Sunday, December 24, 2006

From darkness lead me to light

Media led transformations -- Afzal Guru and Sanjay Dutt

As I was putting together the second short essay about our Prime Minister (Dr.) Man-Moron Singh, I noticed two interesting transformations occurring before me. And how the media and the public willingly suspended disbelief to allow that to happen.

The first was the transformation of Afzal Guru -- from a ruthless, cold-blooded, murderous Jihadi to a "family man".
It all started within minutes of the Supreme Court declaring Afzal Guru guilty and sentencing him to death. Predictably, the judgement stirred the tender sensibilities of India's conscience keepers (epitomised by folks like Prannoy Roy, pseudo-sec apologists, JNU-wallas, jhola-wallas, among others) . What we have here is a miscarriage of justice.
The Supreme Court had become Communal.

Communal.

The mention of that word was enough to send the media ballistic -- like a sniffer dog that had just found a huge cache of cocaine.

And the dog bared its fangs -- its sharpest, ugliest and most vicious fangs.

Enter Rajdeep Sardesai -- who humiliated and reduced to tears the families of the killed security folks, making it sound like it was their fault that Afzal Guru was given the death sentence.
Other enterprising TV channels had sound bytes of Afzal Guru's mother -- weeping that her son was innocent.

Barkha Dutt held the usual perfunctory debates, where the conclusion has already been drawn: India is "harsh on its minorities".

Arundhati Roy used the occasion to write another book that will earn her a handsome royalty and get her invitations to sundry "guest lectures" in Bush-whacked America where she can weep for the poor Afzal, along with other terror apologists.

After the fangs had torn into Indian minds, repeating "innocent" ad nauseam, Afzal Guru emerged... mysteriously... inevitably... inexorably... innocent.
The Government notes that it will take them 7 years to do something, as the utterly destroyed and demoralised families of the martyrs return their medals.

Truth by repeated assertion has worked its magic.

The other transformation was of Sanjay Dutt -- of a gangster into a 'man of peace'. Notice, how perfectly timed it all was... days after appealing for bail, Dutt visits a home for children with cancer.
Awww... how can this soft-hearted Gandhian be anything close to a terrorist?
A tragic study of how emotional positioning can be effectively used to gloss over real crimes.

In stark contrast stands another killer -- Manu Sharma. In reality, Manu's crime, though equally heinous, is a far smaller offense. Mr. Sharma has committed a single homicide, Afzal and Co are mass murderers. But Manu is getting skewered, and rightly so -- after all he has no communal or political card to play.

We used to learn as children the Sanskrit Sholka (from the Upanishads):

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya (Go from darkness to light)
Asato ma sad gamaya (Go from untruth to the truth)
Mrutyormaa amrutam gamaya (Go from [this] place of death -- to immortality)
Om Shanti Shanti shanti (Let there be Peace, Peace, Peace)

I guess the time is ripe for a remix of this old meaningless couplet --
Go from light to darkness, from truth to untruth and from immortality to the mortal!

With an intelligentsia and media that has bartered its morals and its sense of right and wrong.

This truly is kaliyuga -- the end of living and the beginning of survival.

6 comments:

Joy Vyloppully said...

Anyone with average intelligence should be able to see through the minority appeasement tactics. Are Hindus so spineless to tolerate such things and still vote for UPA.

Very well written. Hope the ignorant folks in India get to read this.

iamfordemocracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartikeya said...

Im not familiar with the details of the Afzal Guru case...

Just a word of caution though..... the fact that you are getting worked up because of a legal process does not reflect favorably.

A simple question:

If it really does turn out that there isn't any evidence against Guru, should our Law enforcement not give itself every chance of finding this out?

http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/nov/07inter.htm

gives a point by point explanation of the situation. The minute you start justifying your position by refering to pseudo-secularism or communalism or jholawalas etc. it weakens your case.

And seriously, does it not worry you that in the year 2007, a court judgement which effectively says that a man should be hanged in effect to assuage the national conscience is not even critically questioned?

I want to be better and more civilized and have more informed processes than reactionary, violent fundamentalist movements offer. If we react with retribution, then we are no better than them. I know this is a cliched argument, but it is true, will always remain true and is the only truth.

I notice you have removed an earlier comment. I only hope you removed it because it was abusive, and not because it was in disagreement.

PS (You have been described as a management consultant by Mr Kulkarni the IE Columnist.... hence im assuming that you are amenable to reason :) )

I mean no offense, and my comment pertains to the Afzal Guru part of your post only.

Kartikeya said...

Just another thought - the press is in business as much as it is involved in the service of news dissemination. Hence i think their positions are bound to theatrical at times.... they're in it for the ratings - both sides are.

Lets not try and feed that frenzy by complaining about it. Instead lets try and address the issue.

AGworld said...

Kartikeya

Thanks for comment.
First off, the deleted comment was removed by the author himself (or herself). I have a laissez faire policy on this, unless comments are abusive.

Lets turn to your positions one by one.
For one, the article you quote as a chronological calendar is not really that.
It is one person's OPINION -- one Vinay Jose.

Rediff has a whole lot more on its site at
http://www.rediff.com/news/pattack.html
The gist of it is this: Not one, but three courts have upheld Guru's sentence.
The Afzal Guru trial went through a process and the process delivered a result.

It is quite fashionable among "intellectuals" to embrace this process when it meets our fancies (e.g. when the SC shoved down environmentally friendly transport down the Delhi municipality's throat) but to "intellectually question" the result when it does not.
The Guru case and the summary dismissal of the Sardar Sarovar petitions are cases in points.

So to the intellectual, this process is "right" when its result is in line with expectations, its bust when the results are not.

But the SC verdict has demonstrated that the process has worked well.
Because this same court has totally acquitted Geelani of all wrongdoing.

This is of course extremely inconvenient to a mindset that has already been made up. One that says Guru = innocent.

Can one really claim then that there has been a miscarriage of justice when the court has ably demonstrated its ability to distinguish between a criminal (Guru) and the framed (Geelani)?

What was that again about being amenable to reason?

Kartikeya said...

I take your point about the press (tv press mainly).

However, i haven't heard a single factual rebuttal or any of the points that have been raised in this issue by any of the people who have questioned the sentence. The only response is

1. Three courts have pronounced judgement.

2. The people want it

The second argument is particularly dangerous. What it suggests is that this is basically a lynching.

What i don't understand is - if there is really a strong watertight case (and it has to be absolutely watertight for the man to be hanged), why not refute all the claims made by the person in this interview and by all the other people who have raised issued (they can't amount to more than 25-30 issues) and respond to them.

Information is the civilized recourse here. Name calling and polarization is not.

Too many people have questioned this judgement. And my problem is that the responses to those questions have been loud, shrill, inarticulate and generally ugly - instead of reason that one has a right to expect from Law enforcement.

I'll keep visiting your blog though.... :)