All forms of violence need zero tolerance, not just a specific kind of terror

The inevitable has occurred. Yaqub Memon’s hanging is an accomplished fact. As if by design, he was hanged on his birthday. It pains me to say so, but there is enough evidence to show that the judgments in the cases with political repercussions are increasingly becoming pre-determined and predictable in nature. It appears as if the judgment is determined first, and then the process of law is made to follow a certain course.

As I have maintained in all my previous articles on the subject, I have absolutely no sympathy with Yaqub Memon or any of his category. I am not one of those who support the modern dictum of death sentence for the “rarest of rare cases”. I support death penalty in all cases of cold-blooded and planned murders. My only argument is about the need of total absence of discrimination in rewards as well as punishments. I believe that we need zero tolerance in all cases of violence, political or non-political, irrespective of the identity of perpetrators or victims, ethnic or political, irrespective of the method used and irrespective of the place of violence. But the forces ruling the world and the country talk of zero tolerance only for selective cases. To the Indian ruling classes, terrorism is a bigger violence than riots, and terrorism involving Muslim perpetrators is a bigger violence than that involving Hindu perpetrators. While terrorism is a relatively new phenomenon, riots have continued to hit this country since Independence. This has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly Muslims. But we have not heard of even life imprisonment for all these riots, much less death sentence. Is it because, in most of these cases, the victims happen to be Muslims and the perpetrators happen to be Hindus, and because in a majority of these cases, police and politicians have been their supporters? Mumbai blasts followed the Mumbai riots, which in turn followed the destruction of Babri Masjid. Why then zero tolerance only for the conspirator of Mumbai blasts and not the conspirators and perpetrators of Mumbai riots?

As I showed in my previous articles, even terrorism in India is more a Hindu than a Muslim-dominant phenomenon. Out of more than 40,000 deaths related to terrorism in last 30 years, less than 1,500 have allegedly been caused by Muslim terrorists. Three major terrorist attacks were perpetrated by Muslim terrorists – two in Mumbai and one on Parliament. Three persons involved in all the three now have been executed. But not a single person responsible for more than 39,000 deaths has been executed? Do the government and Hindu organisations have any answers?

The discrimination seems to have grown even in media response to the similar comments made by Muslim analysts/activists and Hindu analysts/activists. Hundreds of eminent personalities of the country signed the petition against death sentence to Yaqub Memon, but protests were reserved only for Salman Khan.  I happened to watch a debate on Aaj Tak, in which Rajdeep Sardesai and Waris Pathan were arguing almost on the same line, both criticising the death sentence. Sardesai was unequivocal in asking why the perpetrators of Mumbai riots have not been brought to justice. But the treatment of the two by the anchors showed a huge difference, with one being respectfully countered and the other being ridiculed.

I have no objection if all Muslim criminals are brought to justice. This will reduce the crime rates in Muslim society as well. But I will also love the crime rate reduced in Hindu society. Let the Indian system show that it has zero tolerance for all forms of violence, including all forms of terrorism. Let some Hindu terrorists, Hindu perpetrators and Hindu conspirators of riots be punished before another Yaqub or Afzal is sent to gallows.

The author is a thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health). He may be contacted at

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 August 2015 on page no. 2

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