February 26, 2010

Matters of concern

A Sikh man is murdered. An Indian minister calls this a "barbaric and heinous" act that is "deplorable in the strongest possible terms." He says this is a "matter of deep and serious concern to the [Indian] government". Other reports say the government is being asked to exert pressure to punish the guilty for this murder.

This atrocity happened, of course, just a few days ago: "Taliban militants" beheaded Jaspal Singh. In Pakistan.

Barbaric and heinous, without doubt.

Over 25 years ago now, some other barbaric and heinous acts happened. I would have thought they too were "deplorable in the strongest possible terms", and that they too were a "matter of deep concern to the [Indian] government", and that in these cases too, the government was asked to exert pressure to punish the guilty.

I refer, of course, to the slaughter of 3000 Sikhs in Delhi, India, in 1984.

As we -- rightly -- express our horror at the beheading of Jaspal Singh, and as we -- rightly -- demand justice for this crime from Pakistan, let's remember that 25 years later, India has managed to punish pretty much nobody for the killings of those 3000 Indians in Delhi.

Not only that. One person named in inquiry after inquiry for having led murderous mobs then is Sajjan Kumar, Congress politician from Delhi. In January 2010, the Delhi High Court issued a non-bailable warrant for his arrest for his role in the murder of 12 people in 1984.

A month later, where is this once-MP, this senior Congress leader whom the Goverment protects in the "Z+" category at taxpayer expense? He cannot be located. He has gone into hiding. (But from hiding, he has managed to get anticipatory bail).

Tell me about barbaric and heinous crimes that are a matter of deep and serious concern to the Indian government.


Sapathan said...

Why are you mixing issues?

A minister's opinion on some act in another country has no relevance to the way criminal justice system works in India.

To link these two smacks of an error that's worse than the one you accuse the government of.

Gurpreet said...

Why is it "mixing"??

If India can call for punishment for the ppl who beheaded Jaspal, why can not India call for the same for the ppl who killed Sikhs in '84?

I never understand why ppl use every excuse to avoid discussion (and punishment) of the '84 killing.

Is it only because I am Sikh that I see the injustice? You cannot?


Sapathan said...

I don't know if India did -- or what it means for a Country to say that. A minister said that and I prefer to leave it there.

It's mixing because there is a distinction between seeking judicial action and actually seeking an end result -- such as punishment. The latter will be a broader comment on the criminal justice system.

Anonymous said...

the real issue, gurpreet, is that there are guys like sapathan (and elsewhere on this blog, chandru k, who is im sure getting ready to comment on this) who cling fast to the idea that pakisthan is in every way inferior to india. especially that thats where all worlds terrorists come from. they hate to be reminded that the same or worse has happened in india again and again. so they have to try to make obcure distinctions.

these guys make me want to throw up. i dont know how you engage them in civil conversation.

Sapathan said...

Seriosuly Anonymous person, where did you get that from? I am really really curious.

I personally think it's your penchant and Dilip's, as I had mentioned in a previous post with a million comments, for force fitting and either or solution to an inherently complex problem that creates a lot of confusion.

To bring in the identity of a nation state in this context is silly -- if India sucks, let it. I have no issues with that. In fact I approve of it sucking. But if I did not approve, that will still have no bearing to this discussion.

Ketan said...


To whatever degree I have read your ideas, I have been very impressed by them, especially, how you resolve issues into all the components involved, and ask honest doubts (or maybe, they are not really 'doubts', as you might know the 'answers') without adulterating them with emotions. I am very curious of your ideas, in general, be it on any area of life, and not just politics and 'mob psychology'. If you write a blog, or anything that can give me access to your writing, I really look forward to that.

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Sapathan, at the risk of starting a futile conversation with you let me say this -- I think everything will fall in place if you (and Chandru K, if he is around) and everyone who thinks that these issues should not be "mixed", start to weigh a committed crime by its impact. If you can understand that bit, maybe you can understand the point people like me, Gurpreet and "anonymous person" are trying to make.

Ketan said...


Your entire argument stems from this premise that whoever the minister was who spoke "for" the government about their concerns was "right" in doing so.

Whether the government was right or overstepped its authority in demanding justice would depend upon the grounds provided for doing so.

Appropriate grounds would be:

1. Humanitarian concerns. Meaning, killings are bad. Beheading is one of the most brutal form of killing and evokes most intense visceral disgust. So to urge another government to try to stop such killings, if in their power is appropriate. One of the ways to curb the ongoing killings would be to bring to justice those who had indulged in that act. So to urge (and not demand of) the Pakistani government to try doing so would be akin to India sending help to earthquake-afflicted Haiti out of humanitarian concerns. Of course, my comment now must not be construed to mean killing accomplished by means other than beheading must not be stopped. And because Pakistan happens to be our neighbor, the physical proximity makes our concern more acute. If it so happens that the frequency with which only minority is subjected to violence is greater than the one to which non-minority is subjected, then the government might add (in urging) that those most vulnerable must be extended special protection (who incidentally happen to be Sikhs in the given circumstance).

2. Security concerns. Again, because Pakistan is our neighbor, terrorism if not curbed (and not punished), is frightening as that violence can trickle across the border. So again, Indian government can rightfully urge that such problem be 'nipped in the bud' in light of risk it could pose to citizens of our nation.

Inappropriate ground for asking for justice would be:

Because those killed were Sikhs. Because this ground serves as a total negation of the concept of nation-state. Indian government can speak for welfare of Indians.

Were those who were killed Indians? No.

SGPC represents Sikhs (not necessarily Indian Sikhs). So they are within their right to ask Pakistan government (and even the terrorists responsible) to try to stop those killings....

Ketan said...

...But if Indian government would ask Pakistan government to try to stop those killings only because they were Sikhs (despite not being Indians) and that India has sizable population of Sikhs, then they are overstepping their role of representing India.

This would then give authority to Pakistan to interfere with Indian policies, for instance, by demanding that if an epidemic of swine flu occurs in India, then Indian government should try to distribute vaccines first to Muslims (because, say, Muslims in Pakistan would demand the same) and not some other community. And of course, we would be right in ridiculing such a demand, if at all it comes.

So, as I see it, subject to the grounds used by the said minister, his concern in wanting ongoing killings stopped in Pakistan could be justified, and it would not amount to commentary on state of justice delivery in Pakistan. And then, it would not become obligatory (at least owing to his requesting to Pakistan) on his part to demand justice for what happened in 1984 with any greater fervor than he might already be doing.

I hope I have clarified how your arguments have amounted to "mixing" of issues. And if the said minister also ended up mixing the issues, then you are certainly free to criticize him for his logical fallacies in demanding "justice" for beheading of Pakistani Sikhs.

And of course, since he is a minister, you can anyway criticize him! ;) I might enjoy that.

Sapathan said...

The Anonymous person who commented last: what do you mean by impact? Why is that relevant here? And who is Chandru K?

People who get beheaded in some place where you and I have no right to influence the Criminal justice system can at best be mourned. And, I don't like mourning. So, I'll leave it to you.

If you have an opinion how inefficient the criminal justice system is in this country where I and I assume, you, live: well, I agree it sucks. But that is irrelevant to the previous paragraph. That is all I am saying.

Finally, I have a suggestion. Don't get angry on the Internet. That's so last Century.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Don't get angry on the Internet. That's so last Century.

Is this from the same guy who wrote on this blog, last November, such remarks as "you aren't very bright", "you owe the people some sort of apology", "there is no point getting snarky with me"?

Was last November last Century?

Apart from being unable to see any anger in the comment you refer to, let me place on record my own preference for anger. Whether this Century or last or on the Internet or anywhere else.

More later.

Sapathan said...


I don't see anger in any of those statement. If you did, I have nothing to say. But, the more relevant point is, my stupidity last November does not make the 21st Century rightfully belong to anger. This is the sort of mixing up that I object to.

I may have been/ possibly am stupid. But that in no way reflects the merits of what I have to say and is absolutely irrelevant. What I say should be stupid on its own merit and not mine.

Chandru K said...

Dilip, Gurpreet and Anon have all spoken too soon, not to mention tastelessly and irrelevantly. 10 Indians are now confirmed dead on February 26/2010 in Kabul, apart from the 2 Sikhs beheaded 2 days ago.
The killing of the Sikhs, and the bombing of the guest house in Kabul. is related to the whole Pak-ISI-Taliban scum activities in Afghanistan. What does 1984 have to do with anything? And let's say India does punish the wrongdoers of 1984. Will Pakistan then become a secular state, and will it stop murdering Indians in Afghanistan, not to mention killing and expelling its own minorities( already dwindled to insignificance)

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ah, now it's the "I'm so stupid" posture. What next?

But let's attempt some responses. As I once asked somewhere in this comment space, I'd like to know what is "inherently complex" about asking for justice after a massacre. Of course there are political pressures. But it doesn't seem to me that's what you mean.

"The identity of a nation state"? The minister is bringing up an issue of "deep and serious concern" to his government -- this beheading in Pakistan. Is it unreasonable to wonder if what happened in 1984 is also an issue of "deep and serious concern" to his and previous governments? why?

Why is the inefficiency of the criminal justice system irrelevant? It seems to me that's at the core of what I'm trying to get at in this post. Yet you dismiss it as irrelevant. Why?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ketan, your concern for problems that need to be nipped in the bud is appreciated.

You say that "because Pakistan is our neighbour, terrorism if not curbed (and not punished), is frightening as that violence can trickle across the border" -- that it can pose a risk to Indian citizens.

Very good. So please try to understand that I am frightened by terrorism that's already happened within our borders -- the slaughter of 3000 Indian citizens in Delhi in 1984 being the example we're discussing here, but there are others. This terrorism was not curbed and has not been punished. It was not merely a risk to Indian citizens, it actually killed them. 3000 of them.

Some of those 3000 who died were burned to death, or sliced to death. I leave it to you to decide whether those are more or less brutal than beheading.

Finally, I am yet to see, despite your admirable efforts, how my arguments have amounted to mixing of issues.

Gurpreet said...

25 years later is "too soon", "tasteless" and "irrelevant"??

When would you like us Sikhs who have not got justice to speak then, Shriman Chandru K? 50 years from now?? 1000??

I know your answer. "Never". Because as you have said several times allready, we Sikhs provoked our own murders when two Sikhs shot Indra Gandhi. I think you called it "massive provocation". (Dilip, pls check? I dont remember which post he said this on).

Chandru K said...

The issue of communal killings and dowry deaths, as well as road accidents( which kill more Indians every year than all the terrorist attacks put together) are totally different issues. These problems can be, and are being dealth with, however slowly and weakly, within the context of a democratic, pluralistic India possessed of its Indic civilisational ethos.

Pakistan and its terror against India is fixed, permanent, relentless and ideological. It has little to do with insensitivity, incompetence, bungling, bureaucracy or double standards. Hostility to India is its raison d'etre.

Chandru K said...

I would say, as bad the killings of innocent Sikhs in Delhi was, there was a provocation- not only the murder of a democratically elected prime minister( remember, we're not talking of the murder of an ISI official, a military ruler or Taliban terrorist here) but the ongoing killings by Khalistani terrorists in 1984 and after.

The only provocation in Pakistan for the beheading of the Sikhs, and by the Indian embassy in Kabul and the Mumbai and Pune massacres, was the fact that they were there, they exist(ed), they represented India, and the terrorists felt that they "could". So they did.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Dilip, pls check?

Sorry Gurpreet, but I've had my fill a long time ago of wading through the man's bigotry. I'm not interested in doing some more.

Anonymous said...

returned here after 5 hrs, to find my prediction came true!! chandru k is here, commenting!!

(i am anon of 533pm)

sapthan, what in my comment is about force-fitting, im curious??

Ketan said...


I had typed "ongoing" violence in bold-font only to emphasize the role bringing to justice could play in curbing the violence that is going on right now, because those who had killed merely two days back are still continuing to kill. If they can be successfully brought to justice, Pakistan might succeed in preventing imminent future deaths.

Whereas, punishing those responsible for 1984 would not prevent deaths of Sikhs in India as currently no Sikhs are systematically being targeted in India.

So, here is the difference - in case of Pakistan bringing to justice those responsible will give them the punishment, which they deserve (which Indians have no right to demand as a nation) but in addition it will prevent future deaths (which all countries may desire), and more so India, because because some of those deaths could be Indians' if violence trickles across the border. Whereas, those evading justice for 1984 riots are not currently killing anyone, so punishing them will not prevent ongoing violence. So, how will punishing the 1984-perpetrators improve security situation in India? It is this mixing of issues I have talked of. To put it more clearly, India's urging Pakistan to do justice as a preventive action is justified (on humanitarian/security concern grounds), but to ask for the same as punitive action (on 'religious/commentary on judicial system' grounds) is unjustified. But for an Indian to say 1984-people deserve punishment because they had breached Indian law is still justified on the principle that every citizen has a stake in Indian democracy. But Indians have no stake in or right to demand anything of Pakistani democracy/justice system.

And I thought you were pointing out the double standards of the said minister in condemning/demanding justice in case of violence against Pakistani Sikhs but not doing so in case of violence against Indian Sikhs - am I right in my interpretation?

Another thing you might be mixing up is, if it is only justice be done against perpetrators of 1984 violence that you are demanding, then what's need to bring in picture the said minister (BTW, who is it?)? You can anyway demand justice for any of the atrocities independent of whether a certain ministere does the same or not.

Yes, I find beheading more brutal than other forms of killing that you mentioned.

Ketan said...

My original statement had a typo "punished" should have been qualified by a double negative to read as:

"Again, because Pakistan is our neighbor, terrorism if not curbed (and not not punished), is frightening as that violence can trickle across the border."

I was striking a distinction between "curbing violence" and "punishing". 'Curbing violence' maybe through any means including specificaly protecting the vulnerable groups by providing them security, but "punishing" would entail only legal action against those directly involved in the killings. The latter may or may not even prevent further killings or prevent terrorism spreading across the border. So with what right do those outside Pakistan demand 'punishment' when those killed were Pakistanis?

Dilip D'Souza said...

So, how will punishing the 1984-perpetrators improve security situation in India?

What a strange question, Ketan. I feel insecure every day, and I mean this, because terrorists responsible for killing thousands are roaming free and unpunished on the streets of India. They may have been on the bus with me this morning, for all I know. Not only that, plenty of the guys who goaded these people into their killing are not just unpunished and free, but have actually been elected as MPs -- i.e. they are making laws for us.

I cannot imagine too many greater subversions of the security of India and Indians.

Some of those people killed in 1984 had tires put around their heads and those set afire. Is beheading more brutal than that too? Some pregnant women were sliced open ... you know the score. Is beheading more brutal than that too?

Point being not to form a scale of brutality, which I am completely uninterested in. Point being, why not recognize and punish the brutality tha happens within our own borders?

Ketan said...


If my question was that strange there was no need for such a long explanation, anyway. But thanks, all the same. :)

Are you saying that punishing those responsible will reduce the probability that further occurrences of religious riots will reduce to a degree that you will no longer feel insecure traveling by a bus?

Does punishing pick pockets (which does happen on a daily basis) make people less careful and more secure while traveling in Mumbai local trains?

If you are talking of punishment as means for deterrent to violence, then I am skeptical of its role in curbing violence to the degree that we will feel any more secure. As it is, those who indulge in violence face real time risk of death because of retaliation/defense from the victims. So possibly punishment was never a deterrent for such people in the first place. In my opinion punishments for crimes hardly serve as deterrents for passion-driven acts of violence. Rather, many communities laud their getting punished as some great "sacrifice".

But yet, punishment ought to be meted out because those indulging in crime breach the moral and legal contract of the society in which they live by infringing on other people's rights to life and happiness (whether guaranteed by the constitution of the country or some other ethical code).

But even if we are to assume that bringing those involved in committing those atrocities, and also assuming that this could be done in all fairness - as in punishing every single person involved, and not punishing even a single innocent person - to a degree exactly proportionate to their involvement will prevent such crimes altogether, why do we need to involve a minister to demand such justice? As I asked, why not demand such justice independent of whether certain minister demands it or not?

So, even if those who had actually taken to streets and killed (provided, correctly identified) others or instigated them to do so are punished, it does not in anyway reduce the probability that such crimes would be repeated, because India's population is very large. One criminal gets substituted b another. Yes, it might give you satisfaction that "yes, serves them right; finally, justice was done", but it will not make you feel any more secure (IMO). It would be wrong to equate such satisfaction with actual enhanced security.

So, does interchanging "ethics-driven punishment for very old crimes" with "preventing those currently and actively involved in crime" not amount to mixing up of issues?

Yes, some other things you mentioned are more or comparably brutal as beheading, but as I had said that has no bearing on whether we ought to stop such deliberate killings or not.

"Of course, my comment now must not be construed to mean killing accomplished by means other than beheading must not be stopped."

The reason I had mentioned the beheading part is because I believe the brutality involved had made the entire world take notice, otherwise maybe scores of innocent people (including Sikhs) die in Pakistan on daily basis, and no one hardly (from India) raises an issue. I was trying to provide you the psychological basis for people getting so deeply affected. Otherwise, a lot many people die of starvation in India itself, and we do not talk about that. So the passion with which people react in such cases of violence depends on the degree of brutality and freshness of the incident, and of course some other factors. I am sure, one or two weeks down the line, these beheadings will not be discussed with same passion as now even though their brutality would not have reduced.

Sapathan said...


You should stop trying to get into an argument with me. It's annoying even for someone who does not like anger on the Internet.

When did I say I am stupid? That's for you to decide. I merely gave you an hypothetical.

And when did I say the criminal justice system in India is irrelevant in itself? It's merely irrelevant to the first issue. And where was inherently complex used to describe justice and massacre?

The minister may express concern and I am sure he did that to several things. What is irrelevant to all this is the criminal justice system which is inefficient in itself.

These are separate issues is all I am saying. Now, take a deep breath and list all the issues (even what you think are related) separately. Then prove how each of these are related.

Note: Please DO NOT pick some random sentence in isolation to respond to from this response.

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous person who commented last: what do you mean by impact? Why is that relevant here? And who is Chandru K?

Sapathan, lets say you rob a bank. Now, the other day you go and kill a man. In the eyes of the law, which of these sins will attract a heavier penalty? The answer should be obvious. How did you arrive at that conclusion? That is the impact of the crime.

Now, for two crimes that are of same nature, the reaction of the state, ideally, should be the same. With this post (and many others), I think this is the point that Dilip is trying to make. If we can (and we should) ask for justice in Australia and for happened in Pakistan, why should we not do it for the crimes that happened in our own land, that too decades ago? Why that distinction? Herein, lies the answer to your second question ("Why is that relevant here? ").

As for the third question, well I see Chandru is around. Why not ask him?

Chandru K said...

Ketan, good posts. And you used words which are the key: ongoing, continuing. There's no ongoing killing of Sikhs in India, whereas the Pakistani linked Jihadi terror is ongoing, as in almost everyday if you count Kashmir.

Sapathan said...

Anonymous (and Dilip),

You are both missing the point. And repeatedly. Let me try this,

1. Random people were killed in a random piece of geography. (Say Sikhs in Afghanistan/ Pakistan or or Australia)

2. The random people of 1 (in terms of ethinicity, nationality etc) were killed in the place where you live in another time.

3. A minister of your place condemns 1. And seeks judicial action.

4. You disagree with the judicial process that followed 2.

I am just saying, it does not matter what the impact of 1 & 2 are when it comes to juxtaposing them and mixing them as Dilip has done. They may individually be horrific. But that does not absolve the person who is commenting on them from the rational expectation that these are two ARE separate and unrelated events.

Your criticism of 3 being subject to 4 does not hold is all I am saying. Please feel free to have issues with 3 & 4 separately.

The reason I say that is -- justice is subject to a criminal justice system and not emotional appeal that Dilip repeatedly panders to. If it bothers you so much, the logical course of action will be to demand and make a compelling case for prosecution of riots independently. The current system makes every single murder as an individual crime and demands individual witnesses and evidences to convict someone.

If you have to overthrow such a system, you will have to weigh the impact of the mob law being misused by the law enforcement and a significant erosion of individual liberty. So, I am just saying, to mix 3 & 4 is to trivialize this rather complex issue.

Ketan said...

Chandru K,

I hope you got my points accurately enough:

1. Nobody outside Pakistan in capacity of a nation-state has right to demand ethics-driven judicial action against Pakistani perpetrators because of their crimes against Pakistani citizens, irrespective of the religion of the victim, because Pakistan is a separate nation-state. Who are we to tell them how their judicial system ought to function? Because laws of a nation are restricted within international boundaries. What if tomorrow Pakistan constitutionally effects a provision whereby such beheaders are bestowed with national honor, rather than punishing them? Will we still demand that they do "judicial justice" for such killings. [I had read Pakistan is planning to make "apostasy" punishable by death]. In summary, laws and how to effect them are prerogatives of every nation-state; we, not being part of that nation-state are not within our right to demand anything of them. If the said minister did not understand this, he was being illogical. And if his illogic makes him (wrongfully) represent the government on an issue, where Indian government has no say, to use that as model behavior to dictate how he/others ought to respond on different issues is also logically flawed.

2. Religious bodies can ask for ethics-driven justice because religions transcend internation boundaries.

3. Humanitarian concerns can also make us ask (of Pakistan) those things, which will prevent further violence, again, because humanitarian concerns transcend international boundaries.

4. Ethics and law-driven ("one should pay for one's crimes") justice can still be demanded in India by Indians. And that could and should be done irrespective of whether any minister demands it or not.

So what Dilip has not yet explained is why involve the minister's two day-old statement (which anyway amounted to overstepping of Indian government's and minister's rights depending on the grounds used by him) - the first three paragraphs of this blog post - in his own demand for justice for 1984-atrocities - the last 5 paragraphs of this blog post?

And it is in this sense I consider two separate issues getting mixed up.

If you had understood my previous comments in the same sense as current one, thanks!

But anyway I saw it appropriate to reiterate my logic because probabaly it has not been understood yet.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sapathan, thank you for your analysis.

Though it started by leaving me confused because I don't know what you mean by people being killed in a place where I live in another time.

After that, I was confused by what you meant by "2" in point #4. Because as far as I can tell no judicial action has followed what you indicated in point #2 in which people from #1 were killed, whether for me to disagree with or not. So what did you mean?

After that, you announce that I've juxtaposed and mixed 1&2.

Then I don't recall ever saying 3 is subject to 4. Can you tell me where I said so, exactly?

Admittedly I know some what you're getting at, given the discussion earlier. But you're a man who also accuses me of cherry-picking your sentences and leaving you angry, so I thought "OK, I'll leave him no ground for complaint, I'll react to as many sentences as I can so he can tell just how confusing it all is."

Finally, I'd like to know what is "emotional" about saying, let's bring Sajjan Kumar to justice, even now, 25 years later. (Which is essentially the point of this post). What is emotional about saying, we have a criminal justice system that, for better or worse, identified this man and the crimes he is accused of in 1984 years ago, so let's bring him to justice.

Yes, please explain to me what's emotional about that. No handwaving.

Sapathan said...

You have not addressed a single aspect of what I said and instead quiz me. This is getting boring even for me.

No judicial action has followed? There is a case pending in a court of law and the reason someone is denied a bail or given it is proof of that. You may disagree with the methods/ outcome -- but that the process exists is beyond question.

And again you bizarrely appeal to emotion by seeking justice in the specific case of Sajjan Kumar. That is precisely what is appealing to emotion. He may be a criminal but that's for a court to decide. A non-emotional appeal will be to discuss the merits of the system and not get into specifics when you are not a judge and have no access to evidence other than media reports.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ketan, you should reiterate your logic again, because I can't see it.

Are you really saying the minister should NOT have expressed outrage as he did over the beheading of Jaspal Singh? Personally I'm glad he did, and I hope he does so every time there's an atrocity like this, in fact anywhere in the world.

Take, for one egregious example, Rwanda in 1994. Should the world have kept silent (well, as it happened, the world let the massacre happen anyway), saying "nobody outside Rwanda in the capacity of a nation-state has a right to demand ethics-driven judicial action against Rwandan perpetrators because of their crimes against Rwandan citizens, irrespective of the religion of the victim, because Rwanda is a separate nation-state"? (Your own words).

I'm sorry, I can't buy that, and it's a good thing much of the world refuses to buy it either. Why else are at least a few of the Rwanda perpetrators being tried by the International Court of Justice? In fact, in the broadest sense the UN itself (and a few other international bodies like it) is an expression of this refusal to buy your words.

Also, with this post I am trying to remind us of "barbaric and heinous" crimes that have happened right here in India and that we have not seen any need to punish. The reminder seems justified because plenty of us -- some in present company included, though I'm willing to be corrected -- appear to believe that barbarity happens only in Pakistan.

Dilip D'Souza said...

You have not addressed a single aspect of what I said and instead quiz me.

Why did I have no doubt you'd say that?

First anger, then anger again, now boredom. What can I say, I must be doing something right.

The only reason I'm speaking of the "specific case" of Sajjan Kumar is that it is in the news right now. In the past, I've asked repeatedly for, to take one example, HKL Bhagat to be brought to justice too. Well, that man died in '05, so it would be rather futile to club the present appeal for justice in Sajjan Kumar's case with a similar one applied to Bhagat too, wouldn't you say?

Please note that I have not once said SK is a criminal. I'm just saying, he has been named in inquiry after inquiry. Bring him to justice. If the courts try him and find him not guilty, I'm fine with that. But let's at least try him. This is exactly how any process of justice must work.

What is bizarre about asking for justice? What is emotional? Please explain. No handwaving.

Ketan said...


I'm afraid, again you've missed the point.

I have clearly said that if the minister's ground for condemnation and concern was humanitarian, as in, killing is bad, and should not happen, then he was justified in doing so. He would be justified in expecting Pakistan government to take steps that would prevent further such killings (within their international boundary as well as ours - the trickling of terrorism-issue), and also in expressing such expectations.

But if his ground was - "I know what is the right thing to do and my government will dictate to Pakistan what they must do to their criminals", then he and his government were overstepping their rights.

Yes, if International Court of Justice had subverted judicial processes in Rwanda by substituting it with their own process (if done so without the consent of government of Rwanda), then they too have overstepped their rights by not respecting the sovereignty bestowed upon the country by virtue of existence of an international boundary. Whether, the UN's doing so makes you or me happy, it does not make it right. Also, how powerful the UN is militarily or in terms of number of nations it represents, again, does not make it right.

If an international body could go about imposing on sovereign nations as to what they ought to do with their criminals within their territory, why have international boundaries in the first place?

And well, just in case if your truly interested in "my" ideas:

I find silly, teaming up of:

1. nation against nation
2. religion against religion
3. language against language
4. gender against gender
5. region against region
6. Or for that matter, any such loyalty/affilitation bestowed upon us by something as random as circumstance of our birth, where we had no choice.

But, but, but...

Now that I have been forced into accepting such distinctions as geographical boundaries and weird concepts of "ownership" (for instance, what makes one "own" a naturally existent resource like petroleum?) and "deserving" (how does child automatically deserving what its parents had earned without its putting in any effort itself?), it is within the current framework of these weird concepts of "us v/s them", that I am pointing out what you are recommending is illogical....

Ketan said...

...And you have not yet answered this simple question, which Sapathan has also been asking:

Why use a minister's condemnation of event A (i.e., beheading of two people) as a basis for your demand for judicial action for event B (killing of 3000 Sikhs in 1984)? What is the logical connection, except for that both represented brutality? Had the minister not condemned beheading of two Sikhs, would you have not demanded justice for 1984 atrocities?

Sapathan said...

Condescension from a position of weakness has to be the funniest thing ever. But then you assume you aren't.

Anyway, who said Sajjan Kumar or whoever should not be tried or brought to justice? Why are you completely missing whatever I had to say and asking absolutely irrelevant questions?

Let me re-paste what my objections were. Ignore all else that's been said. Now, for a change give an answer to just what the question is.

1. Random people were killed in a random piece of geography. (Say Sikhs in Afghanistan/ Pakistan or or Australia)

2. The random people of 1 (in terms of ethinicity, nationality etc) were killed in the place where you live in another time.

3. A minister of your place condemns 1. And seeks judicial action.

4. You disagree with the judicial process that followed 2.

Explain how you linked the above. Stop dealing with how Sajjan Kumar needs to be brought to justice. No one disputes that and there is a court of law to look into that.

Sapathan said...

And did I not request you to stop pasting random sentences and reply to them? I assume we are adults here.

Now please explain why the issues are mixed and stop saying anything else. I now sympathize with those bloggers who treated you as a retard several years ago. I don't intend doing that -- but please do answer why the issues got mixed.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sapathan, you did indeed request it. I'm uninterested in trying to prove that I've always tried to address everything you've raised. Because regardless, your constant refrain has been and will remain that I'm cherry picking your sentences, sprinkled every now and then with mentions of being an adult, or condescending, or boring, or angry, or the funniest thing ever, or weakness, or a retard ... (I may have missed some, of course).

You want to argue through these issues, thrash them out, come to some kind of meeting ground -- well, you take what you get just like I take what I get. (Nobody said this was going to be easy). Leave aside the mentions of anger and condescension etc. After all, I couldn't much care what bloggers from years ago thought or said, and your mention of it and them makes no particular difference to me.

If this makes sense, please keep this going. If not, you're welcome to sit back and join the ranks -- not just sympathize with them -- of bloggers who think they have proved I'm a retard, or treated me as a retard, or whatever it was.

Now let's see.

1. To repeat: This post is essentially about bringing SK to justice. Why on earth would I then agree to your suggestion that I "stop dealing with how Sajjan Kumar needs to be brought to justice"?

It hasn't happened for 25 years and it didn't happen to HKLB, and my overwhelming feeling is that it will never happen to SK. Unless plenty of us demand it. (Kind of like what happened in the Jessica Lall case, to choose one recent example).

2. In the pursuit of #1 above, I will use every means available to show the absence of justice regarding the massacre of 1984, and the need to bring about that justice.

3. In this case, when a minister in my government condemns this ghastly murder in Pakistan and asks for the guilty to be punished, I think it makes perfect sense to use the opportunity to remind him and us of some other ghastly murders and ask for those guilty to be punished too.

4. Of course, #3 may not make sense to you. You're welcome to think so. In which case I would say only this much: fine, and then please raise your voice about SK and 1984 in any other way you see fit.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ketan, reagarding your earlier query, I suspect Sapathan does write a blog.

Sapathan said...

Thank you for agreeing finally that your appeal was based on emotion and not rationale.

If you want Sajjan Kumar hanged, I approve of that -- he's way too ugly to live anyway.

Dilip D'Souza said...

agreeing finally that your appeal was based on emotion and not rationale.

News to me. Not that I expect an answer (I've asked you before on this page what is emotional about saying we should bring SK to justice, without answer) -- but please do show me where I "agreed finally" that my appeal is based on emotion.

Give it a shot.

Sapathan said...

You said so yourself. I have no further shots to hit. If you don't know where, read your own comment -- since I know you don't read any of mine in full.

Anonymous said...

From Anon-2020: Dilip, it is clearly posturing. The 1984 problem is too difficult to solve. Plus it has to be solved by "ME". The Taliban problem has to be solved by "THEM". The sooner you open your eyes to the real world the easier it will be to understand everything. Okay I know, you understand but do not agree with the "real world". (PS: All "Anonymi" please use a handle--Anon 2020).

Anonymous said...

over 800 people killed in Chile and whole world is giving help... over 3000 people killed in Delhi, yet no one is offering anything. Of course I am referring to Delhi riots in 1984

over ????? people killed in Haiti and whole world is giving help... over 3000 people killed in Delhi, yet no one is offering anything. Of course I am referring to Delhi riots in 1984

over ?????? people killed in Tsunami and whole world is giving help... over 3000 people killed in Delhi, yet no one is offering anything. Of course I am referring to Delhi riots in 1984

Boss, if this bothers you so much then start a satyagrah or something..

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55 PM,

Certainly looks like Dilip's posts bother you. Why dont you start a satyagrah?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55PM, Dilip's posts are satyagrah - "a plea for truth and justice"
I deeply respect the way he has committed his blog to bringing out of prejudices so deep in our skin that we are apathetic to crime and injustice.

Blueshift said...

Justice to minorities and lower caste people in India is a Myth.