. The government should immediately pass a law to ban these panchayats.

K.P. Rajan


IT was a positive sign that all the culprits in the Delhi gang-rape case were awarded the death sentence. The number of rape cases in India is shockingly high and increasing. Rape cases are reported in the media almost on a daily basis. One of the measures needed to prevent rape is punishment that will act as a deterrent. A Delhi Additional Sessions Court judge once said that in such cases lawmakers should explore the possibility of punishments such as surgical or chemical castration. Heavy fines should also be imposed, especially when the victims are minors.

Mahesh Kumar

New Delhi

THOSE who commit the crime of rape deserve no mercy. It is the country’s totally weak judicial system that has failed to prevent the crime. The police force should be overhauled. Attributes such as education, discipline and sincerity should be the decisive factors in the selection of police officers.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai

Vazhavallan, Tamil Nadu


FOR Indians, any Buddhist cave with its carvings and depictions of the way of life in the past creates awe (“Wonders of Ajanta”, February 21). Ajanta is so great that its wonders can take their rightful place with the other wonders of the world.

Jacob Sahayam



FINALLY, ISRO’s dream of developing a cryogenic engine has become a reality even though several nations refused to transfer cryogenic technology to the country (“Cryogenic success”, February 7). This just goes to show that Indians are second to none in developing technology.

Ramkishan Venkatrao Bainwad

Chinchala, Maharashtra

Namdeo Dhasal

IN the article “Voice of the oppressed” (February 7), “Moorkh Mhataryane” and “Dongar Halavila” were mentioned as two different collections of poems. It is actually a single book of poems titled “Moorkh Mhataryane Dongar Halavila” meaning “the foolish old man who shook the mountains”. It was brought out by Magowa Prakashan, a leftist group that functioned in Maharashtra in the 1970s.

Ashok Rajwade


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