If you have a problem, fix it. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. - Ernest Hemingway

Monday, 26 June 2017

The valley of death

On Thursday morning, 22 June, a 15-year-old Junaid Khan left home in Ballabhgarh in Haryana to buy kurta-pyjama, a pair of shoes and some khushboo for Eid from Delhi. He returned home dead.
On his way back on a train with his elder brother Hashim and two friends, he was stabbed to death by a group of 15 men between 7-8 pm. Their crime? They were Muslims. Last night I saw on NDTV Junaid’s older brother, who too was attacked, say that the attackers were taunting them over their clothes, and also talked about “beef eating” before taking out their knives. Another victim said to the Indian Express, “Hashim told me the men threw them off the train at Asaoti station. Some people there called an ambulance and they were then taken to a hospital in Palwal.” * How can anyone hate a stranger, that too, a child, so intensely just because he is a Muslim? Unfortunately, mindless violence against Muslims and Christians in this country by insane men in recent years is not the end of the gruesome story. What is far worse is a conspiracy of silence by a large number of Hindus. Please check this report on Indian Express today (25 June) with the heading: AT RAILWAY STATION WHERE JUNAID BLED TO DEATH, ALL SAY: DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING “FROM the station master and his staffers to a nearby post-master, to vendors at the platform, nobody appears to have seen anything at the Asaoti railway station where few trains stop, where Junaid Khan bled to death after being repeatedly stabbed aboard a local passenger train on Thursday evening. The CCTV THAT LOOKED ON TO THE SPOT HAS BEEN FOUND TAMPERED WITH, an official of the Government Railway Police (GRP) told The Sunday Express. [Emphasis added] “The only sign of the murder that evening at this sleepy station … are the blood stains still visible on platform number 4, where Junaid’s body lay for some time. “… Station Master Om Prakash says the guard of the train, which was enroute from Delhi to Mathura, told him around 7.21 pm on Thursday that a “huge crowd” had gathered on platform number 4. “I immediately asked two of the staff present to see why the crowd had gathered. When they reached there, no one was present. The public might have taken away the body. I did not see anything, neither the body nor the crowd,” says Prakash. The Station Master claims he was busy in the control room at the time. The control room, that is adjacent to platform number 1, is 200 metres from where the 15-year-old died. * Do all these men who “have seen nothing” share the hatred of the 15 men who killed the child for no reason whatsoever? Or are they plain scared because everybody knows that the government of the day and their huge machinery will side with the murderers, not the victims? I am too disturbed to write anything more. Let me share with you a translation of a few lines of a Bangla poem by late Nabarun Bhattacharya. I have deliberately changed a few words of the poem. I believe Nabarun Bhattacharya would have approved the changes. This valley of death is not my country ============================ The father who’s scared to identify the body of his son – I hate him The brother who is shamefully normal even now – I hate him The teacher, intellectual, poet and clerk Who don’t want to avenge this death – I hate them. The body of a dead child Is lying on the path of our conscience I am going insane A pair of open eyes look at me while I sleep I scream out They call me at all hours … to the garden I’ll lose my sanity I’ll take my life I’ll do whatever I wish to … This valley of death is not my country The dancing executioners on stage are not my countrymen This extended crematorium is not my country This blood-soaked abattoir is not my country 25 June 2017

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