Death and Due Process


The garden outside my bungalow is beautiful. There is a big rain tree in a corner. I had put my garden chair under the tree. And I was sipping green tea when Jack, my Great Dane, stood up as if he had seen something unusual. ‘Whuffff!’ Quite obviously something was not right. My Siamese cat, Jill stood on her four legs and purred. She looked at something on the ground as if she was looking through a microscope. Something moved away quickly in the grass. Jack and Jill watched the snake go away. They relaxed only when the snake was out of sight.
“This is the year of snake – black snake. That snake in the grass reminded me.” Jack said.
“So what?” Jill asked.
“Must you always be rude to Jack?” I asked Jill.
“Oh forget her. Some souls just won’t improve. To answer your question Jill, 2013 which is the year of the black snake, begins on February 10th. This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create. This is what I have read on the internet.” Jack said.
“Are you suggesting that we require a different formula to succeed in each year?” Jill asked. “That would be interesting.”
“Ha,ha! When Jill talks says ‘interesting’ it can convey many meanings. Why don’t you just say ‘nonsense?’ It goes well with your personality.” I said.
“Boss! Boss!!” Jack shouted. “Watch the news on TV. Afzal Guru has been hanged. Oh, what a travesty of justice!”
“You can trust Jack to speak nonsense. He should have been hanged much earlier. In our country it takes twelve years to hang terrorists, isn’t that ridiculous?” Jill asked.
“Look, please don’t get emotional. When Indira Jaising, Justice Suresh sign a petition saying the trial was not proper, when People’s Union for Civil Liberties say that Afzal Guru was undefended throughout the case, we must study before we speak on this issue.” Jack argued in his baritone voice.
“Look, Jack,” Jill said ignoring me completely, “he should have been shot dead. They dragged feet for twelve years! I think there is too much of a democracy in our country. May God save us from these intellectuals!”
“You want a trial by public opinion! That’s travesty of justice.”
“Oh big words! People like you can only encourage more terrorists.” Jill shot back. “The Chinese year of Black Snake is a reminder to us. There are too many black snakes in the grass.”
“Look, Jill. Due process of law is the foundation of justice. The Chinese also say that ‘this year is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.’ Where is that attention to detail and discipline if you do not stick to the due process?”
“Ok, ok, ok! Please stop this.” I intervened. “People quarrel when they can’t argue.”
[Also see http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Law/2007/afzalguru.html ]

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