To die or not to live as dead
Some die, in fact all die. To die in anonymity is considered a humiliating end of existence- albeit purposelessness. But, death at will, and at prime, and above all with dignity that will declare to posterity about the existence of individuality, is not the blessing that all have. There are deaths in coma. Deaths in isolation, deaths in uncared corners of the society, deaths that are prayed for as the ultimate deliverance- they are all deaths not really wanted when living, but wanted just before dying. If ever we have the choice to die at whatever is the most opportune time that our dreams and desires dictate, our lives would really be fulfilled. We do not have much such choice. We wait to die, when we are supposed to die- the supposition being a physiological or a providential dictate.
There are some who die at the right time. There are some who die extending their life time causing misery unto themselves and others. But, there are a few who die- when they do not want to. There are a few who die because they are lost. They get lost not in the myriad quagmire of life, but in quixotic lawlessness of the state.
The very fact that I have to vote in the forthcoming elections means I am alive and accepted by my state as being alive. The votes are needed by the state- irrespective of its inherent capacity to produce, nurture or sustain statesmen. The elections keep telling the world and me that India is a wonderful democracy. It just happens that the democratic flame gets ignited only once in five (or just a few less) years. I am going to go to the voting booth, and like the idiotic and meaningless exercise that I did the last time, I am going to use 49o-the option to not cast vote! Who cares? What matters? I would have done my democratic duty, and the democracy would give me the devils that I did not requisition. This blog was not about voting, it was about living, and more specifically about dying- in dignity.
Some sportspersons (I wish they were sportsmen too) have been injured, some security personnel have died; some more blasts have occurred somewhere, some more and then some more, would have died. A few however would have disappeared. The media more than the governments concerned is outraged. Every news paper has the news on the first page as a headline; every TV channel keeps flashing this news and holds talks showcased for viewership enhanced sponsorship. I feel sorry for the trauma of the injured, I feel sad for the dead, and in a few minutes I worry about my beer being not chill enough.
If I were to react just this much to this “major” event, screaming at me as headlines, breaking news and news analyses- how would I care to notice a small news item that is lost in the later pages and scrolls? I do not unless perhaps, I decide to blog and get some attention- more on myself than on the matter.
200 odd people have been declared dead- declared not after examining the dead bodies but after a lapse of a few years (7?). They have been missing for years. They were not ‘traceable’- whereabouts not known! They are dead legally! The law and order that were supposed to take care of them and find them have shrugged and moved on, like what I would be doing in another few weeks when I stand in the queue to vote (or register a non-vote). Democracy lives. It has already claimed victory a couple of years ago when Modi was elected!
How many people do you know whom you can call and speak anytime of the day? For me the number is restricted to less than ten. How many people whose death would spurt tears in my eyes- my number is restricted to less than two! So 200+ is a big deal for me.
These 200 people have been missing, now not just believed but declared dead, in Gujarat. They were the ones lost in the carnage. They were the ones lost when blatant brutalism masqueraded as mass ideology. They were the ones who were no more to be seen by their loved ones, after the inhuman but vote-profiting plot of villains. They were the ones whose votes could have been polled too! After all in the pseudo-electoral process you don’t have to be alive and around to vote, there are goons to take care of your vote- as though that matters in any sense.
I feel sick. Just look at these two news reports-
1. (March 1, 2009) those missing since the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat will be declared dead soon by the authorities with the expiry of seven years’ stipulated time. As a result, the official death toll of 2002 riots will go up from 952 to 1,180, as 228 people, who are missing, will be presumed dead.
2. (11 May, 2005) The government told parliament that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 more people reported missing and another 2,500 injured. It was responding to a written question from an unnamed MP. Junior Home Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told the upper house that more than 900 women had been widowed and 600 children orphaned in the riots.
So? it took three years for a government to say 200+ ( the numerical discrepancy attributed to a careless clerk) are missing, and seven years to say to those who still search for them to shut up! (check on Parzania after all you dont have to pay the original price in the black market). So what happens?
I type a blog. The charred corners of my conscience are cleared of the stains of societal guilt. I move on.
Some tears can never be wiped. They may not be streaming down the cheeks, but the wetness of the wailing soul would constantly make the mind damp- with guilt and shame, with anger and angst. Some tears would dry the mind so much that nothing would ever make a sprout of a thought grow. Tears that do not burn my eyes are just waters flowing, as waters should- eslewhere!india happening comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.