Invitation To Health ► Health Of Thought ► 03 ►There Is No Concordance Between Murder And Capital Punishment

Posted: 13.03.2017

Death is a change

Life and death—within the boundaries of these two words the entire cosmic play (prapoñca) is enveloped. Life is an index of joy and delight and death of sorrow and grief. This is the truth, it cannot be said. But this is definitely an accepted truth. Death might be a blessing and life misery. I am not trying to overturn the truth of majority. That which is real needs to be expressed. Death is sorrowful for those who are alive at present. One who chooses it for him/her it is not sorrowful. For that person, it is mere change.

There was compulsory recruitment in army. To one person it was asked: Are you not feeling afraid of going to the war-field.?

He replied: Why I should fear. As yet I have not been enrolled. My turn has not come.

Suppose your number comes?

If my number comes 1 do not know whether I shall be sent to the front or not.

Suppose you are sent?

I do not know whether I shall be in the front row or not.

Suppose you are on the front row?

I do not know whether I shall be hurt by bullet.

Suppose you are hurt?

Then who will have fear?

People are afraid of death. At the moment of death there is no fear.

Life and death both are necessary events. Death is as natural as birth. Pleasure and grief are our sentimental beliefs. Truth is that both these are not associated with pleasure and grief.

Question is that of capital punishment

In natural death relations and friends feel grieved. Death due to accident causes increased grief. Death due to terrorist incidents causes terrible grief. Its intensity and extent also increase. Not only the family members every sensitive person suffers agony. The factors associated with death are much more than those associated with birth. On the front page of a newspaper when the news of hanging of Satvant Singh and Kehar Singh was read, mind got trembled and stormed. In this age of reason and science many things have changed but capital punishment has not changed. Can sentence to death not be changed? Just to think of this a reason comes to the fore—if the murderer is not to be murdered, the killer is not to be punished by killing, and then there will be infinite regress in killing. (That is, everyone will be tempted to kill with slightest provocation). Apparently, this argument seems to be true. But after a while its truth gets shadowed. In the provision for capital punishment has the number of killers lessened? The statistics show that in India the incidents of killing are twenty-two thousand every year. Sentence to death is not awarded to twenty-two thousand, only ten to twenty people get this punishment. It is not a case of judicial favoritism. The legal complications are so much as many murderers escape from capital punishment.

Murder and capital punishment

Life-imprisonment is not a lesser punishment. To keep one person closed behind bars for a long time, and to keep him/her deprived of amenities of personal life and family relations is not (a small) punishment. Some thinkers are not in favour of capital punishment and some are in favour. 'Pro' and 'con' positions can never be abolished. The doors of argument and counter argument never get closed. Even after all arguments in favour of capital punishment one question remains. Will capital punishment be able to stop killing? History evinces that murder and capital punishment both have constantly continued. Killing is done under impulse. Capital punishment is given after due thought. Therefore, there is no concord between murder and capital punishment. If the excess of impulsiveness can be checked then the incidence of murder can be stopped, otherwise it is not possible to stop it. Capital punishment is given after due thought and therefore it can be changed.

Justification of capital punishment

Fear can be and is one of the reasons for deterrence of crime but on the ground of fear justification for capital punishment cannot be given. In the society murder alone is not the only crime, there are many other crimes. If the punishment for other crimes can be without capital punishment, then why punishment for murder be not without it.? The tendency to drive the society with fear is not an index of its development. Fear and allurement initially appear to be helpful in the achievement of the some work. But ultimately in the attainment of that work they prove to be greatest obstacle. A person committed murder and he was hanged. One person died under impulse or terror, the other person died under law. One death was under the shadow of injustice and the other was under the protection of justice. One died under the scale of injustice and the other under the scale of justice. The two scales of weighing machine remain equal. After all impulse and thinking both took help of killing. Terrorism also is working under the principle of fear. By enforcement of fear the goal can be achieved, this conviction alone enlivens terrorism. By enforcement of fear of capital punishment crime can be checked, this belief also is based on the principle of fear. In both situations, no thread of sensitivity is caught. Fear may lead crime to go underground, from light to darkness from openness to covering, but cannot eradicate it. For its eradication, there is one powerful means and that is sensitivity. Its kite is flying in the sky but its thread is missing from hand. Will there be an attempt to hold the thread in hand?

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Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013