Tag Archives | justice

Four years ago

Remembering the Mumbai terror attacks

Lest we forget. It’s not over yet. Ajmal Kasab was just the tip of the jehadi spear wielded by the Pakistani establishment. The real perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks remain unpunished. And justice remains undelivered.

I believe in Martin Luther King’s words: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But I also believe in Barack Obama’s explanation of those words: “It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.”

Let each of us put our hand on that arc and bend it in the direction of justice. A rededication to seeking justice is perhaps the best way to honour the memories of those we lost this day four years ago.

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Sopore girls: Children of a lesser God?

Guest post by Raheel Khursheed

Sometimes home is best experienced by way of detachment…through picture perfect postcards that don’t capture people’s hypocrisy and your subsequent disappointment by it. Particularly so when your home is Kashmir!  The abduction and murder of two teenaged sisters in Sopore, Akhtara & Arifa, for ‘Moral Turpitude’ as reported by Mail Today News paper by alleged Lashkar terrorists is medieval in its exhibition and impact.

What’s more heart-wrenching is that there have been no protests over the two murders, as say happened over the Shopian alleged rapes & murderers. Not like people are scared of protests! If 15 year old boys can face off a police van and tear it to bits with bricks and stones, they surely can let out a few slogans against what is obviously a grave crime against the very fabric of Kashmiri society by brutal gun-totting terrorists.

If two young Kashmiri women being dragged out of their home and shot dead in cold blood doesn’t shake the conscience of people and evoke condemnation with a wide spread anger, what will?  And yet it’s this collective inability of the Kashmiri people to see, recognise and raise their voice against cutting-across-lines-brutality that this incident has highlighted & underlined. If the cry for justice for the victims of the Shopian alleged double rape & murder rang across Kashmir, why not a similar cry for justice for these two sisters? Or has Kashmir decided that it’s okay for terrorists to abduct and murder its daughters & sisters as long as there’s a convenient label to attach to the heinous crime?

On the contrary, there’s an argument that the murder of these girls is justifiable in the larger ‘Azadi’ narrative. As if ‘Azadi’ is blood thirsty demon that needs the two young sisters sacrificed at it’s altar to quench its sacrificial thirst.

Even as condemnation from separatists has been muted, even main stream political leaders – the notable exception being CM Omar Abdullah – have been apologetic in their reactions to the incident! PDP Chairperson Mehbooba Mufti who visited Shopian at the peak of the protests in the 2008, hasn’t deemed it fit to even issue a strongly worded statement condemning the murders unequivocally, let alone visit the family.

One can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of protests that would’ve hit Kashmir if there was even a slight hint or indication that the security forces were involved in the incident in any way and the political opportunism that would’ve been on display subsequently.

You can follow @raheelk on Twitter.

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Bring Bangla 1971 war criminals to justice

India must support trial of 1971 war criminals by Bangladesh.

One of the major issue raised by the Awami League during the recently held elections that led to their overwhelming victory was their promise of trials of war criminals from the Bangladesh war of independence. When the bill was placed in the Parliament, it placed the opposition party, BNP in a fix as its political ally, Jamaat-e-Islami [JeI] are the real culprit of supporting Pakistan and undertaking war crimes during the Bangladeshi independence movement. BNP, chose to walkout of the Parliament, on flimsy grounds of seating arrangements, to avoid voting on the issue.

Now the resolution has been passed by the parliament, the JeI is planning to come out with a public apology over its political stance in 1971.  BNP has given a guarded support to the parliamentary resolution, given the widespread public support the emotive issue has in that country. The arrests of the suspected war criminals have already started.

United States has welcomed the Bangladeshi proposal to prosecute war criminals. Bangladesh is far closer to India than it is to the US. Under the BNP-JeI regime, Bangladesh has been linked with many Islamist terror strikes on the Indian mainland. As a close ally of the Sheikh Hasina government, India should provide all moral, legal and diplomatic support to Dhaka to finally close this unfinished chapter from 38 years ago. India should help in the prosecution of these war criminals as a good neighbour and as a staunch supporter of human rights; more importantly, India should do this to exterminate in Bangladesh, the ideology that spawns hatred and promotes terror against India and Indians.

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Framing the problem correctly

Neither India-Pakistan military conflict nor merely justice for Mumbai terror attacks, the real problem that needs to be solved is Pakistan.

Pakistan has tried its best [and partially succeeded] to portray the Mumbai terror attacks in the framework of a conventional military conflict between two nuclear-weapons armed nations — India and Pakistan. Beijing, as the historical ally of Islamabad, has been parroting out the Pakistani line.

The visit of the Indian Home Minister to the US with a Proofs Dossier and the recent statements from the Indian government have focused solely on bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks to justice. While Pakistan’s insistence on framing the problem in India-Pakistan military conflict terms is understandable, misdiagnosis by the Indians — politicians, media and strategic experts — is either amazingly naive or shockingly inept.

Any long-lasting solution can only spring from identifying the right problem. It does not need huge insight and great wisdom to frame the problem in correct terms. How is terror — born, bred and supported from Pakistan, through complicity between certain state actors and their non-state actor cousins — targeting and bleeding the Indian mainland continually? In focusing on the seemingly immediate aims of avenging Mumbai terror attacks, let us not forget the real problem that deserves India’s undivided attention — Pakistan.

Even Gordon Brown can see it clearly far away in London. He says that the world must solve ‘Pakistan problem’.

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Permanent commission for serving women officers

…has to be granted, says the Delhi High Court.

When the charade of starting permanent commission to women officers in the Indian defence services was announced with a lot of fanfare earlier this year, this blogger had highlighted the dichotomies in the decision taken by the government. The policy letter announcing the grant of permanent commission was conceited, diabolical, discriminatory and morally reprehensible; not in what it actually said, but more in what it left unsaid.

Delhi High Court has now taken cognisance of repugnances in the intent and action of the Indian army on the matter of granting permanent commission to women officers. It has directed the Centre to ensure serving woman officers in defence forces are granted permanent commission without delay.

…the Central government in September took a policy decision to grant permanent commission to those women officers who would be recruited in future in Judge Advocate General and education departments.

It was decided that the benefits would not be extended to serving women officers.

…”This is a salutary step taken by the three Armed Services but still falls short of our expectations. This would imply that there was no jam yesterday, no jam today and only jam tomorrow,” observed a Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Mool Chand Garg in an order.

“It may not be possible to reopen past cases but we can see no cogent reason why at least for women personnel who are still in service, the policy can not be made applicable,” the court ordered.

The decision of the High Court underscores the “we can do without them[women]” belief prevalent in the armed forces, especially at the senior ranks. It is not that women are queueing up to join the army and if there are a few who wish to continue in uniform, it is both prudent and morally right to allow them to do so.

This story is unlikely to end here. Will the government allow the army to appeal this decision in the Supreme Court? Or will these modern notions of gender-equality be forced down the throat of the colonial armed forces against their wishes? That will be a surefire pointer to the direction that the government wishes the Indian armed forces to take.

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Weekend irony: Taliban urge UN to stop Afghan executions

The Taliban did not run shy of dispensing instant justice during its rule in Afghanistan — public executions in stadia were the norm. Here is a video of one such execution at Kabul in 1999. Now, when the boot is on the other foot, this is the official response from the Taliban.

“We strongly request the UN, the EU, the Red Cross and human rights groups to earnestly prevent this barbaric act,” the Taliban said in a statement on their website.[Dawn]

The Taliban must not have had the time to read their George Bernard Shaw:

Do not do unto others as you would expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

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