By Aziz A. Mubaraki,
AS everybody else has an opinion on Yakub Memon’s death by decree of law, irrespective of the fact that it is unlikely to change anything for him now, I still feel the urge to put things across in a simple, impartial and logical way. So, without wasting words on immaterial issue like whether he should have been extended leniency and compassion, the attention at the moment should be on another more pertinent question. Was he eligible for such an “act of gracious kindness” for the crime he committed or was forced to be an accomplice in it?
Mr B Raman (IPS), the then head of Pakistan’s desk at Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) in his article in 2007 (http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/dead-raw-officer-raman-returns-to-question-death-sentence-to-1993-bombay-blasts-convict-yakub-memon-1024952.html) wrote: “There is not an iota of doubt about the involvement of Yakub and other members of the family in the conspiracy and their cooperation with the ISI till July 1994”. It makes the rest of the argument unwarranted.
Many offer logic that Babri mosque was demolished 20 years ago with much oppression of the Muslims; have we gotten any justice? Gujarat genocide of Muslims occurred 10 years ago; have we gotten any justice? The horrendous Bombay communal riots happened 20 years ago; have we received any justice? Batla House false encounter and oppression of many Muslim youth from Azamgarh occurred five years ago and is continuing; have we received any justice? Sachar Committee report on gross Muslim deprivations was released six years ago; have we received any justice? All we have received in 65 years is a few bread crumbs thrown at us and we have been told to keep quiet.
But my question to all such people including Mr. Owaisi, (a lawyer himself) and the politically active millionaire Imam – who led the Namaaz e Janaza for Yakub in Kolkata – is why they did not take keen interest to fight all above cases, including that of Yakub, himself (Mr Owaisi). Why did they not hire lawyers to pursue all above cases, including that of Yakub again?
I feel it was more of a lip service to the community to give them a “feel good feeling” than anything else, because as a layman if I can understand that seeking clemency from capital punishment in itself was an acceptance of his crime, I wonder how a foreign-returned barrister like Owaisi could not understand that and demanded relief on communal lines. Does counting others’ sins make one saint?
The argument should have been on the basis of the disclosure that Mr Raman made again in his article, where he wrote “But if one also takes into consideration his (Yakub’s) conduct and role after he was informally picked up in Kathmandu, there is a strong case for having second thoughts about the suitability of the death penalty in the subsequent stages of the case”.
And on that Imam of Kolkata, his mass prayers seem limited for dreaded terrorists, be it Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussain or controversial figures like Yakub Memon. Why did he not offer prayer for APJ Abdul Kalam who died recently? Why did he not offer any Namaaz e Janaza for Kargil Martyrs, Ehsan Jaffery and all those who were butchered in Gujarat, Mumbai or Muzaffarnagar? Weren’t they Muslims? Aren’t they martyrs? But creating confusion in the minds of innocent Muslims the Imam seems hell-bent on committing political hara-kiri, pushing the community in another deep abyss. Unfortunately for some Muslims love for their political parties is more pertinent than the love for the community. Otherwise, they could have limited their actions.
The community would have appreciated it if there were some logical and peaceful means of protest in the case of hanging of Yakub. Such Namaaz e Janaza sends wrong signal or depicts incorrect pictures of the community and ends up antagonising fellow citizens instead of letting them know of our concerns.
Such prayer is nothing but a big blunder that makes the community more vulnerable and isolated. Such dim-witted show of strength of the community is just hollow and meaningless- and should be avoided at all cost.
The writer is Member, Advisory Committee, Airport Authority of India(NSC), Ministry of Civil Aviations, Government of India. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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