Can Releasing Assassination Plotters Break Cycle of Violence?
India debates releasing seven convicted in Prime Minister’s Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination
For many Indians, this was an act of forgiveness that went a step too far. The federal government, led by Gandhi’s Congress Party, is appealing to the Supreme Court to stop the plotters’ release.
Here altruism blends into realpolitik. The Tamil chief minister, J. Jayalalithaa, is betting that pardoning the prisoners might help her party secure Tamil votes in India’s general elections, which start next month.
In nearby Sri Lanka, the army finally defeated the Tamil Tigers in 2009 after a pitiless military campaign that caused thousands of civilian casualties. Five years on, many Indian Tamils still feel the anguish of their island brethren. Freeing the seven might be a sure vote getter in