This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country. (TROY DAVIS, executed on 21st September 2011 in the United States)
The issue of Death Penalty has always been a contentious one, on which to take a call, for or against based on the existing standards of morality, crime and punishment and above all the barrage of media driven legal dispensation, colours the judgement of even the ardent supporters of human rights who would like to transcend all the boundaries of nationality, race, religion, language and gender.
But yet in history it is the struggle for a humane and just society which has made the world modern and progressive, travelling arduously from barbarism of the past. It is a fact that world over the state and establishments have transgressed and trampled upon the fundamental human rights in their anxiety to safeguard their iniquitous rule over people. Especially when it is the issue setting “examples” against rebellious events which challenges their concept of a Nation State.
The question one has to ask; is death penalty the remedy to the crime and the cycle of violence that is inherent in the societies that we live. Is it not the case that most of the times the acts of violence especially against the oppressive state comes from the situation of despair and helplessness.
Presently the most talked about cases of death penalty in India are of the three Tamils facing execution; Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan. All of whom are charged and convicted in the gruesome Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. All these three have served 19 years of jail sentence out of which 12 happens to be the most hateful years expecting the death any day, any hour.
Even though the courts and the judicial system of this country have pronounced their verdict, it is yet debatable whether the justice has been done, For example Perarivalan, who was charged with ‘conspiracy to murder’ , the prosecution’s evidences are highly suspect, the very fact that he was qualified electronics engineer, and “gave” a 9 volts Battery cell to the perpetrators of the crime, touting this as the clinching evidence against him is nothing but travesty of justice.
It is time that the civil society rise up to the occasion to defend the human rights and to see that the practice of Death Penalty which is otherwise a blot on democratic principles of justice is done away with. Death Penalty is no deterrent to the crimes that are perpetrated on a regular basis, it has to be replaced with more humane democratic mechanism of justice system against outlaws, it is fundamentally a question and challenge before us to create a society and system which ends all forms of systemic violence, practised both by the state and non-state actors.
Stop Death Penalty
Ashok Mathew – Director SICHREM will chair the meeting
Thirumurugan Gandhi-May17th Movement
Dr. Vijayamma, leading journalist, feminist thinker
Dr. Sitharamam Kakarala, Senior Fellow at CSCS
Gauri Lankesh, Editor Lankesh Patrike
Uthaya Senan- International coordinator, Tamil Solidarity
Venue SCM House, Mission Road, (Behind Priyadarshini Handlooms), Bangalore.
Date 1st October 2011. Time 1.30pm to 5pm
The meeting will be followed by a protest demonstration
@ Town Hall, 5.30pm 1st October 2011
Organised by New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) & Tamil Solidarity