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.
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.