Come clean, please

A convenient mixture of half truths and untruths mixed in good measure to make the most awkward of situations look just funny

M.L.KOTRU
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 22 2018 12:28AM | Updated Date: Apr 22 2018 12:28AM
Come clean, pleaseFile Photo

It would be less than honest to say and certainly unfair to the memory of the eight-year- Kathua girl, even to suggest that all’s well that ends well.The presumption in that case would have been that the horrifying crime committed by bigoted youth in Kathua has somehow been resolved. Far from it. The little girl  is very much alive and kicking, thanks to attempted backtracking by the goons who raped her prior to her brutal killing. I for one was not surprised when I heard of BJP stalwarts from Jammu trying to pull the wool over the gullible by initially suggesting as if the apex had left the door ajar for them to impart yet another ignoble twist to the sordid tale. Remember cocky Jammu BJP leaders insisting that the last has yet not been heard of the State Crime Brach report on the ghastly crime which had after their tiring three-month of inquiry identified the guilty. Even the maverick, noisy Minister Chaudhry Lal Singh ‘joined by another of his tainted colleagues leading a rally in Kathua post-the Supreme Court verdict to proclaim that the Central Bureau of Investigation was to take over the rape-cum-murder case. In other words showing scant regard for the report submitted by their own State Police Crime Branch. Remember also the brazen cries raised by members of the Jammu Bar against the entire investigative process and yet again asking for a CBI query. 

Why this unseemly, distasteful outcry? Simply because the victim was from a community the BJP doesn’t take kindly to? Or, to deepen the divide separating the dominant Muslim valley from the presumed Hindu dominated Jammu region? Whatever the reason the upshot is that the valley and Jammu might well be poles apart, not just politically but physically as well. Of interest to me was the observation by a hollering Jammu stalwart that Ladakh too shared Jammu’s agony over the partisanship of the valley-dominated Crime Branch. The dastardly killing of the little girl may have been a constant source of embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day European sojourn during the week; but then Mr Modi’s media managers are past-masters at news management. Can you imagine their hiring London’s landmark hall at Westminster to stage some kind of what Kashmiris call “banndae pathar”,  a convenient mixture of half truths and untruths mixed in good measure  to make the most awkward of situations look just funny. And Mr Modi had for his foil at this show one of the country's leading advertising geniuses who also doubles up as chairman of the Central Film Certification Board.Very much like the roadside magician (Bazigar) beckoning his attendant handyman to say yes or no, as demanded by the situation. One such repartee saw Mr Modi asking the prompter for the cue to the script mentioning “surgical strike” Just enough for Prime Minister to wax eloquent on how Army Units  shocked their Pakistani counterparts out of their wits . So much so that even hours after the event the Generals on the other side of the LOC were unaware of the occurrence on their side of the line. Made one wonder what to make of our own Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat’s entirely peaceable noise of the day before wherein he had spoken of. Military operations not being the route to normalise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. One was hoping for the very best, coming as the Army Chief's observation did a day after the Pakistan Army Chief. Gen Baweja had also spoken of peaceful negotiations. But there was  Mr Modi, keeping away from the anti-India pro-victim demos in London, warning the Pakistanis to keep off Indian backs. Remember the surgical strike, he seemed to suggest. Only the Pakistani military the next day argued it knew nothing of the operation or when it was launched. So much for the bluff and bluster India and Pakistan play. For the ordinary Kashmiri the fall out of Kathua episode continues to be a harsh reality to live; thanks to the unseemly outcry in Jammu – and it continues to rage – the valley already dogged by heavy rains is up against a harsher reality: with the official electronic media playing up the querulous anti Kashmiri noise emanating from Jammu the valley seems to be faced with another lean tourist season.