How Does India Deal with Pakistan?

Last week, Indian media space was abuzz with a statement that was apparently made by Prime Minister of Pakistan at a breakfast meeting with journalists in New York. The statement, which was supposed to be off the record, was revealed by a Pakistani journalist that Indian prime minister was described as “Dehati Woman” by his Pakistani counterpart. Loosely translated, this term implies a village woman who is not familiar with manners of high table. Though subsequently vehemently denied, the statement stuck. No official denial emanated from either government sides. Finally, both sides that wanted a fruitful dialog, most likely never achieved their goal. Never mind it left a poor aftertaste in already embittered India – Pakistan relationship. 

How to deal with Pakistan? This is a question that has been haunting Indian foreign policy makers for last several decades. Separated at birth from India in 1947, Pakistan has turned out to be an intractable neighbor  and a formbidable enemy. Since its inception, Pakistan has fought four full scale wars with India. First in 1947 over annexation of Jammu and Kashmir state, then in 1965 and in 1971. The war of 1971 resulted in dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.
It is an accepted fact that Pakistan’s Punjabi speaking elite, that includes armed forces and ruling class, have never reconciled to the idea of losing Bangladesh, erstwhile East Pakistan. At war within, with Sindhis in south and Balochis in the west, and of late  with home grown jihadi terrorist groups, Pakistan has tried overtly and covertly to  dismember Indian union by capitalizing on internal dissent and difference as well as by unleashing fanatic jehadi groups on India. Pakistan has actively funded sessionist movements in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and unleashed many other low intensity conflicts all across Indian cities and towns, in public places and in places of worship.  Fanatic elements in the guise of freedom fighters have hijacked Air India plane, attacked on Indian Parliament, initiated and perpetuated Kargil war, attacked Mumbai and seized of Tajmahal hotel. Many innocent lives, hindus, muslims, civilians and men in uniform have lost their lives in these attacks. Some permanently disabled and made to struggle on a daily basis to discharge duties that most of us take for granted. 

Over time, Pakistani tactics have been fine tuned to such an extent that using disgruntled Indians as cannon fodder, Pakistan has been able to acquire a sense of deniability for any attack on India. In many instances Pakistan has flatly denied any involvement. When provided proof, Pakistan has not even acknowledged or failed to act on them. A typical case in point is prisonors taken in Kargil war, Pakistan did not acknowledge their existence. Papers in the person of prisnors, clearly indicated these people belonged to Pakistani army. Later on, Pakistani armed forces had honored posthumously soldiers killed in Kargil conflict. To make matters worse, complicity of Pakistani army in Kargil war became crystal clear when a recorded conversation between Pakistani army chief and and army general was released.

In Mumbai attack, the lone surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab was never acknowledged by Paksitan to be its citizen. Kasab’s last rites were performed in India. Voice samples of terrorist handlers, remote controlling Mumbai attack, were provided by Indian authorities to Pakistan. These were never investigated, or results never shared with India. List goes on. Finally, Osama Bin Laden, the master mind of Al Quaeda was residing near Pakistani army training college in Abbotabad. Yet Pakistan kept on informing the world and US, that Osama was not in Pakistan and Pakistan was unaware about Osama’s whereabouts.

I find Pakistani leaders, politicians, diplomats, and journalist to very glib and very articulate in defending Pakistan.  Most Pakistani’s exhibit conviction, even when they are lying or dishing out their government propaganda paper. It is amazing how every spokes person argue the similar line without batting an eye lid. This makes me wonder, if Pakistani’s appearing on Indian TV are given a briefing on party line. A few standard defensive approaches used by Pakistani’s in all season are the following : 

1. As long Kashmiri’s are not given independence, read handed over to Pakistan, terrorism will keep on happening. Implicit in the argument, terrorism is done by disgruntled Kashmiris.

2. Pakistan herself is a victim of terror. So what can Pakistan do, if India is attacked by terrorists. Implicit in the argument, terrorism is a global phenomenon and Pakistan is a victim. In reality, Pakistan had created the cancer of terrorism to attack India. Now cancer has spread in body of Pakistani state. 

By contrast, Indian response to Pakistani aggression have mostly been reactive. All Indian effort to tame Pakistan has fallen in deaf ear. In 1997, Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposed to visit Pakistan. General Musharraf refused to salute him. Kargil war was initiated by Pakistan three months later. Subsequently, many efforts have been made by different prime ministers of India, however, none has borne fruit. Rather, Mumbai was attacked, Indian soldiers in line of control were beheaded, and now Indian PM being called a “dehati woman” by Pakistani prime minister.

As a neighbor, India must improve ties with all neighbors including Pakistan. Afterall, both countries have same history. People in both countries have family members on both sides. On humanitarian grounds they must meet. In fact on personal and private level, Pakistani’s are very warm and hospitable people.   However, without getting swayed by emotion, India must think carefully and must be cautious in dealing with establishment that govern Pakistan. Because there is every possibility of getting caught unawares. India cannot control what Pakistan does and what Pakistani’s say. India, however, can strengthen her own borders and internal surveillance so that Pakistan cannot exploit our weakness and differences easily. There is no otherway. We cannot engage in a slanging match with Pakistan, we can only become strong and neglect Pakistan and put her in a place that is due to her.


My Ideas on Progressive and Prosperous India

Nearly ten years after the horrific Gujarat riots, another Indian state – Uttar Pradesh, was convulsed by a riot between two communities – Muslims and Jats. It has been estimated that 30 people or more have lost their lives and many have lost their belongings in this violence. I feel sad and sorry for all the innocent Muslims and Hindus who have lost everything and become a refugee in their own
Post independence, India has had her share of inter-religious violence, but the one in 2002 was the most severe and received widespread television coverage and lots of criticism. Consequently, it was assumed that such kind of violence will be eradicated from India, but another riot erupted in Muzaffarnagar, which has exposed the weakness of the ruling party of the state. A television sting operation was recently telecasted wherein local police officers have confessed on camera unawares that, there was pressure on the police force from the state capital to go slow in their effort to save populace in distress. It has been revealed that an elected representative made arrangement to get his own voters and his own co-religionists massacred with the intention of coming out as saviour later. The Chief Minister, who does not do anything to save the lives of innocent Muslim by taking proactive and stern action, dons the skull cap while visiting Muzaffarnagar, which is ironical.
Post Gujarat riots, most national parties including the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Left Parties etc. had hounded the BJP and refused any electoral alliance with the party, dubbing it to be communal and which BJP has carried this tag ever since. Congress lead UPA government at the centre is being propped up with the support of Samajwadi Party that is ruling in Uttar Pradesh. So, in a way the Congress party has taken no action on Samajwadi Party, which it should have done. The sanctimonious Left Parties had sent a delegation to Muzaffarnagar and rested the onus of riots on BJP. However, the most brutally exposed party is the Samajwadi Party. The mask of secularism has certainly come off on them. Referring to themselves as the messiah of the minority, Samajwadi Party does not appear to be hesitating in sacrificing their own voters at the altar of electoral gain.
Ever since Mr. Narendra Modi has been projected as the prime ministerial candidate of BJP, many intellectuals, opinion makers, and analysts have prophesied dooms day scenario for the pluralistic Indian society. It has been projected that under Mr. Modi, minorities will be bludgeoned to submission. It is important to note that despite India practicing pluralism for the last sixty years, we see Muzaffarnagar happening in 2013. On the other hand, in Modi lead Gujarat, we have not witnessed any political violence in the last ten years. So much so, minorities have voted for BJP in the last assembly and local body elections.
Does this imply that we need to change our approach? A pluralistic India, at peace with herself, is a must. At the same time, we cannot ignore the idea of a progressive India, that is healthy, educated, disease-free and corruption-free. We need to have India as a country who takes pride in her self-esteem. If Indians, irrespective of caste, creed, culture and religious beliefs, can devote their energy for a brighter future, then they will not spend their energy fighting with each other. Communities will be engaged in creation of wealth and not in competing against each other for the limited crumb of an ever-shrinking pie that government of India has to offer. That is what my idea of India is! I hope that the young of India subscribes to such vision. So far among the different leaders and parties, only Mr. Modi has projected a vision of creating a system that empowers citizens. Whether he will deliver or not, we will only know when he comes to power.

Whose Idea of India, Anyway!

A few days before, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate of BJP led NDA. I heard on television, intellectuals thinkers, analysts and opinion makers proclaiming how Modi does not represent their idea of India. Similar thoughts have been echoed by nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen, best selling author Amitabh Ghosh, and Kannada writer and critic Prof. U. R. Ananthamurthy. In a democracy we all have our right to project the person we think represent us. So i have no issue with someone not liking NDA’s choice of prime minister of India. If he is saavy enought to secure majority for his electoral alliance, he will rule India. 
It, however, got me thinking. Why so many notable people wish and pray that  Modi led NDA do not come to power. One reason, I believe is the fear that Modi may polarize India along religious lines. There may be discrimination against minorities. Minorities may be relegated to the status of second class citizens in their own country. In essence, pluralistic cultural fabric of india may be lost forever.
These are valid arguments. However, in Modi led Gujarat have we seen any riot for past ten years or more? Many claim minorities have been discriminated against and minorities have been bludgeoned to submission. In last assembly election, BJP has won from muslim dominated areas of Gujarat. In local body elections, many muslim candidates have contested and won under BJP ticked in Gujarat. Is this any indicator of discrimination against minorities? May be, truly muslims are afraid of BJP. Modi as leader of BJP led NDA has to work extra hard to remove fear among minority communities.
History of congress has been tainted with riots. We may recall, complicity of congress in anti-sikh violence post assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. More recently, riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar, UP. Involvement of a senior member of ruling Samajwadi Party was allegedly captured in a TV sting operation. An elected representative of ruling party, made arrangement to get his own co-religionists massacred with the intention of coming out as saviour later. Strangely, not many people exhibited antipathy to ally with Congress in elections in the past, and not many are thinking now of making Samajwadi Party untouchable either. The mask of secularism has come off Samajwadi Party, a major prop to minority UPA government at the centre. I hope all parties, that swear by secularism, will now boycott  Samajwadi Party, like they shunned BJP. Electoral alliance with Samajwadi Party must be as much taboo as it is with BJP.
Coming back to the idea of a pluralistic India, it is important to note that India has been practicing pluralistic democracy for last sixty five years. Of these sixty five years, congress had been in power for nearly fifty years. Yet communal fissures have not been bridged. Congress policy of giving dole helps keeping alive antagonism among communities by perpetuating poverty.
May be it is time to look for alternative ways.In a  forward looking upwardly mobile India, communities may not expend energy to stoke communal violence. Development, jobs, prosperity without caste creed and religion may keep Indians busy for a better future. We learn how far behind we are compared to any developed or developing country, when we go abroad. Our infrastructure is poor, our cities are poorly managed, our public transport system decrepit, our lack basic sanitary infrastructure, list goes on. If we have not been able to fix these in sixty years, may be it is time to look at alternative. Yes vision of pluralistic India at peace within is important. However, what about prosperous India, clean India, disease free India, corruption free India? These are my ideas of India. Many young people probably subscribe to this idea of India. Finally, why we are so worried about Modi coming to power. If we can bring him to power, we can also dislodge him if he does not deliver.

Asaram Bapu and Gurukul Tradition

What an irony of fate! The day when the juvenile justice board announced its verdict on the infamous Nirbhaya assault case, another high profile case stormed the headlines. This time, the accused was not someone from the underprivileged section of the society, but a famous and popular man of religion – Asaram Bapu. This made me wonder, is there nothing sacrosanct anymore? Is there no one you can trust? Women are not safe at home, and now, they are not even safe in the abode of god! In Indian spiritual tradition, Guru is someone who guides the seeker towards God. Hindus are supposed to worship their Gurus with unwavering faith and devotion. If a disciple loses his / her faith in this sacred relationship with Guru, then the whole foundation of our belief system takes a tumble.
Asaram Bapu was a road side tea vendor, after which he was a driver of a horse driven coach, till he finally became a spiritual guru. Asaram Bapu has many followers and about four hundred ashrams all over India. Several boarding schools in Gurukul tradition are run by the trust created by Asaram Bapu. Financial worth of Asaram Bapu’s movable and immovable assets is considered to be in thousands of crores. But, for some time, Asaram Bapu and his ashram have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Charges of encroachment on government lands have been slapped on him in several states. Few young students were found missing and later discovered dead. Internal organs of young kids were found missing. However, Asaram Bapu and his group have come out unscathed from these complications. But, Asaram Bapu probably crossed the Lakshman Rekha, when the report of alleged sexual assault on a minor came to light. Bapuji had tried every trick in the book to avoid interrogation and arrest by police. This included his supporters trying to muzzle the press by beating up journalists outside one of his ashrams.
Hindusim in India has a vast spiritual tradition and very well developed disciplines for spiritual seekers. Hinduism suggests diverse methods to attain truth or God. One can renounce the world and become a sanyasin. But, renunciation can also be a state of mind. Without donning a saffron robe, one can still stay in society and perform regular roles and responsibilities, while being detached from all vagaries of life.
Hinduism does not proscribe amassing wealth. However, for a person seeking divinity, it is important to be certain about the intent. Is the wealth for personal aggrandizement or public good? Seers like Sri Rama Krishna could not bear the touch of money. On the other hand, Swami Vivekananda collected money to create Rama Krishna Math and Mission. It is only Asaram Bapu who will know what his intent is, to amass so much wealth!
Of different spiritual practices, many consider tantric practices to be inferior. A practitioner of tantra worships God as his lover. Consummation of relationship is considered to be an important ritual. Relationship that Asaram Bapu has been accused of could be part of such a practice, or it could be pure lust on part of an ageing guru. I do not know which one is worse!
I do not know if the charges against Asaram Bapu will remain or not. It may be possible that the family of the victim will withdraw all charges under inducement or duress. However, it is important to note that the sacred relationship between a disciple and his master has taken a beating for the worse. If as a seeker, one cannot have faith in his teacher, then the whole edifice of Gurukul tradition collapses, and in the end, Indian Gurukul is the loser.

Categories: Social
Tags: God, Guru, Gurukul, Hindu, Hinduism, Nirbhaya, Rama Krishna Math, Sri Rama Krishna, Swami Vivekananda,Asaram Bapu,Sanyasin

Hinduism, Asaram Bapu and the Rule of Law

The day court pronounced justice on juvenile accused in Nirbhaya case, another news was making headline. This one involved rape of another juvenile, this time 16 year old, by a popular saintly figure, Sant Asaram Bapu. When the news surfaced, supporters of Asaram bapu beat up television and news reporters outside his Ashram. Never mind, intense media pressure had forced police to arrest Asaram. I was bemused. Is there no difference between six individuals that raped Nirbhaya, and this so called Sant Asaram?
Growing up in the sixties and seventies, I was not particularly religious. Neither was my family. We would bow down before gods, do our silent prayers and move on. My mother taught me not to ask for material gifts from the lord. Instead pray for gift of conscience, blessing of education and generally pray to become a good human being.
As I grew older, I became familiar with Hindu belief that we are traveller through life. In this journey, key objective is to understand the purpose of our stay in this world. We can learn this as a house holder by doing our duties as per our dharma. We can also renounce the world and become a sannyasin, a monk in English. I also learnt that sannyasin can be a state of mind. One does not necessarily has to done a saffron robe and leave the society. One can withdraw his mind, remain in society, yet not be affected by her virtues and vices. Like a duck that floats on water, yet does not get wet.
Then came economic liberatisation. Everyone seized the opportunity to make money. Sannyasins were not different. Men of god became god men. Different babas emerged and started advising general masses on the virtues of god, virtues of goodness and virtues of Hinduism. These people bought slots on television for their discourse. Later, as they became richer, they created their own channels. Devotees would flock to their channels, to their  ashramas to hear the god men speak.
One such god man was Asaram Bapu. Before becoming Asaram bapu, he was Asumal of Ajmer. He became a god man worth many hundred crores of rupees from a humble horse driven coach, tonga, driver and/or a tea seller outside magistrates office. Asumal was married, had son and a daughter from his wife. Asumal left society and went in search of his inner quest. In Vrindaban, Asaram found his guru, and Sant Asaram Bapu emerged. Some Santhe was, with properties, worth hundreds of crores, spanning in four hundred cities and towns all over India, including one in each in  Delhi, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Indore, Jodhpur among other places. Asaram Bapu, has suffered the ignominy of being charged with rape of a sixteen year old girl. Prior to that, few young boys, from different schools run by his trust, were found missing and later dead around his ashrama. Reports state that internal organs of some of the kids were missing. There also exists insinuation that Asaram Bapu was responsible for encroachment of government land in more than one state.
Sri Rama Krishan could not bear touch of money. He used to say “Taka Maati, Maati Taka”. Meaning there is no difference between money and dirt. Hinduism, nevertheless, does not discourage people to amass wealth. As long as one remains detached. Question your motive, is it for personal greed or for public benefit? Like a duck that swims in water but never wets her feathers, similarly one can acquire wealth without getting attached to it. Only Asaram Bapu can tell what was his reason to acquire so  much property.
There is a possibility that, if not Asaram Bapu, some of his close associates may be practicing black magic. Missing organs from young boys may only point towards that direction. No charge, however, could be proven against Asaram Bapu.
Hinduism does not frown upon people seeking god while passing his journey through life as a householder. Many of our Vedic seers were married. More recently, Sri Rama Krishna was married to holy mother Sri Sarada Devi. Unlike Asaram, Sri Rama Krishna did not engage in physical relationship with mother.  Sri Rama Krishna, however, frowned upon practice of Tantra. He considered Tantra to be akin to entering spiritual dimension through back door. However, there is no proof exists to suggest Asaram Bapu and his followers were engaged in the practice of Tantra.
I think Asaram crossed the rubicon when he mesmerized / seduced the 16 year old girl. Sexual association with young girl may suggest pure lust or  practice of Tantric rituals. I think the last may be more plausible, because a Tantric worships mother goddess as wife. So sexual intercourse with a virgin may be a form of worship towards his spiritual quest. In the end, this may be the only charge that is likely to stick on Asaram Bapu, provided only witness, or her family, is not induced or initimidated to withdraw the case.
Obviously, Asaram Bapu has acquired power, spiritual or magical or otherwise. How else, he is be able to influence so many people, including the rich and powerful. Question is should Asaram be treated as a Sant, and considered above the law? Or Asaram should be treated like any other common Indian citizens, and subjected punishment if proven guilty. I think Asaram did not evolve in his spiritual quest. Unlike a research scholar who seeks the truth and takes his quest to a logical conclusion, Asaram dropped out. He was more enamored by trappings of wealth and power over people. In that sense, Asaram is no different from any ordinary Indians. So Asaram cannot be above rule of law of Indian state. He must be arrested, jailed, interrogated and put behind bars if prosecution can prove their case.

India Failed Nirbhaya

One morning in December of 2012, I read a clipping in my morning newspaper that turned my world upside down. A girl went out with her friend to watch a movie and never returned.


 She was found struggling for her life by the roadside, stripped naked, raped, and disemboweled. Like most middle class people, my initial reaction was that of utter disbelief. Can people be so cruel and heartless? My instant reaction was to blame the girl. Why was she out so late? Why did she not take a cab instead of the bus? My reaction was no different from any other middle class men and women whose daughters have to go out to work and can meet the same fate. Yet we are helpless in protecting them. It is easy to pass the blame onto the victim, than shine a mirror on our own inability. 

Over the next few days, it emerged that six men had lured the girl (who was christened by the press media as Nirbhaya) and her friend into the bus. They had raped her repeatedly and disemboweled her with an iron rod. They stripped her naked and threw her on the road in the cold of the night. Attempt was also made to tamper evidence by killing her – running the bus over her. And if it was not for her friend, she would have died that very night. Her friend who was also critically injured, moved her just in time as the bus was going to run over her, saving her life. The hapless victim struggled for a fortnight because of her courage and ultimately passed away due to severe internal injuries.
The outraged nation protested spontaneously and demanded strict punishment. People poured out into the streets and protested, which resulted in quick arrest of the accused, responsible for committing a heinous crime. Government also acted and revised their existing laws and decided to try the case in a fast track court. During the course of interrogation, it was revealed that one of the accused, who was also the most brutal of the lot, was just seventeen and half years old on the day the crime was committed. As a result, since he was considered a juvenile, he was to be tried in the juvenile court.
Nine months after the crime, the juvenile court recently announced its verdict on the criminal. The court convicted the juvenile on most of the charges that police slapped on him, but the boy will serve a total of three years in a reformatory, minus the number of months already served. How does one tell the mother whose only daughter was brutally raped and tortured to death, that Indian justice system cannot give her justice? How can one explain a distraught father, who sold his land to educate his only daughter that the killer of his daughter will be out in precisely two years and four months? How do you explain the brothers, whose guiding light, that is, their elder sister is no more, but her killer will go scot-free in the next two and a half years? I cannot and I do not see justice in this verdict at all!
It has been argued by the highly erudite and scholarly citizens on how it is important to reform people that take to crime at an early age. They argue very rightly stating that children are our future. It has also been pointed out that the depraved childhood is the cause why many juvenile lack the difference between good and evil. Children are influenced by adults and may not understand what they are doing. It is important kids coming from such disadvantageous background get a second chance in life. I have no problem with that, provided the magnitude of crime is not this brutal. I may think of giving a second opportunity to a thief, or to a robber. But, giving a second chance to a monster who had every intention of killing the victim is a total rebuttal. I mean, are we serious?
Many other aspects of the incident like the gory details have not yet reached the public domain. What I deduced from reading the papers and watching the television was that police and the people at the hospital shuddered when they saw the state of the girl. Such a person to be spared of the gallows, just because he was only six months short of legal adulthood, is a travesty of justice itself! If the boy could do everything to harm the girl like an adult, then why cannot he face the punishment for the same, like any other adult?
Many have argued in favor of death penalty for rapists. Some have suggested chemical castration. Some have argued in favor of lowering the legal age for being considered a juvenile, that is, from present eighteen years to sixteen years. I think instead of killing a person, we should lock him up for rest of his life without parole. This might instill fear into the minds of criminals, next time they think of committing a crime. I think speed and certainty of penalty should be good enough deterrents. However, a person should be judged by the magnitude and gravity of his crime and not by his age. In democracies like US and UK, for heinous crimes, juvenile criminals do not get any special consideration on account of their age.
In India, we are different. We do not have enough resources to take care of general population, but we want to reform such hardened criminals? Do we have the expertise, resource, and the intent to take up such a task? Look at the state of our juvenile houses? Given tremendous human capacity of deceit and our scant resource and expertise, how do we ensure that the person has actually reformed?
Finally, I think the system should have looked into the possibility of increasing the sentence of the juvenile. In this case, the juvenile has been accused of rape, assault, attempt to murder and robbery. Considering the gravity of the crime, this juvenile should be in the reformatory for at least ten years, which might reform him and again that is only an uncertainty. However, it appears that our system complies by the law strictly by the books and not by the spirit. If we cannot assess the magnitude of the problem and go strictly by the book, we might as well ask a robot, programmed by the Indian Penal Code, to pass judgement in the future. It may save time, money, effort and may remove all the pending cases which strive to see the light of the day.
Categories: Social

Juvenile Law Needs Reform

First verdict in brutal rape and assault case of Nirbhaya has come out nine months after the incidence. The juvenile justice board had found the juvenile accused guilty of most of the charges slapped by police. However, despite being one of the most brutal, the juvenile got only three years in a reformatory minus the time already served. So in plain and simple term, the juvenile will spend two years and four months in reformatory.

Debates have started on the light sentence meted out to the juvenile accused. Some have suggested that the juvenile should have gotten death sentence. Others felt the legal age a juvenile should be reduced from 18 to 16. Yet others feel, given the deprived social status of the juvenile, we should give him a chance to reform. Some people have given a different twist to the whole event. Society is upset at the juvenile because he is not from same social status as the protesting class. It has also suggested that we have not protested as much for many other rapes that have happened or happening every day in our cities, towns and villages. While I accept the argument, it is important to accept that some events act as  catalyst to bring about massive change. Nirbhaya incidence happened to be one of them, where society moved spontaneously.

Debates aside, what answer does society give to the family of the victim. Accused may have a deprived and depraved childhood, but victim was not responsible for it. What do we say to mother, father and siblings of the victim. Yes, by killing the juvenile, we may not get back Nirbhaya. But three years for extreme brutalisation! Personally I think if Indian courts cannot punish the most brutal of Nirbhaya’s tormentors, then what faith common people like us can have on law and order? Court went by strictest interpretation of the law that the accused was a juvenile, yes six months short of eighteen, at the time he committed the crime. This six months made him eligible for pardon from death penalty. Yet this person was old enough to lure, rape and disembowel the victim. Other atrocities have not yet made their way to public domain. The accused was convicted of most of heinous charges slapped on him. In many countries, USA and UK, criminals are punished based on gravity of crime. Age of criminal is not brought into consideration. But we are different in India. We want to reform a most hardened criminal. We cannot take care of our regular population. Yet we want to reform a criminal in the name of protecting a juvenile! If we want to go by letter of the law, we might as well use robot to dispense justice. That will be more cost effective, time efficient and likely will remove backlog.