The execution of Yakub Memon, which will take place on July 30 if the petition for a stay is rejected by the Supreme Court, has whipped India into a frenzy and more so Mumbai because we are all stakeholders in Maximum City. Everyone -- right from the my neighbour, to the fruit seller, to jurists, to actors, celebs and writers -- has a very strong point of view about what should be done with the death penalty.
The scenes that are playing out look eerily similar to the movie Dead man Walking where a nun sympathises and empathises with the killer and the victim's family.
On one hand, we have those who are arguing that the death penalty is barbaric and does not serve its main purpose of bringing down the crime rate. There are so many statistics proving this but statistics are just that.
Statistics don't capture emotions and feelings associated with losing a loved one. I'd love to be able to download an app that quantifies these emotions because then it would put an accurate statistical value to the sentiments of all those who lost their father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter in the horrific blasts in 1993 that shook the foundation of Mumbai. Can an app measure the loss of a mother who must bring flowers to her only child's funeral instead of his wedding? Can the app measure the pain, the grief, the sorrow of what they have felt?
It's very easy to debate and be philosophical when the lives lost aren't an integral part of your daily life -- you aren't missing your mom cooking for you, you aren't missing your brother who you tied Rakhi to every year, your dad who would take you out to eat steaming hot samosas and aloo tikki on Sunday. You aren't reeling with the shock of those precious lives being snuffed out by a deadly blast.
While on statistics, isn't Yakub Memon a chartered accountant? One of the basic principles of accounting is that whatever you deposit in the bank is the only amount that you can withdraw, unless, of course, you are borrowing -- in other words your debits must match your credits for the balance sheet to be tallied. And for every debit there is an equal and opposite credit so that at the end of the day your balance sheet is tallied. His balance sheet must be looking pretty bleak and in the red, with one life in the credit section taking away 257 lives in the debit section.