The country is in an uproar over Sarabjit Singh’s murder in a Lahore jail. An uproar that is long overdue. An uproar that deserves decisive action from the government. But are we going to get any action? Going by history, we the people are going to get words…words…and some more words. Words as surrogate for action. Words of sympathy. Words of condolence. Words of posturing.
And the collective conscience will lap it up to move on to the next outrage to receive the next round of words.
Jawans beheaded on the border…words.
January 2013, an Indian murdered in the Lahore prison…words and hosting the Pakistani PM for a meal (shown in the Newshour on Times Now).
Train blasts in Mumbai…words.
Terrorists walking into Mumbai and massacring people…words. Kasab who was filmed doing the act in CST became an honoured guest. As per a guest on the Times Now Newshour show on May 2nd, India spent 54 crores – ladies and gentlemen, that is 54,00,00,000 rupees – on the mass murderer in some twisted idea of projecting itself as – just what? – to the world. 54 crores that could’ve been spent on infrastructure, education, health or housing. 54 crores that could probably have made Mumbai a wee bit safer. But no, it was more important to house, clothe and feed (amongst other things) one killer than house, clothe and feed many thousands of citizens. It was more important to keep Kasab safe than make Mumbai safe.
Did we achieve anything at all with all that pussy-footing? Not even a pat on the back from the international audience for whom we had put on the show.
When many die, it is a ‘tragedy’. When individuals die, they are ‘martyrs’.
This is true – all of us are either a ‘tragedy’ or a ‘martyr’ to the altar of lily-livered diplomacy.
Sarabjit Singh spent over two decades in Pakistani prisons. His family never ceased asking to be heard. The media sporadically revived the story. In response to all that, everyone got placebos – tassali – and ‘diplomacy’.
Does the government really care that every year thousands are dying because of diplomacy? That two ‘neighbours’ are steadily and stealthily making inroads into the country (allegedly we are losing a few hundred kilometres each year to our ‘neighbours’)?
Agreed that war is not an answer. There are never any winners in a war – there are only losers. But would it be too much to ask the powers-that-be to have a spine? To stop all the Aman Ki Asha, Samjahuta Express nonsense? To end all trade and diplomatic agreements with a country whose only contribution in the bi-lateral trade seems to be sending terrorists into our country and destabilizing it?
Is it too much to ask for the government to actually care?