I woke up to the news that Kasab was hung today morning. It was done in utmost secrecy, and the media reports are jubilant over this death. They are quoting the families of several people who lost their lives in the attack on 26/11.

My own friends have often argued that Kasab should be shot dead. They, who are generally peace loving people, have strongly said that the death penalty is the best he can get.

I often disagreed.

There are two conflicting arguments in my mind. One is that Kasab does have to be punished. The other is that one of the few things that separates India from its counterparts is its compassion.

Death would be an easy answer for a man who caused trouble to so many. His death would undoubtedly make his family suffer and we really do not know what the role of his family in this situation is. He would peacefully go into the night, so to speak.

Solitary confinement is perhaps a better answer, where he would be made to think about the acts he committed. I believe someday he would be remorseful. But that act is perhaps more cruel than killing him.

The other fact remains that his death might be seen as heroic by the terrorist organizations and lead to more terror. What are we going to do then? Hang every other terrorist we manage to get our hands on?

The public, I’m sure, does not know most of the story related to Kasab. Perhaps it is better that way. Intelligence failures, lack of action, political games… lots of other things.

Even if we choose never to abolish capital punishment, can we find a more humane way of doing it? Isn’t hanging primitive, cruel and humiliating?

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