The hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case is a significant event in contemporary Indian politics.
This is not only because of the numerous holes in the prosecution or the strange conclusion by the highest court of the land that Afzal had to be killed to satisfy the collective conscience of the society. Nor is there a way to soothsay if Kashmir will enter another phase of armed uprising now.
Moving away from the unsurprising chicaneries which go with the running of the largest democracy, the hanging throws into sharp relief a few things, which are not novel but are worth reiterating. Killings by the State are often political, rather than legal. The politics which dictates the killings is espoused by the main parliamentary parties, including the parliamentary Left.
People belonging to particular classes, religions, castes, languages would find themselves on the wrong end of the rope more frequently than others. Unless a united resistance is built the regime will continue to perpetrate ruthlessness on oppressed nationalities and exploited castes, classes and gender.
An important aspect of the battle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.To keep the memory of Afzal Guru’s hanging alive, we bring together the statements issued by different rights organisations and a selection of articles published elsewhere, as a compendium.
We also publish an original article by Anubhav Sengupta, a research scholar at JNU.