Hafta Letters: On Citizenship Amendment Bill, death penalty, and more
NL Dhulai

Hafta Letters: On Citizenship Amendment Bill, death penalty, and more

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

By NL Team

Published on :

Hello Hafta team,

Please refer to me by my first name, Aroun.

I’ve been a subscriber for a little over seven months now. Listening to a new episode every Sunday morning while cooking chicken for the week is something I relish.

Last week I was hoping to hear everyone put their thoughts forward on the CAB but unfortunately, CAB wasn’t discussed much on the podcast. Hopefully this week it would be.

At the time of writing this, as far as I know, the entire Northeast is under shut down. What is going on in our country? Why don’t we hold the government accountable for anything? Why are we losing empathy for our fellow people?

Probably because whatever is happening hasn’t affected us in any way yet. The sad part is I don’t see an end in sight to all this madness. The government has got a hold over every institution. They can bring in whatever bills they want. The opposition doesn’t exist. How do we emerge out of this?




Hi NL team,

I am a subscriber, to save Parikshit the trouble of checking. Although I guess he will check anyway.

I wanted to discuss the demand for death penalty by the public. I think the punishment for a crime has three aspects, 1. justice to victims must be done, 2. reforming the criminal, 3. deterrent to other potential criminals. The death penalty ensures that 1. and 3. are satisfied but ignores reformation completely. The high demand for death penalty seems to indicate that we as a society see punishment only as a way of evening the score and as a deterrent. Reformation is not a concept that is on our radar.

People demand the death penalty for criminals who rape and then murder. The righteousness of this demand is driven by the need for justice, the logic being that a person who commits murder must also die. But is this justice? Or is this ‘eye for an eye logic’ masquerading as justice? Or is an eye for an eye equivalent to justice in cases of murder? Are we ignoring the negative externality (if any) on the society when we decide to let the state kill another human being? Ours is not a civil society, crime and violence are rampant across our country, this is something that I understand completely. Does that mean extreme punishments are the right way in helping us become more human? If not, then what is the right way? This is not a rhetorical question, I would genuinely like to know if there were other countries which had the same inhumanity as India does and how did they manage to change their society. If you guys can discuss this issue on the Hafta it would be great. Please provide historical events and concrete examples, along with the usual rants (Hi Abhinandan :D).

Lastly, Manisha is most often cut mid-sentence relative to other panellists and so I request Manisha to please, please start using the phrase ‘let me finish’. I understand that I have no right to dictate how anyone speaks, but there have been several occasions where I thought she was onto an interesting observation and then she gets cut off and then the point is never made. This inevitably leads to me exclaiming ‘arrey baat toh puri kar behen‘. So please behen, always complete your thought because even though you may think that it wasn’t very important there are many like me who think it was.

Keep up the great work.