The verdict is out.
The man is guilty and he will be hanged.

The day the news broke out, a lot of relieved and smiling faces appeared on TV, claiming that Justice has won. That their efforts finally bore fruit. That the Nation is erupting in pride over the victory of Good over Evil. That the trial the World was keenly observing was finally at its culmination. That we have sent out a strong message that we will not tolerate terrorism on any account.

As if any sensible citizen of India would want to speak against the verdict.
As if the world – except Indians across it and a few media-watchers here and there – cared.
As if there was any doubt of this verdict being as it turned out to be: Was there ever any likelihood of the Court deciding to let Kasab go, despite his clear hand in the tragic events referred to as 26/11? If that happened, would the Judiciary of India survive the outcome?

There isn’t much emotion left in us to get to our feet, applaud and say “Bravo!” Had this verdict come a month or two after 26/11, it would have been a different matter altogether.

Yet, the fact remains that we did the best we could under the circumstances. We caught the worm – for a worm he is, and nothing more, in the vast machinery of terrorism – and we protected it against the hungry birds we feared would snatch it, till it was time to squeeze it dead.

Perhaps never before has an entire nation, irrespective of the differences that divide its people or their political inclinations (that says a great deal), come together to praise the decision to end a man’s life, without any pretensions of ‘humanitarian’ consideration. No one would take sides with vermin, anyway.

The message that we ‘sent’ to the outfits that nurtured him, returned undelivered. The trial happened behind their backs – because they had turned their backs on it. For them it was but a mug of salty water getting purged from the Ocean. There was sufficient – if not more – quantity left to carry the legacy forward. That one mug of water currently residing in the Indian jail was no extraordinary one. Indian Government need not have spent so much money on its protection. No one would have bothered to hijack a plane for its release back to the Ocean.

Kasab – and the rest of them – landed on our shores knowing that he’ll be killed, probably in the most undesirable curcumstances. Yet they donned their best suits, trimmed their hair and bid their lives good-bye before taking up arms for the ’cause’. They must have been rigorously trained to overcome the fear of Death under even the most terrifying situations – to brave their hearts when all they wanted to do was to scamper away.

Not one of the ten terrorists of that fateful day were known to lose their nerve or heard to squeal at any time during the 60 hours of battle. What were they made of??

So, if one of them who had the misfortune to be caught alive comes to know that he will be hanged, do you think he is going to even wince? He probably is getting a better death than his comrades-in-arms: No one even knows their names, whereas ‘Kasab’ has become a household name, he might even find his way into history books (complete with the now-famous photograph). The nation can rejoice for all he cares.

No wonder the trial, the verdict, the execution, everything seemed like a farce, a drama that happened behind the curtains, which only the actors and their friends saw evolve, and an occasional sound escaped through the loudspeakers to reach the ears of the audience outside, who wasn’t very interested anyway.

Guess what. The way I see it, when he is finally hanged to death, I suspect he is going to die like a hero.