I’m on the train making my weekly sojourn home. After 5 ½ days of intense boredom& loneliness, the 1 ½ day with friends and family is a sort of redemption. Usually the train would have been crowded. But strangely that day was an exception and I sat peacefully reading & dozing off. The guy sitting opposite to me fishes out the evening paper. I glance at the front page & am stunned-
‘Afzal Guru Hanged’
GoI is on a come back mode. After hanging on to the ropes for past few years, they are coming out with all guns. The offensive is so much so that even the opposition are forced to applaud the ‘achievements’. One such achievement was hanging the ‘deadly terrorist’ Kasab in secret. The whole of India rose up to celebrate the vengeance. And we pretended not to have seen that mo one wanted the deadly terrorist- neither the evil government on the other side nor any evil organizations not even his family members. The poor guy was celebrated only in India.
Now the GoI realized that hanging in secret and sending a speed post is not a bad idea & they hang the second guy- Afzal Guru. This news should’ve gladdened the collective conscience of the nation. At this rate it wouldn’t be difficult for Rahul to beat his archrival in the next elections.
Despite wavering network connectivity, I managed to login to Twitter. The collective conscience of the nation was on another celebratory mood. Apparently the law, order, peace & justice have triumphed over the evil guy with a long beard. Tactfully the spokepersons of political parties were Muslims, giving the impression that secularism is of the country is still intact.
By evening the liberals shook themselves out of inertia and came into offensive. Predictably it was A.Roy who led the gang with her half concealed rhetoric. The arguments & counter arguments flew back and forth. Soon it became apparent that it was not entirely a black & white picture. The Indian demography hasn’t taken kindly to the hanging.
The next day I was planning to pay a visit to Bheemappalli. Although it housed a shrine of some saint, the place was more known for the trading of pirated DVDs and similar black marketed goods with the blessings of the Masjid council. Sadly the morning newspapers were splashed with a strange news. The police tried to raid the place. The traders tore the search warrant off as the raid didn’t have the ‘permissions’ of Masjid council. I was amused. Going there would be a risk. But still i decided to make the call and see how it would go. To my surprise everything was quite normal. People went about doing their ‘illegal’ business with calm and poise. I went to the tea shop. As usual the guy served me with callous indifference. Soon two hefty guys in long beards came in. The attitude of the tea vendor changed. Love and respects flew back and forth.
I stood back and wondered- globalization, liberalism, religious extremism & exclusivity – we are heading for a dangerous mix.