Sunday, October 09, 2011

Why bother?

The question we all should be asking is not who killed the NC bloke. People wouldn’t care less about how this guy kicked the bucket. Let me stick my neck out on this one. I don’t frankly think Omar had anything sinister to do with the mysterious death of the NC worker. Perhaps he dealt with the matter in good faith, but since he is wont to donnybrooks and controversies, it comes back at him. Always.

Now TV chaps have a habit of chasing inconsequential things and glamorizing pure poppycock. So day in and day out -- for the last one week we were subjected to this rather weird Rishi character, apparently involved in graft, talking with a new-found piety to poor TV chaps flying light, since it has been a somewhat normal season in the valley. Since nothing substantial is happening in Delhi at the moment, media had a field day in Srinagar.

This entire dramaturgy amounts to nothing. Indian media, when it comes to Kashmir, is mostly corn-fed. Forget about the theatre. I understand where our own unease stems from. Many of us don’t like the arrogance with which Omar talks down to people, notwithstanding his glib TV performances. We understand the disconnect. We know that the manicured lawns of Royal Springs can’t palliate the pain of parents who get sleepless nights thinking about the unmarked graves of Kupwara and elsewhere.

The singular tragedy is that we expect the prince and his courtiers to abdicate power and go on a vacation just because one of their own allegedly died in the castle. How unseasoned is that? Should we really get worked up whether a sitting or standing judge writes the time-line of what happened at Gupkar last week? How about getting started by counting how many accused in the killing of 118 kids -- last summer -- had charges brought against them? Did we not have commissions of enquiry set up after each of those despicable killings?

If 2010 appears too distant a memory, what about events that came to light this year, not too long ago. Apparently a government body endorsed the findings of all those tireless organizations -- which have been crying hoarse all these years -- about the presence of unmarked graves dotting rural Kashmir. But for an exception or two the findings registered nary a blip in the national media circus. And why should it? Salam Reshi, with his deliberate pauses, makes for sexy viewing. Middle class India does not care for rotting cadavers. It wants emotional porn on KBC and Bigg Boss.

The truth be told it is somewhat unfair to blame poor Rajdeep and that greasy hair– Arnoub – and the Times of India boys in Kashmir. The Indian parliament didn’t deem the matter of mass graves fit enough, regardless of the Atut ang raag, to be deliberated upon. Forget about the parliament in Delhi, the JK assembly speaker, a gent with large glasses and a notoriously short temper, simply turned down the demand for a discussion on unmarked graves. No sweat. Matter adjourned.

And as we hoof-it into another winter, there shall be layers of snow soon, followed by Harisa. And skiing tourists. In two months it will be two years from 2010 and who knows what hornet’s nest we stumble upon next. Already Mr G is saying: Show the slum dwellers the way to Jawaharlal tunnel!

© Sameer