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Is death penalty a deterrent?

Much has been said for a long time by scholars, legal luminaries and others on the subject ‘death penalty’. The situation is very much there, although Ruchi Gupta (August 24) and Dr SS Bhatti (September 5) have tried to bring about some clarity from various angles.

Most of us are misled by the old but erroneous maxim “the greatest good of the greatest number”. This is one of the most unfortunate slogans that have ever gained recognition. This saying has been used for centuries to justify murder in the name to the society. Nothing can be moral or good if a single individual has to be sacrificed to gain it. Who shall compensate him for the deprivation of his natural rights – life? If a man misuses his liberty or his privileges, he may forfeit them but by no means or on no pretext should he be deprived of his life. Society can take away a man’s liberty and society can restore it. But Society can not restore one’s life. Moreover, such a sacrifice is not necessary to protect society.

Our present laws are based on old dictum – tooth for tooth and eye for eye. Many countries in the world have abolished death penalty. No doubt the victim must have committed heinous crime. But we must know what is evil. Evil is a lesser good as shadow is lesser light. Society is duty bound to debate and think over this vital problem.

PS BHATTI, Jalandhar

Don’t lower our guard

It is heartening to note that cross-border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir has come down considerably to a constant vigilance by the Indian security forces and the widespread apathy among the people to the militant causes are the main contributory factor. This is in reference to the editorial, ‘Message from LoC’, August 24.

Barring a few sporadic incidents of terrorism, the Valley has almost returned to normalcy. With this new dawn of peace, the Kashmiris want a rapid economic and infrastructural development in the state. Though Pakistan trained and sponsored terrorist masterminds have shifted their focus from India to Afghanistan and the United States, Pakistan still continues to use terrorism as an instrument of its state policy vis-à-vis India.

Despite a number of confidence-building measures in progress, Pakistan does not seem to be genuinely interested in improving its relations with India. Detection of the trans-border tunnel in Samba sector last month, the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan rangers and the fundamentalists from Pakistan trying to polarise people on communal lines are some conclusive proofs of Pakistan’s desperate attempts to keep the situation at the border simmering so that it can internationalise the Kashmir problem. People at the border areas live under the shadow of constant fear and insecurity.

In the given scenario, there should absolutely be no slackness on India’s part. Our security forces must be put on full alert to thwart any Pakistani attempt to revive acts of criminal violence in the future.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Bridge the gap

It was really heartening to hear from the country’s Defence Minister Mr AK Antony in the September 6 edition of The Tribune that in armed forces more than 100 jawans commit suicide every year since 2003. This year alone till 31 August, 62 jawans had committed suicide. He had discussed the issue of suicides with all the commanders of the three forces and ordered that leave should be given to jawans at their convenience.

I see two strong reasons for the suicide of the jawans in the armed forces. First is that pre-independence the offices used to be from British and the jawans were recruited from India. Definitely the British’s officers as ruler of the country were living life in very high profile style and enjoyed many privileges but on the other side jawans and JCO were not allowed any privileges as they were slaves unfortunately the government was not bothered about defence forces and the trend of living like British officers prevails till today in the armed forces. But here one thing we can notice is that after Independence the officers and jawan’s are from India. So, the government needs to see that the officer’s in the armed forces have to give up the trend of living like British officers and the gap between officers and jawan’s needs to be decreased to get better results.

Secondly, after Britishers the attitude of British officer prevailed in Indian officer and for three to four decades the jawans were not literate. But now the jawans who get recruited in the armed forces are well educated. But as per the behaviour of the jawans they are not allowed to express their views on the name of discipline. The jawans today have become literate and at some places you will find that a jawan is more qualified than an officer. But on the name of discipline the juniors are much pressurised and if you look in the past the senior officer are only responsible in all the security leak scams or the socrruption scams. You see Larkin brothers’ case, Taboot Ghutala and Adarsh Society scam. Have you ever seen a jawans in any of these ghutalas or security leakage cases of the country?

So, I think needs Defence Minister Mr AK Antony needs to work on a plan that reduces the gap in the life of these jawans.


The divine bull

The article “Nandi – Lord Shiva’s divine bull” (September 5) by Joshi was highly informative. The writer has cited many examples of Shiva’s one of the faithful ‘ganas’ that is regarded as an epitome of obedience and sincerity and is an emblem emblazoned on Shiva’s standard. The majesty and high seriousness of the literary piece is well marked but at the end of the column the ‘tail-piece’ merely depended on the senses rather than the intellect or spirit marring the exuberance of the article.





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