Death of Sarabjit Singh …Why we must rethink!

Sarabjit Singh, the Indian national convicted and jailed in Kot Lakhpat jail, Pakistan since 1990; died a few hours ago at the Jinnah hospital at Lahore.

Death of Sarabjit SinghSarabjit singh was convicted in Pakistan as ‘Manjit Singh’ for involvement in the 1990 serial bomb blasts at Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people. Although, Sarabjit claimed that he was a farmer and a victim of mistaken identity, who strayed into Pakistan from his village located on the border, three months after the bombings, when drunk; he was sentenced to death in 1991, but his hanging had been repeatedly postponed.

Five mercy petitions were filed on his behalf, in which Sarabjit maintained that he served twenty-two years of prison term for a crime he had not committed. On 26 June 2012, it was reported that Pakistan’s President had ordered his release on the basis of his petition filed on 28 May 2012. However, five hours later this pardon was revoked and it was claimed that the pardon was for another prisoner, Surjeet Singh.

In April 2013, Sarabjit suffered serious injuries in an attack by the fellow prison inmates, and died today morning around 1:30 AM in the Jinnah hospital at Lahore.

May his Soul Rest in Peace.

Death of Sarabjit Singh …Why we must rethink!

Sarabjit Singh(1963/1964 – May 2, 2013) died in Pakistan. He was awarded death penalty for some bombings in which people lost their lives. He appealed for mercy. He claimed to be innocent all this while. But, call it a pressure from the Islamic fundamentalists out there in Pakistan OR the impeccable judgement by Pakistan’s Apex Court; Sarabjit never found his clemency petition approved. Right reasons or wrong reasons, such was the craze among radical or fundamentalist elements in Pakistan, the more the death sentence of Sarabjit Singh stretched, the more radicals and fundamentalists became desperate. The desperation rubbed on to a section Pakistan citizens and Sarabjit was attacked inside jail cell by fellow inmates. He died today of those brutal injuries.

Sad Right? Depends how you see the incident.

If you believe in Sarabjit Singh’s claims, then you will feel sad. As an innocent man was killed for a crime he never committed.

But, if you have faith in Pakistan’s judiciary, then for Sarabjit, things simply came a full circle. He killed innocent people in Pakistan. It was God’s way of punishing him. With this mindset, for you, Sarabjit will be no different from any terrorist. He’s the same for Pakistan people; as Afjal Guru and Kasab were for us. And in this case the potency of evidences or them being of circumstantial nature doesn’t matter. If Court awarded the death sentence to Sarabjit Singh, that must be final.

Craze to See Sarabjit Singh hanged… resulted in his brutal killing:

Ask yourself, why Sarabjit Singh was brutally attacked?

Because, a section of Pakistan political establishment, media and citizens wanted his death.

The fundamentalist or radical political/religious groups wanted to take milage from Sarabjit Singh’s death in the upcoming Pakistan Senate polls.

A section of media wanted to fan the anti India sentiment, as that helped them get more viewers/readers.

A section of Pakistan citizens harbour anti-India sentiment, courtesy indoctrination by vested groups and hence wanted Sarabjit hanged as soon as possible.

Compare this with what happens here when a terrorist  awarded death penalty goes to President for clemency. We also see in India radical/fundamentalist parties, a section of media and a section of citizens shout “hang!” “hang!”. We see very educated young men and women, demanding death for terrorists on Twitter and Facebook. We saw some political parties and a section of Indians distributing sweets and beating drums to celebrate Afzal and Kasab’s hangings.

See how a section of India sees LTTE killing ethinic Sri Lankans without distinction (men, women and children). Now see, the same section, see the killing of late LTTE founder Prabhakarran’s 12 year old son. There are visibly double standards.

In short, when it comes to terrorism and Pakistan, a section of Indians seem a bit desperate too.

Politics of Death is Bad:

Interestingly, whenever and whoever does the politics of death (demanding death of a human for political gains); he/she does so with visible double standards. Based on the situations, he sees people as patriots and sinners. This dichotomy arises as it’s not possible to embrace one view. For instance, BJP kept on demanding hanging for Afjal Guru and kasab. Imagine what will be its stand, if RSS’s Sadhvi Pragya or Colonel Purohit are sentenced to death by Indian Courts in Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blasts. In that situation, it will either disown the individuals as having any links with RSS or BJP (as Pakistan does many a times); or it will directly or directly call them patriots and the judgement flawed.

In Sarabjit Singh’s death as well, political parties will try to take mileage. Not surprisingly though, BJP will demand the status of Martyr for Sarabjit. It will call it the Son of India. Afjal Guru was also hailed in a similar manner in Pakistan (we know how such felicitation hurts).

I hope, Sarabjit Singh’s death will serve us a lesson that: Politics of Death is Bad. Ethically and Morally. There’s no fun in seeing someone dead.