Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jayalalithaa's deft decision?

TamilNadu government, aka Jayalalithaa, took a snap decision to release the killers of Rajiv Gandhi by issuing a three-day notice to the central government. In the absence of the specific deadline, the central government would have followed its usual practice of procrastination.

Jayalalithaa is criticised for the decision as well as for issuing a deadline. The deadline was inevitable in the light of central government's core competence of drift.

How about the decision? Is she justified in releasing the killers of a prime minister? Rahul Gandhi has commented that if even a prime minister's assassins are released from jail, how can a common man get justice? His personal grief is understandable but his comment denotes his understanding that punishment for a killer is commensurate with the position of the victim. This betrays a feudal tendency. All killers of human beings must be treated alike if the gravity of offence is similar. Gravity of the offence is not determined by the social status of the victim.

Manmohan Singh with atypical celerity has questioned the legality of the decision to release the killers. Apparently he has not studied the Supreme Court's decision which specifically ruled in the possibility of release by appropriate authorities.

The decision may be legal, but it is difficult to comment on its morality. What does Jayalalithaa gain by this decision? She must have foreseen the central government's objection which would pit the Congress party once again against the DMK thereby making an alliance between these two unholy partners even more remote. If the Congress and DMK fight the ensuing polls together, AIADMK's scale of victory might have been diminished. Jayalalithaa's deft move preempts this. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JJ says Yes and the Supreme Court says No. Yet, it could be temporary as the new SC order is to maintain status quo wrt the 3 death-penalty-convicts. JJ can still release the other 4 lifers, so there will be pressure on the SC to stand by its original order on the 3, that has said release is OK if done by competent authority. It is the Congress that has to come to terms with the fact that it sold the Tamils for a song. In this, please note Chidambaram is tap-dancing!