The dubious debate over Afzal Guru’s hanging

But the shrillest opposition to Afzal Guru’s hanging has come from those who believe that justice was not served in this case and all the instruments of the Indian state (including the Supreme Court) connived to target an ‘innocent’ Kashmiri Muslim. The subtle message being conveyed is that Afzal Guru was hanged by a communal Indian state because he was a Kashmiri and a Muslim. The message is being lapped up in Pakistan whose existential identity as a country rests on portraying India as anti-Muslim. It is also being abetted by that section of Indian intelligentsia which, to use Christopher Hitchens’ words, believes that if the Indian state “was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.” However unpalatable this might be to many of us, it actually showcases India’s vibrant liberal credentials unlike China or Pakistan that those vehemently attacking the Indian state are prominently featured in our media.