When I was told that Sarabjit Singh was murdered in Pakistan, my first reaction was “Sarabjit who?”
I need not have feared. Apparently sensing the sheer depth of how little I cared about a man I had never heard about, the Indian media machine got to work with a gusto generally reserved for religious fanatics when they catch a blasphemer.
So here we are three days later, when to call the drama over the corpse a “circus” is like shoving a toothpick into your jam sandwich and calling it ‘Haute Cuisine’.
And you know what? – I still can’t think of any reason why I should cry for Sarabjit at all.
Death is the best thing that ever happened to him.
Alive, he was just another unknown Indian in a Pakistani jail. Alive, it was easy for every one to tell him to wait a while, we were busy hugging and making love across the border – Aman ki Asha and all that dude! We are all brothers from other mothers man!
But look at him now! Well look at It anyway – a corpse is not a person.
It is being hailed as a Punjabi Marytr! A real Punjab Da Puttar It is! VIPs, VVIPs, VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVIPs are busy tripping over themselves to go see it. It is like a magical stone now!
Quick! Dash to Amritsar! We must touch it! Or at least be photographed next to it!
Now people are fighting to see who will get to ride with It in choppers. People are making speeches about It’s bravery. People are asking for resignations in Its name! People are asking that It receive justice! People want It to be avenged! (whatever that means)
Heck, Rahul Gandhi, hug-master extraordinaire, is also right next to It, delivering his patented Jadoo ki Jhappi to Its mother.
Side note:Another reason why I won’t cry is that I am pretty sure Rahul Gandhi is weeping enough for all of us combined.
It is not only world-famous in all of India, but It is also rich! One crore from State, some lakhs from Centre, Government job for it’s family! Pensions!
It’s seven generations also would not have earned so much money. That is a fact – because if anyone in It’s seven generations had earned this kind of money, It would not be an ‘It’ right now.
Moving right along though.
It is now being broadcast across the nation! It is causing Arnab to scream louder! It is causing NDTV to make fancier music and better graphics! It is making front page headlines yaar!
It is in Parliament, which can’t pass laws, but can and did pass a resolution for It! How amazing!
Tomorrow It will be heralded as the cause for new laws and new relationship lows. It will be the reason why some people can proudly say “I told you them Pakis were evil” and other people can loudly say “It suffered no worse than others, see how India treats it’s own inmates”.
It also gives people like me something to write about, thereby conveniently allowing me to finish my article quota of the day! Cool!
For eight thousand and thirty five days (give or take a few), he was a forgotten, worthless man – ignored by his country and left to die.
But now that he has died…HURRAY!..I mean…”So sad..so sad..very bad…very bad. Some one should resign na? Haan, Haan, photo-shoto le lo…video walla nahi aaya abhi tak?”
It is a bonanza for everybody involved.
So why should you cry? No reason to cry at all.
Indeed you need to stop crying because if our hypocrisy gets any more obscene, we will have to censor and ban ourselves for the sake of public decency.
The only people who need to cry for Sarabjit are the few handful who remembered him, fought for him, traveled to Pakistan repeatedly for him and in the end, waited and hoped every day for 22 years for his return.
They are crying – even when they are forced to do so surrounded by several thousand gawking Indians who like nothing better than a spectacle.
They are crying – even when they have to put up being hugged and condescended by a spectacle of VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVIPs who apparently have nothing better to do and know that elections are coming.
I presume at this very moment, the other hundreds (if not thousands) of Indian prisoners in Pakistan, some who have been there for close to three decades, are wandering the jails asking if anyone could please beat them to death.
It appears to be the best way to get that which they never seem to get as long as they are alive – salvation.
Dear Indian Media,
This is India. A thousand people will come out to watch anything, anywhere for any reason. Especially if the bade sahabs from Dilli are around.
Therefore, despite your fond fantasies, this does not translate to thousands “bid a tearful adieu“. (FYI – you used the same linewhen Vilasrao Deshmukh died)
Next time you reach for a fancy French word to sum up a similar situation – I suggest you go for ‘farce’.
Also, you seem to misunderstand what the term ‘India mourns’ means. You want to see India mourn? Raise the price of petrol by 5 rupees. That is mourning. This is ‘India watching, Politicians acting’.