A tale of two narratives: How the ecosystem made one a hero, other a victim

They are both in their early 20s and both lost their fathers, tragically. One became a ‘poster girl for the liberal ecosystem’, other a ‘victim of right wing politics’.

In 2016, one Gurmehar Kaur posted a video on social media claiming how her father, Captain Mandeep Singh, was martyred in the 1999 Kargil War.

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She claimed that while she used to once hate Pakistanis but she doesn’t anymore. She said she doesn’t, because Pakistan didn’t kill her father, war did. Indeed, the casualties of war are not just limited to the soldiers who lay down their lives. Their families also get devastated and it takes years to come to terms with the loss. However, the army records say otherwise about the martyred soldier. Her father laid down his life while battling an attack by militants on the midnight of 6th August, 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara. By then, the Kargil War was long over. But Gurmehar Kaur was the new hero.

On 1st December, 2014, Judge Loya, who was the special Central Bureau of Investigation judge presiding over the trial of BJP President Amit Shah and various top cops of Gujarat in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi, died in Nagpur, at the age of 48. His death has come under a lot of spotlight, with many politicians and journalists casting aspersions on the circumstances of his death and saying that his demise was politically motivated.

However, his son held an emotional press conference yesterday, urging NGOs, politicians and journalists to leave them alone as they do not suspect any foul play. But journalists and politicians decided they know better than a 20-something impressionable young boy who just has to be saying all that under pressure, because what would a 20 something year old know? Anuj Loya, a second year law student, was the victim.

Later when Gurmehar spoke against AVBP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students wing of the RSS) during the Ramjas incident last year, support poured in from all directions.

Gurmehar was ‘right’ and ‘brave’ because she ‘stood up’ against the ‘nationalistic forces’. This is like Pakistan hailing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning the surgical strikes. Or how Pakistan started quoting The Quint’s propaganda against Kulbhushan Jadhav to discredit India. Similarly, anyone who parroted the narrative they had in mind, was applauded and celebrated as a hero. The similarity in their modus operandi, is shocking and heartbreakingly similar.

Anuj Loya, who is perhaps as old as Gurmehar, lost his father three years back when he was on a personal visit to Nagpur. Judge Loya was sitting over a high profile case involving the then MLA of Gujarat and a close aide of former chief minister of Gujarat and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah. Last few months, many journalists and politicians have brought up Judge Loya’s death, claiming, naye, insisting that it was ‘mysterious’, casting aspersions that perhaps Shah had something to do with it.

However, the facts claimed otherwise. But once the wheels of narrative have been set in motion, how can it possibly be stopped? There is only one way. Anuj Loya is a young, impressionable boy. He has got to be acting under pressure from the mighty and the powerful. Anyone who did not adhere to the narrative was called a victim. And not just any victim. A victim of ‘fascist nationalist forces’, of course.

It almost seems like the rot in the democracy of India, is so deep that the ‘opposition’ comes out in full force if it suits their agenda. Journalists, politicians, social media team of opposition, all came together to discredit Loya.

Delhi Chief Minister, who was vocally supporting Gurmehar, resorted to retweeting tweets by rumormongers.

Soon enough, others pitched in, trying to give it a new twist.

Boxing enthusiast masquerading as journalist Rajdeep Sardesai floated a conspiracy theory whether Anuj was saying all this under pressure from someone.

But when Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel in Delhi, Sardesai was found questioning the police for doing their job.

Similarly, Prashant Bhushan, who called PIL filed by senior politician Subramanian Swamy on Sunanda Pushkar’s death a ‘political interest litigation’, was quick to refer to Anuj Loya’s lawyer, Ameet Naik as Amit Shah.

Another so called journalist, Nikhil Wagle, insists on evidence even for carrying out investigation in Sunanda Pushkar’s death but wants the Supreme Court to continue with investigation in Judge Loya’s death even if his family does not suspect a foul play, because it is now matter of ‘public importance’.

This goes out to show that when the ’eminent intellectuals’ talk about youth taking the centre-stage, they essentially want the ones who toe their political line. The ‘free and independent thinkers’ who could further their narrative. The state of the Indian ‘intelligentsia’ is such, that only those who are gullible enough to toe their motivated line, are hailed as free thinkers, while others who dare to speak as they wish, are victims of the ones the intelligentsia seek to malign. The intellectual dishonesty in public discourse seems to find a new abyss each passing day.


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