The WikiLeaks cables may not be the exact scripts of the dramas enacted behind the scenes,in the corridors of power,but they are fair indicators of what might have happened (Congress trashes WikiLeaks claim on Rajiv Gandhi,attacks BJP,Assange,IE,April 8). Instead of trashing the cables,the Congress and others involved in the expose must ask for a fair investigation. Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat its mistakes.
APROPOS the editorial Death by degrees (IE,April 9),it is certainly cruel to linger on the cases of those on death row. Such convicts are forced to live under the constant fear of death. The system should do everything possible to ensure that individuals have exhausted all channels of appeal and that innocent people are not executed because of a judicial or investigative error,but that should not be an endless process. Neither should it end according to political convenience.
The debate over the death sentence is a long-running one. Although a long wait on death row is excruciating,it might be necessitated by the demands of justice. There is,after all,an old principle that says let a hundred convicts escape but do not hang the wrong person. The death sentence draws from a retributive,rather than a reformative,system of justice,one that defies several moral principles. Death sentences have not proved to be an effective deterrent. Our continuing with the practice might have something to do with our obsession with extreme action rather than logical action.
Say the word
MAHARASHTRA Deputy CM Ajit Pawars insensitive,arrogant and mindless retort to drought-hit farmers has drawn stringent criticism from all quarters (After making crude remarks,Ajit Pawar faces flak in Assembly,IE,April 9). There has been an uproar in the state assembly over his remarks. Pawar has since apologised and is appealing for forgiveness. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has also apologised for his nephews remarks. But the outraged people of India,particulary those from Maharashtra,do not seem to be in a mood to forgive him. Perhaps he should think of quitting public life for a while. Political leaders in a democracy cannot afford to be heavy-handed or deride the misery of the people who elect them to government. Lately,the language of public discourse has fallen to new lows. This indifference to public woes is not going to be taken lightly.