Disclaimer: The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.
I wish I could turn the clock back and bring the wheels of time to a stop. But there is no turning back. You have to send an answer. Not in legal terms but in our way. Our fight has been turned into a mockery. This is not what we were born with infested with violence. It has to end.
There are only few people here in this private session of the court. The Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff. The Prime Minister is the acting lawyer for the victim’s family. The judge looks straight to the eyes of the convict.
“Is everything ready?” The young prison official asks the executioner.
“Ready.” The executioner replies with a coldness.
I looked at my weapon of choice. A Mauser with the Broom Handler. It has a long barrel and a high velocity cartridge. The superior range and better penetration against the victim makes it an effective pistol.
The convict does not face the judge. He kneel his head down towards the floor. The judge asks him, “Narendra, look at me! You know you are wrong!”
The convict does not make a turn. The Prime Minister says, “What is the sentiment, Mukherjee?”
The Chief of Staff, “Finish the job, Mukherjee. We don’t want to dirty our hands.”
Judge Mukherjee, “Your hands are dirty enough, my friend!”
The Prison official says, “This will be your one hundredth execution, am I Right!”
Executioner, “Young boy, there is no fun in it.”
“But this son of a bitch killed our Father of the Nation. You are going to execute him. Isn’t this a proud moment for you?”
The executioner does not give an answer. He looks up above the sky and sees a flock of crows flying above.
My hands will be filled with enough dirt to remove the sins. One Shot. All that counts now is just one shot. I am nervous. This is not just about me. It’s for the well-being of the country in the future.
“Does the death of our leader matters to you at any cost? Haven’t you all been granted the prestigious position in the country?” Judge Mukherjee exclaims towards the leaders of the country.
The Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff look at the Judge with utter disappointment.
Judge Mukherjee, drinks a glass of water, looks at the Prime Minister with a coldness that no one dared to look at him, “You knew this was coming. The conspiracy to kill him was at its zenith. Did you ever given a thought what Direct Action Day affected the people in our beloved country? Our very own brothers fought against each other with those long knives for massacre.”
Prime Minister, “You never supported our cause for freedom except the rebel extremist who just disappeared without a notice.”
Chief of Staff, “Judge Mukherjee, we do not have time for your words on self-righteousness issues. Give us the verdict.”
The crow ends its course towards the east side. Some fighter plane passes by. The young prison official opens up the paper, “What do you think of this? Who will win the war?”
The executioner, “My Motherland!”
“Aren’t we weak?”
“It depends where your heart lies!”
I look into the mirror with my Broom Handle. It does not fit with the gun. Too Visible. Not with the drapes which I will be wearing during His arrival. Out of curiosity I chose this weapon as it felt heavy and hard. This was the best weapon of the lot. Others chose the smaller ones to easily hide under their clothes. I removed the broom handle and dropped it on my bed. There is no need for that. Useless.
I point my gun towards my reflection. I know He will give me a blessing when I will kneel down in front of him to touch his feet. Little does he know, the fatal shot to give an answer to the uncivilised society?
“What do you want me to do? Hang Him? That is all you want isn’t it! Today Narendra did this and tomorrow another Narendra will come up and shoot you straight into your head.”
“Mukherjee, you don’t have to worry about me!”
Mukherjee hits the gavel hard enough, “Do you think I care about you? I don’t give a damn what you do and what you are entitled to do! I care about the people of the country.”
Chief of Staff gives a crude laugh, “You care about the people! What about the mass execution you ordered under the Imperial Law? What about the death of the twenty-three Year old young lad who was hanged just for the rebellion he caused?”
“Chief of Staff, you talk about ‘Care’? Where were you then to stop such orders to happen? I did my best not to hang them but you know how the game was played! You were there, right in front of me as their lawyer but you did not spoke a single word for his defence. And I know you so well; you did it deliberately not to say anything. There is not a single day pass by, I do not regret about the death of that young boy whose dreams and aspirations has been crushed for the betterment of your crimes of ignorance and chaos.” Judge Mukherjee stops for a moment and continues, “And talking about mass execution, do you think that’s my fault? No Prime Minister, my voice to protest the decision never reached their ears. I was muted. I was so muted that they had to throw me out during their decision.”
Prime Minister mocks at him, “Never seen a judge being so religiously honest in the courtroom. You really do need an audience! Ha!”
Mukherjee says, “It’s nice to see your mockery and self-awareness goes hand in hand.”
“We are running out of time, Prime Minister!” Chief of staff raises his voice and looks at the convict. He walks forward towards Narendra.
The young official feels little uncomfortable and says, “When will they bring him in? This is my first time I will be part of an execution.”
“I can assure you the experience will be painful for the first time. After that it’s a routine job.”
The fatal shot. My iteration for a perfect shot is planned. The punishment is secured. I never thought that my country will be divided and one-third will become a part of foreign nation. The leader called it a sacrifice. The Ministers called it a freedom. Whose sacrifice and on whose bloodshed?
This so called non-violent self-righteous people tore the country apart piece by piece and appeased by the demands of anti-gods of the nation. I will fire my shot at a person whose policy and action had already brought havoc bloodshed to millions of people. And yet, many more to come. I see the conflict arising.
My shot will be not due to some religionistic fanantism but a power from a common man where we cannot accept the bloodshed of innocent lives. People will slaughter me, because common man does not have the power to understand what my motivations are. But people will speak about it in coming years. One side will ridicule my careless shot but the other will support. Yet this has to be done.
Someone has to do it successfully! Others have failed miserably to understand the stakes of the game. I stand in front of Goddess in my small room. I close my eyes and pray for the perfect kill and a better future of the country.
The chief of staff asks the convict, “Narendra! What is it that you wanted to proof? That we are devils of our motherland! No! No! No! That will never work! Shooting our Father of the Nation does not mean his beliefs among people are dead! We needed an inspiration to fight against the Imperial Regime and he was that figure. We may not agree at times but still there was someone in the early stages who inspired us to fight. He is the father of the nation for a reason by thoughts.”
“Do you like your job?”
The executioner looks at him and smiles, “I am getting paid to pay my rent, feed my family and clothes to wear. So, no questions asked. Just finish the job. That’s what it counts.”
“You are a different person.”
“You will get used to it, young lad.”
I put a drape on myself with an orange wrap and a holy thread. I put a tilaka on my forehead. I put my pistol in my bag. I have a cycle. Two kilometres far off from the temple. Time is ticking.
Prime Minister look at the Judge face to face, “People like you cannot take a decision on your hand, Judge Mukherjee.”
Judge Mukherjee moves his face forward towards him, “There is no decision to make. I am here to please your thoughts of justice, Prime Minister.”
Prime Minister looks back at the Chief of Staff and then to the Judge, “A sense of Judgement is all that counts.”
“The counting always went into the wrong hands and compromise.”
“You believe the troubles are not yet over?”
“No. It isn’t. And many are to come. Very soon.”
“People are dying!”
“It never matters to you rather than romancing with your pathetic life.”
“There is a train coming full of dead bodies!”
“The most non-violent movement of all time!”
“Never seen so many deaths!”
“Because you are a blind person.”
“Why did I become the Prime Minister?”
“Our Father supported you as he believed in you to be the right person!”
“He never was! You don’t know how…”
“I know it very well better than you. Your merrymaking life is coming to an end!”
“You have reached your end Prime Minister! Deaths will ruin this country. Our brothers and sisters will kill each other.”
“I will be neutralized my friend.”
Judge Mukherjee looks at him with a smile and says, “You have neutralized the country since the day you chose the seat.”
“Why are they taking so long to come here?”
The executioner smiles at him.
“Here they come” The young official shouts with excitement in quick succession and the Executioner checks the rope. The prisoner emerges with guards with chained shackles. But the prisoner keeps his head held down. They come forward near the steps towards the execution platform.
I struck the temple bell. I looked at my place to shoot. Counted two feet. I know my target. He always look at the goddess for two minutes for a distance of two feet and after that he kneels down and prays for forgiveness followed by his followers. Confesses about the crimes of the people. A forgiveness he wants among people of this country.
“Well, what is the decision?” Chief of Staff asks the Judge. The Prime Minister moves away and looks outside the window. The Journalists are waiting for the verdict to be heard publicly.
“As per the evidence provided in the High Court, his punishment is final.” Judge Mukherjee pronounces. “We have already agreed upon on that day of verdict unofficially. There is no chance of changing it.”
The young official commands the prisoner, “Turn your face up! Traitor! There is nothing to be ashamed off now. You committed a horrible crime and face the consequences”
I am ready with my movements. I have started my prayers. The chimes of the bell struck. I turn back and see the Father walking in straight towards the path I am standing with a crowd of people. The Father keeps his hand on the two young ladies back for support. I see saris, tunics, and the devoted followers. My fellow priests are honouring his welcome. And I am the High Priest to prepare my chants and blessings boasted on me to support the worshippers. Several of the tongues were saying behind his back, “You are one of the most humble persons one can ever meet.” “You make your own clothes” “See, See, He made this cap for me.” “A man of peace and integrity.”
I bring on the copper plate with the incense stick release it sweet fragrance. The red drape is kept on the plate.
I have started to pray for his long health in front of him. He looks into my eyes. I kneel down to take a blessing.
“Let the others come in to this room. I will announce my verdict.”
The Bailiff announces for the entry of others in the courtroom.
Judge Mukherjee announces, “With unanimous Verdict.”
The prisoner turns his head up slowly.
I pull the gun from the plate as I remove the Red Cloth. The Father sees it. He realises his next few seconds. He does not move or protest.
Judge Mukherjee continues, “In the charge of murder and sufficient proof, the members find the accused, Guilty.”
Narendra looks up and does not feel ashamed.
The young official asks, “Narendra, any last wishes?”
Narendra looks at him for a moment and…
I see fear in his eyes. I am becoming the punisher to a blinded personality.
Judge Mukherjee further announces, “The accused, Narendra Dixit, will be further…”
“Peace is my last wish!” Narendra utters his last words and the executioner puts a noose on to his neck and goes away to hold the lever.
I pull the trigger in one shot straight into his heart. He jumps back towards his followers. All that blood flows from the motionless body and everyone shouts menacingly. I put my hands up to surrender. His fellow followers thrashes me mercilessly after realisation. My fellow priests starts to chant, “Sacrilege” “Sacrilege”.
I see the chief of staff coming to rescue and saying, “Don’t forget our father’s teaching. No Violence! No Violence! This is not what he taught us! We should be patient!”
I smiled at the non-violent words of wisdom at this moment of time.
Judge Mukherjee continues, “…Sentenced to death by hanging by tomorrow morning.” And he breaks the nib of the pen after awarding the sentence.
The executioner pulls up the lever and Narendra hangs in the air with his noose tightened and becomes breathless after some struggle in the mid-air. The motionless body stays for long silent minutes. The young prison official looks at him with horror.
My name is Narendra Dixit. I have assassinated our Father with the power of execution vested upon me this is my first and my last kill. I can smell my death anytime now. My conflicting journey of ideologies ends here. I wish peace is always the solution. After all he was right! He always was! Maybe, I see the weaker picture of what he meant! But, human beings are conflicted to understand what is right and what is wrong! He had the simplest solution and yet people took advantage of it!
Judge Mukherjee announces, “The court is adjourned for the day.” And gives a last look at Narendra with a feeling of apology towards him.
The Prison doctor touches the pulse of the dead body and announces, “Properly executed. Well Done. “
The young official is nowhere to be seen and the executioner gives a satisfying look towards the painless dead body and strikes a line in the wall as he completes his tenth notch of deaths.