Some Questions for Comrade Karat on Afzal’ Guru’s killing #deathpenalty


To,
Shri Prakash Karat,

General Secretary,

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Dear Comrade,

Afzal Guru was hanged yesterday in utter secrecy, denied in his last moments the right to meet his wife and children one final time. Denied to him also was the ultimate judicial resort, due to every condemned convict after his/her mercy petition has been rejected.

The entire legal proceedings against Afzal were shot through with contradictions, fabrications and travesties of legal procedure. The Supreme Court bench that finally sentenced him to death did so to ‘appease the national conscience’ despite inadequate evidence of his role in the Parliament attack case.

And yet this is what your colleague in the Polit Bureau Sitaram Yechury had to say to the media on this issue, “I think, the law of the land with all its provisions has finally been completed as far as the Afzal Guru case and the attack on the Indian Parliament is concerned. The issue which had been lingering for the past 11 years has finally completed its due course.”

‘Law of the land’ has ‘completed its due course’? Is this the official stand of the CPI(M) on the Afzal Guru case? Or is it just Com. Yechury trying to ‘appease the national conscience’ and joining the UPA in harnessing the ‘Hindu vote’?

Surely you and your colleagues in the Polit Bureau have heard that Afzal was unrepresented from the time of his arrest till he made his alleged ‘confession? You may have also perhaps heard of the letter that Afzal wrote to the Judge pleading he had no faith in the lawyer appointed for him by the Court, asking to be represented by any from a list of four lawyers he named. The Court records show that two of these lawyers refused to represent him but there is no information whether the other two on the list were even ever asked.

A lawyer, who had never met Afzal, admitted documents in court incriminating him. Or has your Polit Bureau been watching too many telecasts of his ‘confession’ – considered inadmissible in any court of law – as damning evidence of his guilt?

But never mind. Lack of legal representation for your Party does not seem too major an obstacle in implementing the ‘due course of law’. When elections are looming on the horizon, and your Party’s mass base is dwindling, a little injustice – like the murder of an innocent man- does not matter of course.

If the Congress is fast becoming the B Team of the communal Hindutva brigade should the CPI (M) try to become the C Team? Has your Party learnt nothing from the defeats it has suffered due to similar unprincipled stands it has taken in the past? Are we being completely delusional in expecting a Party named with grand terms like ‘Communist’ and ‘Marxist’ to take a stand different from that of political formations taking the nation fast forward towards all out Fascism?

Sincerely,

Satya Sivaraman

Manisha Sethi

 

Dear Abhijit babu: The Society of Painted and Dented Ladies responds


by  Dec 27, 2012, First Post
Dear Shri Abhijit Mukherjee,

I am writing to you in my capacity of  General Secretary of the Society of Painted and Dented Ladies of India. First of all, I would like to state that I was most touched that you have noticed our presence in your midst. For long, we the Painted and Dented Ladies have suffered on the fringes of society, waiting to be recognised – especially by the likes of political luminaries such as you. This honour from a sitting MP, has given me inestimable joy. Not to forget that you are our venerable president, Pranab Mukherjee’s very own son. I stand up in respect, sir.

Abhijit Mukherjee with his wife. PTI.

It takes a keen eye and an even keener mind to look beyond the rape of a young girl and the government and police inaction following it and spot the “shundoris” (beauties for the Bengali-challenged) in the crowd, protesting this inaction. Maybe it is because you are abhadralok and a shining example of the emancipated and perceptive Bengali man – and an obvious lover of beauty – that you were not blinded by the protests. Nay, your eyes looked through the crowds and the water cannons pelting us women and noticed that we were “highly dented and painted” women. We at the Society of Painted and Dented Ladies of India are touched – and I do use the word judiciously – that you realise that we were indeed dented by the force of the water cannons and the wallop of the policelathis. Your comment is not sexist as all the commentators on television are saying. No no. Your comment is actually an objective statement on the state of the women at the protests. We understand that you feel our paint.

We would also like to extend a sincere apology that we had not been informed that there was an age cut-off for the protests and that we had to be students to participate. It is most unfair of the ruling government and the police to have not announced this age limit and educational cutoff beforehand. If we had known, we would have only sent members of our sister NGO, The Society of  Slightly Painted and Mostly Undented Girls of India to the protest.

We are also very impressed at your display of psychological behaviour and personality-mapping, as we were not aware that you have these latent skills alongside your alleged misogynist ones and your narrow electoral victory. You became so much more personable when you said that even you have been a student and you know what a student’s character is like and that you have also frequented discotheques. As I heard this, I could imagine you wearing a fur cap and muffler standing in the Pink Elephant, looking at the young painted  girls shaking a leg. Even then, you must have had a discerning eye.

What saddened me though, is your sister Sharmishtha’s promptness in denouncing your perception and wisdom and stating that “Honestly speaking, I am really shocked…Whether these were students or not students doesn’t matter. My apologies on behalf of my brother. My father understands the anger people have against ill-treatment of women, their anger is justified”. E ta tho ekdom nonsense statement holo.

If siblings don’t stand together, who will? This is obviously what happens when Spring Revolutions take place. Age-old family ties are torn at the roots. Dear dada, this is something the Painted and Dented Ladies of India abhor. We uphold traditional Indian values. There is no dent a little paint cannot fix. If  next Raksha bandhan or bhai phonta you would like any new sisters I am sure many of our members would be willing to be of service.

As a card-holding member of the Painted and Dented tribe of ladies, I beseech you not to be cowed down by the naysayers. Do not apologise for your words. You must realise that you are strewing pearls before swine. Like Galileo, you will also be appreciated in another age.

Thanks to you, not just us, but even the emancipated, intellectual cult of the Bangalibhadralok has been brought into the spotlight. And we are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, monkey cap-to-monkey cap, face paint-to-face paint with you.

You Mr. Mukherjee are our answer to Freud, Jung and Bernard Henri-Lévy. Please let us know if you can address our next annual general meeting so we can also present a small token of our appreciation to you.

I must apologise that I have to bring this letter of appreciation to an end, but it is time for me to light the candles, touch up my face paint, finish some denting repair work and step out to India Gate. I will try and dodge the rapists and water cannons along the way. After all, one doesn’t want one dent too many.

Sincerely yours,

Shundori Secretary

P.S.: I’ve heard it’s very cold in Kolkata. Maybe it’s time to put on your monkey cap. Thaanda lege jaabe na hole. Take care. See you on TV.

 

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