With the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving gunman from the November 26, 2008, terror attacks in Mumbai, it is hoped that the families of the 166 people, who spent years coping with the loss of their dear ones, can now find a sense of closure and take the chance to move forward.
It is being debated that Kasab’s death may have come a little too late — four years after the heinous massacres in Mumbai were committed — but the people of India should move past that dynamic. It is significant to note that the execution came a day after India opposed the non-binding UN General Assembly resolution which had called for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
Pride should be taken that the government allowed the guilty a fair trial. His case was thoroughly debated through the courts, right up to the office of the President, where a plea for clemency was sought, but rejected, given the gravity of the crimes that were committed. The rule of law was applied comprehensively and appropriately.
This should be viewed as a feather in the cap for India’s democratic system where tolerance and legal support was afforded to an individual who cold-bloodedly took the lives of innocent people.
The Kasab chapter should now be closed. It is time for the political classes to present an united face, instead of looking to make political capital in a bid for oneupmanship as the winter session of parliament is due to begin. Should they fail to opt for a dignified course of action, the ruling party and the opposition at the Centre would be displaying lack of empathy towards the plight of those whose lives were affected on that fateful day — November 26, 2008. India has more pressing matters to address in the house of the people.
Justice has been served but, more importantly, it has also been seen to have been served. This should provide a glimpse into how a democratic system works. Positive lessons can be learnt. The people should take relief in that instead.