A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books
Thucydides, the great Athenian historian, has a famous chapter in his book The History of the Peloponesian War in which the fate of the male inhabitants of the island of Melos is discussed in the Athenian Assembly. Known as the Melian Dialogue, this chapter must be read by all those who have rushed into the debate on the fate of Rajiv Gandhi's killers. I do not have any sympathy for Rajiv Gandhi or for that matter the criminal organisation called the Congress Party. I must add that I am one of those who argues vigorously that the Congress should be expelled from the political arena because it organised the largest massacre in the history of independent India and Rajiv Gandhi actively abetted this crime. The fact is that Rajiv Gandhi's killers are now perceived to be icons of Tamil Nationalism makes it difficult for a soft state like India, and a government rendered even more soft by incompetence, dynastic fascism and corruption,to carry out the sentence. I do not think that the killers will be executed on September 9th 2011.
Thucydides with whom I began this blog says that political considerations outweigh moral and even legal considerations while debating the issue of clemency. Will any purpose be served now if the 3 men convicted of killing Rajiv Gandhi are put down. It will only reignite the fire of Tamil ethic nationalism and India cannot afford another Identity founded political movement. Further, the role of Rajiv Gandhi's mother in creating the very organisation that ultimately killed her son will once again come to the fore. Further, the incompetent and politically and militarily disastrous intervention by the Indian Army in Sri Lanka following the Indo_Sri Lnakan Agreement will once again be the focus of attention. And the criminal organisation called the Congress has conveniently chosen to forget the Jain Commission findings because Sonia and her courtiers are now in bed with the DMK in that menagerie called the United Progressive Alliance. All these facts are highly damaging to the Congress and hence the killers will have their sentences commuted.
Whether the 3 killers deserve mercy or not is a moot point. Politically it will be impossible for them to be hanged. Already the Tamil Nationalists are out in straight demanding the commutation of the death sentence. The Gandhi family itself has set the precedent by requesting and getting the sentence on Nalini commuted to life imprisonment. The 3 killers will have their sentences commuted and as they have spent more than 16 years in jail, they will be eventually released. Tamil Nadu has the dubious distinction of releasing life convicts whose sentence in commuted for absurd reasons like the 100th birthday of Mr Annadurai. So far 6 people including a young girl have burnt themselves to death in support of the killers. With this kind of madness around the soft state like India cannot carry out its own judicial verdict.
One last point. Did not Rajiv Gandhi deserve his fate as he was responsible for the largest massacre in the history of Independent India and his 3 killers were only instruments of retribution.