Image courtesy: The Hindu

Two boys in a speeding Maruti 800 lost their lives to army-men’s bullets in Budgam district of J&K. Regrettable.

Two more are seriously injured and are admitted to hospital. Hope they recover soon.

Kashmir seethes in anger over the killings, says DNA. Understandable.

Whenever Basim Ahmed Bhat closes his eyes, he sees his Faisal’s body on the steering wheel. Sympathies to this boy.

But then, there are a few things I do not understand, like―

Faisal Yousuf was driving the car, says newspaper reports. His age is given as 13. Is 13 not an underage for driving a vehicle? Is it not possible that a juvenile driver, because of his immaturity, ignored the warnings of the army men, which could have led them to suspect the passengers to be terrorists and fire at them? You must be a moron to ask such questions. Pointing out such trivial violations reveals your sick mind. Only Naxals enjoy this privilegewhenever they indulge in a heinous crime, we should dwell over the trivial human rights violations in their past which could have instigated them to indulge in violence. Army men are not so privileged.

Basim seems to be still in shock and that perhaps explains his incoherence. He tells Indian Express that Faisal ‘did not see the soldiers’ and said he would stop on the edge of the road. To Greater Kashmir he says that Faisal ‘had just applied breaks.’ They were trying to overtake a tipper lorry in Indian Express whereas there was no such adventure in Greater Kashmir. Soldiers were firing from ‘two sides’ in Indian Express while in Greater Kashmir they were firing from ‘three sides.’ What are you trying to prove by pointing out these inconsistencies? The boy is lying? Or the killings are justified?

The boys’ families have accused the army of ‘cold blooded’ murder, says a report. But the army seems to have admitted the injured two in the hospital. The ‘cold blooded’ soldiers did not seem to be inclined to kill them. You are impossible!

Mehbooba Mufti says that the soldiers could have fired at the tires instead of pumping dozens of bullets on their bodies. She implies army resorted to excessive violence at the very first instance. But then this report says that the boys did not stop at the first mobile check post when asked to do. When they did it not stop at the 2nd and 3rd check posts, the soldiers opened fire. He he he! You don’t know the basic rules of secular reporting of Kashmir news. Army always lies.

Basharat Masood has taken great pain to meet this ‘frightened’ boy who ‘avoids meeting strangers’ and made him narrate his story. Why does not anyone from media approach the army jawans involved and report their story. Ok, army jawans may not want to be identified or quoted. But then media guys can always use the phrase ‘…said an army source who did not want to be quoted.’ Does the fact that the media has not approached the soldiers for their story mean that their side is not worth reporting?

Consider for a moment the army’s story without jumping into conclusion whether it is true or false. Let the enquiry announced by the army decide on it.

Army had specific intelligence input of terrorist movement in a Maruti car; the guys do not stop at any of the check-posts. What do you expect the army to do other than firing? Such a scene in a Bollywood movie would have been appreciated because we would have applied logic while watching the movie whereas we apply emotions in real life.

All I am trying to say is, none of the above can make up for the loss of lives. But try and appreciate the extreme conditions in which the soldiers operate. They deal with terrorists and militants. They need to take spot decisions and some of the decisions could go wrong. They cannot be judging and evaluating the evidence like a judge in a court of law. As Cho Ramaswamy says with regard to such events, we sympathise with the victim’s families, but to make baseless allegations against army will be a serious disservice to the men in uniform.


Idiots of Delhi

Who are the idiots of Delhi? Whose idiocy we blame for the chaos in Delhi today? Whose doors the does the blame lie for the absurdity of a Chief Minister with his Cabinet fasting against the police of his State?

Netas- either of the AAP variety or those of the conventional, status-quo variety? No. You can accuse them of anything but idiocy. Scheming, arrogant, corrupt, communal- all these adjectives will suit them. But the good part is all of us know this thanks to the media and even Bollywood both of which had for decades been untiringly unmasking the face of the politicians. Public awareness of the nefarious designs of the neta is so high that any new, however ‘startling’ revelation does not surprise them anymore; it only reiterates their conviction. We cannot be harsher on the netas any further.

Then is it the media? Of course not. All the adjectives that apply to netas adorn the media as well. One can of course add ‘smart’ to the list because media, unlike the politician has been smartly and successfully hiding its true face- its bias. It has smartly characterized its left leaning as a crusade against crony capitalism. Another trait of the media is its perseverance and this is amazing.

Let me explain further. Media’s hatred for Modi is legendary by now. It thought that it could decimate Modi with its high decibel, motivated coverage of post Godhra riots. When Modi stomped back to power in the elections held immediately after the riots, the equation became clear to the media viz. any victory of Modi is a blow to media and vice versa. This being the equation, it tried delivering blows to Modi- first it propped up Teesta, then Zahira Sheik, Zakia Jafri, Sanjiv Bhatt, R B Sreekumar. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately every blow boomeranged on the media and it kept on changing the goal post for the past 11 years. Finally when the Ahmedabad court rejected, it desperately needed a ray of hope.

And that was provided by the Aam Admi Party, which won 28 seats in Delhi elections. What was a reasonably good performance, media chose to enlarge to a ‘remarkable’ performance. While Teesta, et al. served to fight Modi directly, media decided to use Arvind Kejriwal slightly differently; it decided to use him and his crazy governance to eclipse Modi, to divert public attention away from Modi. Congress played into this game of media as it had done in the past when media experimented with Teesta, et al.

For the past one month media has been successful in creating an impression that AAP’s 28 seats in Delhi will enable it to arrest Modi’s march towards 180+ seats in Lok Sabha. So if at all, one can blame media of arrogance, but certainly not of idiocy.

Whose idiocy then? Who else but the public of Delhi, the aam admi of Delhi? Compare Delhi’s public, which boasts of higher level of literacy, independent thinking with that of relatively less literate public of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The later States chose an experienced, decisive party, which has gone about systematically in forming the government. Delhi gave a confused mandate. It induced a minority, indecisive AAP to accept Congress’ support to form the government.

What has AAP done in past few days? Got into confrontation with police for unsubstantiated allegations. Encouraged auto drivers to defy police. Raked up the old issue of reservation. Advocated preference for Delhi students in DU. Offered baseless concessions in water and electricity. And today its cabinet is sitting in protest with utter disregard for the security arrangements for Republic Day celebrations.

Generally we are not harsh on the public. After all Janata is Janardhan. I think the time has come to kick the public in the butt.

Everyone is responsible for his action- a Minister is responsible for his decisions; a bureaucrat is accountable for his action. Public however is able to get away with its indiscretion in electing an undeserving party.

Delhi Public deserves to suffer.