Month: August 2011

Politics over death penalty

It is a shame that some politicians want mercy for criminals whose mercy petitions are rejected by the President. Some months back a Sikh terrorist’s petition was rejected and Akali and Congress politicians from Punjab wanted mercy for him. The terrorist had gone to Supreme Court and wanted his petition to be settled one way or other and after the rejection he has gone to court challenging the dismissal.

Now some politicians from Tamil Nadu want mercy for three Tamil terrorists. It is perverse for Karunanidhi to ask mercy for Rajiv Gandhi’s killers claiming Rajiv Gandhi would have shown mercy under similar circumstances. Rajiv Gandhi did not die alone. Fifteen innocent people, including nine policemen on duty, died in the blast. No thought is given to them. The terrorists have appealed to Madras High Court on the ground of delay in decision. Karunanidhi, Vaiko and other politicians who oppose death penalty had lost elections.

Part of the problem is that India had wrong people as Presidents. The delay in deciding on mercy petitions started with K. R. Narayaran who did not want to reject any mercy petition. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam rejected one mercy petition and after that refused to reject. Pratibha Patil did not want to reject mercy petitions for three years and ten months. Governments of the day did not act against them and MPs did not impeach them.

Delay in deciding mercy petition is not cruel. There is no double punishment. Delayed time is bonus for criminals. They get to live longer. There is no anguish or psychological trauma. There is hope.

Jayalalitha said she has no power to pardon and the criminals can go to President again. Subramanian Swamy said the overwhelming majority of people in Tamil Nadu want the three hanged. There is no question of showing any compassion beyond normal process.

It is strange that High Courts entertain petitions related to death penalty decided by Supreme Court and rejected by President. There should be a ban on such things. There should be only one mercy petition and hanging should take place soon after rejection.

Parliamentary privileges

MPs are free to move privilege motion against anyone including PM. Sometime back BJP had moved a privilege motion against PM. Article 105 of the Constitution does not define the privileges of MPs. It does not say Parliament can send someone to jail. Some MPs want to punish Om Puri and Kiran Bedi for what they said against MPs. MPs say the dignity of Parliament has been violated. Om Puri has issued a qualified apology on TV channels. He said he was offended when Manish Tewari accused Anna Hazare of corruption. Kiran Bedi has stood by her words. She said it was a game changer.

Where is the dignity of Parliament when MPs repeatedly disrupt Parliament? Days pass without doing any work. Sometimes whole sessions are disrupted. Many MPs don’t attend Parliament for most of the days. Foul means are adopted to get majority in Parliament. When there is need of SP, BSP and RJD votes CBI finds no evidence in cases against Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasad Yadav. MPs are not to hold offices of profit however they declare them as not offices of profit and hold them.

It is a myth that MPs are elected by people. Most of them get less than half of votes. Some lose Lok Sabha elections and are elected to Rajya Sabha. Mani Shankar Aiyar was nominated to Rajya Sabha.

Many people are in support of what Om Puri and Kiran Bedi said. Some feel MPs should do better things then debate privilege motions. MPs may not like what Om Puri and Kiran Bedi said about them but they should know many people like that. Many people may come out wearing caps or T-shirts with words ”I am Om Puri” or “I am Kiran Bedi” and surround Parliament.

Christianity has no caste

Christianity preaches fatherhood of God, brotherhood of men and equality of people. No one is high or low. It has no caste. Practice of caste system is unchristian. Every Christian should know that, more so bishops.

Demanding Scheduled Caste Status for a section of Christians who are called Dalit Christians is against Christianity. Some were on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on 25-28/7/2011. Cardinal Oswald Gracias led a march from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar and many bishops, priests, nuns and people participated in it. Bishops leading such a demand is reprehensible and an abomination in the sight of God. Justice Ranganath Misra Commission report is immaterial. What is CBCI doing? Have they forgotten Christ’s teachings? Christ wanted his disciples to be the light of the world. He said “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men.” He had warned against light turning into darkness. He said “If light turns into darkness how dark darkness will be.” What is the Pro-Nuncio doing? He should have reprimanded the bishops. Caste system is not something that needs to be imbibed. It is a cancer that needs to be eradicated. Robert De Nobili and people like him were wrong.

Equality is the birthright of every Christian and those who want Scheduled Caste Status for some benefits are like Esau who sold his birthright for red pottage.

Reservations on the basis of caste divide people and perpetuate injustice. CBCI should demand abolition of reservations on the basis of caste. It should not demand SC or OBC status for Christians. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is neither charity nor justice. Religious and linguistic minorities have right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Christian educational institutions can empower Christians who are disadvantaged by educating them and making them get suitable employment.

There are enough divisions among Christians and let us not add to them.