Saturday, November 20, 2004

To die for - II

A, around twenty years of age, is in the defense. He is not very educated but his family makes ends meet because of the grants and concessions that the Indian army gives them. B, educated, lean & well off, is in there as well. His passion for flying has just taken wings. C had to jump in too. It’s in his blood.

And you could not keep D, E and F away. We do not know them well enough to know why. A liking for action perhaps, or is it patriotism, that brought them to the defense forces?

Thousands of people across the world accept death as an occupational hazard for reasons that exhaust the entire spectrum from dire necessity to whimsy.

Now X decides to murder Y. But the fear of capital punishment deters him.

That’s pure banana oil, you know.


Huckleberry Finn said...

Nah, it's not! Why do you think yor roomies let you live after that freezing cold 2 AM New Years' night when you had locked them out and was sleeping happily with the key "in the dubba right near the door", but unfortunately the door of another house 16 kms away? Death penalty, mon chéri, was the Only Reason they did not murder you that day, you can check with them if you want!!!

Usha said...

I don't think the fear of punishment is enough deterrent for most murderers - they do it out of hatred,uncontrollable anger,impulse of the moment and some have psychological issues - it must be a very miniscule minority that stays away from murder because of the consequences.

Pradeep said...

We need to make a distinction between premeditated murder and one that is done on impulse. Not that one is better than the other. But if we do need to make a distinction, the premeditated one is worse than the one done of impulse.

As for deterrence, I doubt if we can make an across-the-board generalisation. Because, for someone with crime in his blood, nothing will stop him. On the contrary, for someone on the other end of the specturm, even the thought of getting arrested is deterrent enough.

Prerna said...

Not necessary, if the motive behind a murder is clear in ones mind, no amount of punishment can scare you, only thing is drive and need to see that other one in blood should be there…….and nothing else will then matter.

Souvik said...


Interesting that, your view of needing to differentiate.

My point in writing that post was really to question strongly the role of capital punishment as a deterrent. As you have said, it is difficult to make sweeping generalizations regarding this but your thought around the embarrasment of even an arrest at times could be deterrent enough is an interesting observation & in my opinion, therefore, can be extrapolated to saying that effective deterrents are ones that are already internalized, like a value system - which in itself is rather personal & is constantly in flux.

The fear factor though, I still maintain, is not really as effective as it is made out to be.


Precisely the substance of the point I was trying to make. Very articulate.

Whoever said that you are chronologically challenged or an elderly woman or used some such strong words must know that, "You are never too old to rock & roll....", as an old friend of mine by the name of Jethro Tull used to say.


I live, however insignificantly. You should join hands with Ashok Singhal with such talents.


Yes,I agree. Pradeep distinguished between premeditated & impulsive murders. I think you are talking a bit about the former. But yes, whether you give it time & plan it out or not, I think that element of "nothing else matters" does play a part.

Thanks, all of you, for your time & thoughts.