Selective political tourism

Shiban  Khaibri
An anonymous writer has aptly said, “You can only die once, to make sure it is worth it.” Colonel Santosh Mahadik , a decorated brave soldier of our army , while taking on heavily armed terrorists in Kupwara, Kashmir attained martyrdom last week . He gave for the nation, the supreme sacrifice and with him, his close family members too contributed their most precious share of mite towards this country and the countrymen. Watching the heart rending scene of his last rites in his native village in Satara, Maharashtra, this writer could not control chocked emotions and tears rolling down the eyes especially when the darling son of the brave heart who was used to get bouts of kisses, hugs and fondling from his father and who had promised him all this again in abundance in December this year during his expected leave period of a few days, lighted his pyre. A small child of barely 4 years, the son of the martyr, near the pyre had his tiny legs slightly struggling to balance on the ground   while circumambulating the father’s pyre; perhaps, he had become conscious of the fact that it was the last of what there was about his loving “Papa”. Millions watching the cremation of this darling son of the country must have undergone the same feelings while bidding a tearful adieu to him but with a reverential salute and a “Namman” to his “Veergatti”.
There must have been and should be, the feelings of anguish or even of indignation seeing a brave soldier at his prime 37 giving his most precious irretrievable life for the country without making any distinction between politicians, between religions, regions, languages sexes etc should not be visited by anyone from the ones who vied with one another in making a beeline to reach Dadri first and be fairly noticed as such. While the incident at Dadri was a brutal killing deserving suitable punishment to the culprits who took someone’s life and his family deserved all attention and help but what about a decorated soldier, the Commanding Officer attached to the elite 21 Para Special Forces Unit with a chequered record in the North East and Kashmir in fighting the armed terrorists and had won a gallantry award of a Sena Medal on attaining martyrdom? He was the second army officer within a span of a few months this year  to have sacrificed his life while fighting the armed men sent by Pakistan to create disturbances and destruction in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.  Excepting the country’s Defence Minister Manohar Parikar, no one visited Satara , his family , children and grieving parents. We saw how within no time Dadri became a political tourist destination for leaders like Aazam Khan, Kejriwal, Brinda Karat, Rahul Gandhi and other “secular” leaders but why did these leaders or the Left secular liberals or the pseudo Human Rights activists or the Award returnees not even think of paying a token symbolic visit to Satara to condole his death and console his wife and children? Did these so called secular, Left, Liberal, Progressive, Socialist and Democratic leaders trivialize his martyrdom  or even thought on the same lines as one of the former  senior Ministers   in Bihar  government Bhim Singh had some time back brazenly said,” People join the army and the Police  for the same purpose”. In the backdrop of having succeeded to create a hype and the apparition of Intolerance and even making it reach Parliament safely and thus succeeding in letting the whole world know about something which did not , not even in the least, exist anywhere  in the country, Dadri has assumed proportions of limitless importance to embarrass the Modi government despite the fact that in the state of the Uttar Pradesh , it was a non BJP government . Kejriwal has got all the time and opportunity to fly to Patna and felicitate and hug Laloo Yadav and hold his hand high in Aakash Aasan congratulating him for “defeating the communal and divisive forces” and for inducting successfully his both sons in the highly paying Political Industry and thus reverse his open stand of Feb.2013 whereby he called him “an epitome of corruption” and that “Police is not doing enough in taking legal action against him” but has no time to pay a symbolic visit to Satara to pay homage to the martyr Mahadik,  looks shocking and surprising and raises fingers on the quality of the sense of belongingness towards this country and our sacred duty to respect our Military heroes.
In the same way, Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi can get enough time to fly into Patna to congratulate Laloo Ji with whom Congress is in alliance running Bihar government as  also address women students of a noted college in Bangaluru where he forces down his “NO ” to the resounding and roaring responses of “YES – YES – YES” when he asked them whether Swatch Bharat Abhiyan of Modi government had succeeded and again whether Make in India had succeeded and again whether Make in India had generated some jobs for them. He could have got carved some small niche in the psyche of the people if he could have made it to Satara and fondled the small boy whose father had given his life for this countrymen, Rahul Ji included. Not to speak of Karat Ji or Owasie or Aazam Khan or Neta Ji of UP. Allow this writer to go to the extent of saying that neglecting our martyr hero and not even expressing condolences publicly not to speak of attending his last rites,   is a pure and selective political ostracism while Dadri incident is a political adoption. In both incidents, human life was gone never to come back, then why discrimination between the two to the extent of, I repeat, a political ostracism. Now t has become a part and parcel of the pages of the History. George Eliot had aptly said in this connection, “You should look at History and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom and that kind of thing, they always happen to the best men, you know?” Dadri had the potential of too much of politics while Satara had none of it. How insidious state of affairs generated by cheap politics?
Col. Santosh’s martyrdom has inspired his  otherwise shattered wife to publicly declare there and then that she held the solid conviction that “My country is great, I am proud of my husband, My children shall serve the country by joining the army, my daughter as a Doctor there and my son as a commando.” This is the stuff of which brave Indian women are made and even such an irreparable loss does not shake her resolve to offer both her children to the Indian Army to serve the country. In contrast, look at another Indian woman who creates an unfounded fear in her family and motivates her husband to leave this country as “India had become intolerant” and was scared to even open a news paper and was “concerned” about the safety of the child. It is intriguing that barely three days before the start of the Parliament session, this assumed  fear, leaving the country, intolerance , scared to even open a news paper like scenes are enacted to pollute the otherwise peaceful, friendly, pleasant and harmonious environs of the country.  It is the same family on which the countrymen poured immense love, affection and fortune. Hundreds and thousands jostled and struggled to have just a glimpse of the celebrity of this family. Never ever, not in the least, has anybody even remotely thought, God forbid,  to harm the family . Then why to defame this country? Why to generate misgivings and confusion and lower its prestige in the comity of nations where our Prime Minister goes to build a fair image of India to get the international community involved in our developmental process so that we emerge as a strong power. To create conditions back home to thwart that process and exercise is nothing short of treachery and even “Desh Droh”.


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