India- Appeal to President Abolish Death Penalty


10th Novemeber 2012

Respected Mr. President,

We, the undersigned Indian citizens, urge the Government of India to grant mercy to Md. Ajmal Kasab and commute his death sentence to one of imprisonment for life. We believe that it is wrong and immoral to kill a human being by way of revenge or punishment.

Executing Kasab in the name of the Indian people will only feed a base blood lust that will make our society more blood-thirsty, vengeful and violent. It will not contribute to our safety or well-being in any way. On the other hand, keeping Kasab in jail and treating him like a human being allows for the possibility of him regaining his humanity, repenting his crime and atoning for the harm he has caused. That would indeed be a big victory in our battle against terrorism.

We, like many other Indians, strongly oppose the death penalty on political and ethical grounds, and want an end to state-sanctioned killings. These views should also be respected and considered. For this reason as well, we urge you to consider commuting the death sentences of Kasab and other prisoners on death-row.

We believe that all of us – the best and the worst – are in need of mercy, and it is only by showing mercy that, morally, we ourselves become entitled to receiving it. Bereft of mercy, our  society becomes impoverished and inhuman. If we have to become a more humane and compassionate society, and leave a better, and less blood-thirsty world behind for our children, we have to curb our instinct for bloody retribution and abandon the practice of killing those who have hurt us. In the land of Buddha, Mahavira, Gandhi and Ambedkar, let it not be said that there is no place left in our hearts for mercy or that the national conscience can only be satisfied by the killing of Kasab.

Sincerely

Vrinda Grover

Kalpana Mehta

Tultul Biswas

Bela Bhatia

Laxmi Murthy

Bondita Acharya

Pyoli Swatija

Indira Chakravarthi

Kalyani  Menon Sen (Feminist Learning Partnerships)

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Jayawati Shrivastava

 

Deepti (Saheli, Delhi)

Sandhya Gokhale (Forum Against Oppression of Women)

Ranjana Padhi