Life and Death will never make a choice between rich and poor. ‘Emerging’ India is still not ready for accident free rallies or protests. Responsibility runs down from top to bottom. Greed for a more powerful competitive show to match the biggest farmer compensation announcement is equally responsible in this accident or suicide, which needs a neutral probe. Even the 20 policemen who refused to climb up the tree owe us all an answer.
The 22nd. April tragedy in AAP Farmers Rally will go down the history of India as a sad shameful day for both inhuman treatment to Farmers and poor treatment to Political Party volunteers.
This bleeding system and pattern of Neta-Volunteer gap ultimately invited the CM’s Delhi apology and condolences and that too after two days.
The situation which forced Gajender to hang himself shall repeat in future if course correction is not taken.
Apology and tears comes with a short cut to damage control because millions are angry. The pattern of replacing Nagar Sevaks ( like Arvind does ) will not wait for its next victim.
Media is flooded with stories on how and why farmers commit suicide but reforms in Neta-Volunteer relationship stand missing.What does a Volunteer want ? Perhaps some dignity,occasional interaction with the decision makers and action on collective hopes and dreams.
Gajendra Singh Rajput farmer appears to have committed suicide by hanging his neck with a towel-Ghamcha in front of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Aam Aadmi Party’s rally in New Delhi against the land bill. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered probe in the incident after discussion in the Parliament. Media speculates many reasons behind this sad event. What stands missed in news bites is that why this well build farmer from Rajasthan dared alone to climb 40 feet above ground on the tree with a pre-handwritten note in his pocket and with the placard of Arvind Kejriwal and the Broom.
The handwritten note of Gajendra shows that he wanted the top AAP leader’s attention to share his plight of crop loss and eviction from home by his father branding him as a looser. What probably stands out in the note is the challenge of `going back` home and not to end his life.
With Jhadoo AAP election symbol in his hand and Arvind Keriwal large cut out why should a farmer who was an activist of AAP since Anna Movement take the risk to be heard and seen clearly ? Or was his intention was to hear and see the AAP leaders clearly sitting 40 feet high up among leaves in shade? Eye witness claim that he was continuously shouting anti-Modi and anti-Rajasthan CM slogans. Gajendra Singh did NOT intend to commit suicide. He held the tree VERY firmly during his “pretend hanging”. But then perhaps his weight was too much to hold.
In the post mortem, if death was by hanging, the spine would have snapped near the neck. Preliminary finding from the post-mortem report says Gajendra Singh died due to hanging – Bassi” – Source – this doesn’t seem possible at least at the stage depicted above. Gajender family vigorously deny that he would commit suicide: “The family members are clear that it was the AAP which provoked him into doing this. Moreover they have also maintained that Singh was not the kind who would commit suicide.“[Source]
When climbers came to rescue him, he presumably had little consciousness, which meant he could not support his own weight while being rescued. That meant the rescuers were unable to hold on to his weight and he fell. [Listen to Joginder, one of the person who tried to rescue him – from 0:50 seconds] Joginder is an AAP volunteer from Chandigarh. The combination with his weight was fatal.
Death time remains unclear due to all above doubts.
Misuse of Volunteers and their bad treatment need to stop !
When leaders have no organisational control over supporters in various ministries and also within the party the easiest way is to start the blame game. It is highly sad instead of looking inwards AAP top guns resort to blame games and Drama Politics. CM-Kejriwal said, “We kept asking the police to bring him down. Police may not be in our control but at least there should be a semblance of humanity among them.”
Key to a Safe Political Rally & Zero Disaster lies at the Top
For success or failure in crowd management a leader must have a team with no loopholes & no missing links.CM Arvind Kejriwal has to evolve a clear volunteer safety program. Original members in AAP were recently hounded out by using fear factor, misuse of constitution and using autocratic attitude with no room for dissent. How can he create a volunteer safety program in this environment.
In this recent disaster each AAP MLA were asked to reach Jantar Mantar with minimum 15 buses loaded with supporters. Expensive colored posters and leaflets donning Arvind Kejriwal calling supporters to reach Jantar Mantar appeared everywhere in time. However this Power show finally failed to protect the life of an activist as even one doctor candidate of Vishwas Nagar says there was no ambulance plan except the high command order of 15 loaded buses from 70 Vidhan Sabhas.
What stood missing in this Volunteer Death Tragedy was good governance, security plans, Police-Public relationship drill, Ambulance, first aid and team work inside AAP with volunteers. Delhi Police chief argument is that AAP wanted an extra last minute attention with media to be kept away from Arvind Kejriwal. No exit plan, no ambulance plan appears to have been in the narrow spaces of Jantar Mantar.
How is this error acceptable? As part of safe unique `changemakers` AK lobby is expected to train their rank and file cadres and ministry babus to keep the volunteers and paid service providers alert. Instead we saw a total confusion. All 67-70 plus top leaders on the dias assumed that the uninvited agitating contract teachers in the crowd fuelled by opposition had planted this man on top of the tree to divert the farmers effort.
Behind each super Protest or a celebration are a set of modern minds and machine. There are hundreds of eyes – brain, hand – feet coordination. This careful coordination sustains the safe journey via trucks, buses and train. The self evolving modernization of mind sets needs to be separated by the lazy IT communication tools. Hunger for short cuts, transfer of security, shifting controls and engaging the sense of responsibility to few pampered hands is equally responsible. Leader-Volunteer unequal relationship slogan –“ Sacrifice to remain safe and well connected”, stands exposed.
No political party can at any point say look this volunteer safety is a `no profit business` for me. System that can save lives with or without inner democracy stands bleeding today under pressure. Shortage is not of funds but the will of the team to work together.AAP inside story spills more. Delhi Health minister wants new hospitals, new investments with no serious road map to improve the existing health and disaster care system.
The CMs, Home Ministers therefore have this comfortable national attitude of waiting for others to do their job. After disasters and ugly accidents they continue to put forward excuses. Excuse such as `we do not have funds like traditional parties or police is not in our control`. This again is a trick because power cares only for relatively more powerful followers. This cannot fool people for long.It breaks the myth that reforms and selling off event management to private companies can bring safe reforms. Only social & financial audit each day can help Business teams deliver safety both controlled by public and private funds.
We have to be the change we are looking for. We need mind modernization First. Nobody shall do it if we do not do it ourselves.Till then the collective search of safe social living must go on. AAP is still the best political party for millions of honest contributors. Transparent team work with fast sharing can achieve safe and a descent living of followers. This needs transparency, inner democracy, sense of belonging to the party, In-house communication and fair elections in AAP from bottom to top. People have to unite and decide and control their arrogant and ruthless Nagar Sevaks.
Written in Public Interest and in Cooperation of Inner-Democracy in AAP
By Rakesh Manchanda,