After a few heart-rending glimpses at Facebook profiles of those that will never come back, killed at German Bakery and after asking myself useless questions like “Will we ever have justice?”, I have come to the conclusion that we in India should stop spending time, money and lives investigating Jihadis and trying to bring them to justice.
You heard that right.
Let me explain what I am trying to say.
Like any corporation, Terrorism Inc has essentially three kinds of employees.
At the lowest level are the grunts, the peons, the hands-on-people who do the quotidian tasks of “customer service” and “delivering packages” and the other activities described in their intake documents. People like Kasab, Ashfaq, Afzal. People against whom there is a mountain of evidence.
Yet I believe it is useless trying to prosecute them. Why? Well take for example Kasab. Now here is a dude from a foreign country who, helped by people in that said foreign country, comes waltzing in armed to the teeth and shoots dead a number of people in front of video cameras and a gazillion number of witnesses. Now in countries that have half a brain and a quarter of a gonad, such a person would be treated as an enemy combatant , tried in a military court with no press coverage and quickly dispatched off. However since we are in India, we try him in a civil court just like we would try a pickpocket, try to establish his guilt even though there is absolutely no doubt as to his culpability, spend crores on his security (yes HIS security) even after we know there is virtually no additional information he can give us (having been on the lowest rung of the ladder).
Not only that we place him under full media glare and this prompts him to repeatedly spin the most outrageous yarns that would make Kaiser Soze blush, allege mistreatment and of being framed (since that gives him one more spot in a news cycle) and in general command the kind of attention that he, not in his miserable years of existence on this earth, could ever have imagined. And even when he is convicted, he will enter the queue of other convicted terrorists like Afzal who still wait to be executed but who cannot because of political considerations (Ashfaq of the Red Fort attacks has not been executed as far as I know because of a petition accepted by the Supreme Court)
Then we come to the next strata of the terror hierarchy. Middle management. The project-managers who coordinate, plan and budget manpower and resources and sometimes get their hands dirty during design and code reviews. Unlike the coders and testers, these guys are much more difficult to catch since they mostly stay in their cabins and the evidence against them is often circumstantial and not as rock-solid as “The whole city saw you shooting people”. I claim that we should not bother to put them away. And this is why.
First of all, our investigative agencies will mismanage every aspect of the case from forensics to following basic proceedure, which will ultimately lead to the accused being let off on technicalities. Second of all, no matter which way things go, there will be agents (and I am deliberately not taking their names here) who will make sure that at the end, it is India that emerges as the villain. For instance, in the case of SAR Geelani, a known supporter for the “cause” who never made much bones about it, whose behavior during the Parliament attack was anything but “beyond suspicion” having had telephonic contact with the convicted, an interaction he initially denied, is supposed to have been “framed” by the government because finally the Courts exonerated him. However when the same Courts give a clean chit to the police on the Batla House Encounters, where arms are found and where those arrested have made no denials about their involvement in anti-national violent activities, then of course the same body’s judgment is no longer sacrosanct and there is talk of larger conspiracies, like how a policeman was “suspiciously” and “conveniently’ killed even though the Batla House accused says he did shoot at the policeman. And all this kind of duplicity happens without any kind of national outrage which seems to be solely reserved for other matters of greater importance. Given this and given that in the unlikely case that any of these middle managers do actually get sentenced at which point of time they will join the line of “waiting to be executed but never will” why even spend time and energy trying to catch these fellows, when no matter what happens India will end up with muck on its face ?
The “third class” is as always upper management, the big money managers, the Post Graduate Diplomas in Mayhem (PGDM). The good thing is that these people are usually out of the country ensconced in the “best neighbour one can have” or “The Cayman Islands for terrorism” and so they are quite out of our reach. Sometimes they do get caught like Maulana Azhar and Sheikh Omar and a plane gets hijacked in their honor, innocent lives are lost and after everything the government ferries them back to Afghanistan.
There is of course the angel investor in terror, Pakistan. But of course we should be careful not to get them angry as was evidenced not just in Sharm-e-Sheikh (is it not ironic there is almost the word “sharam” there) but the way when Pakistani sentiments are continuously pampered to. I am referring to our Home Minister whose initials are again ironically Politically Correct decided to comment on the IPL auctions thing (which being a decision of a private organization should not have been a topic of official commentary) in order to assuage angry Pakistanis that their Ball-Biter-In-Chief and Hinduyon-ki-Zehniyaat-hi-aise-hai sprouting messengers-of-peace-by-piece have been sinned against.
And that is why I believe we should as a nation stop spending any more resources into things like justice.
It’s just not worth it.
[Any comments on religions, of the hateful kind most specifically, as also what I consider strong personal attacks will be removed. If you have strong opinions and minds to influence, then I suggest you go elsewhere. Please obey the rules of this blog. Thank you ]