“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” ―
I sat there at the airport, a book in hand, with my mind wandering far away. I overheard a conversation between two fellow travellers, “he should break Pakistan into four”. As I anxiously waited to board the flight and get home to my daughter, mangled remains of soldiers, blown to smithereens, beyond recognition, were being collected. While I waited to see my family, they waited to receive his coffin after the Pulwama attack.
A video that was later released by Jaish-e-Mohammad, Pakistan backed terror group that took responsibility for the heinous act of terror, showed the suicide bomber talking about how he wanted to kill ‘cow piss drinkers’. He spoke about how Azaan would boom from Babri Masjid again. He spoke of Allah’s will.
The thing about tragedy is that it is perhaps human nature to immediately imagine yourself in that very situation. The moment I saw the images of those mangled remains, I pictured my husband. I tried to shut my eyes as if willing the images to disappear. It didn’t work. I imagined, instinctively, what it would mean to lose him. I felt the weight of sorrow in my heart and it sank to the pit of my stomach. As cliched as it may sound, this kind of sorrow manifests itself rather physically. It is not just a matter of speech. You feel that pang of pain. Empathy is attempting to put oneself in another person’s shoes and imagining the pain the other must be going through. For most, this is a reflex. For some, they must try and place themselves in the other person’s situation. And for some, empathy is a human emotion to be feigned.
The Pulwama attack victims’ mortal remains weren’t even cold yet. The candles lit by the nation has not even been blown out by a sorrowful sigh of the nation, that the vultures started circling the remains. First, they tried to shamelessly further conspiracy theories about India itself being responsible for the heinous attack. The ‘false-flag’ operation theory was furthered by similar elements after the 26/11 attacks as well, why should this have been different?
Then, they published elaborate stories about the poor parents of the terrorist. You know, the one that strapped on a suicide vest and killed dozens of soldiers? The father of the terrorist lied, of course. It is shocking that the ones who breed radicalised murderers don’t make the most consistent stories. Anyway, he first said that he didn’t know his son was a terrorist, and then, he said that he knew he was a terrorist, just didn’t know he was about to carry about a suicide attack. He also said that his son became a terrorist because of some mysterious incident where the Indian Army beat him up without cause. There was, of course, no evidence to back this story up. No eye witness. No army officer. No proof. But the perfumed elite and Lutyens butterflies lapped it up. They spun yarns about how the Indian Security Forces should take the blame for the suicide bomber blowing their brethren up.
Their tales were met with stiff opposition. News of various elements celebrating the Pulwama attack trickled in. These were ordinary Kashmiris and Muslims. Educated. Holding decent jobs. Most, living in various parts of the country and not just South Kashmir. The Lutyens cabal felt their narrative crumbling. We have heard Barkha Dutt and her shameless ilk peddle the narrative far too often. That of Kashmiri Muslims fighting oppression. That they were disenchanted because they were poor. Lacked economic opportunity and general acceptance. But the ones celebrating the heinous terror attack weren’t unacceptable, illiterate or lacked economic opportunities. Watching this narrative crumble, the Perfumed Elite devised an ingenious plan. “Kashmiri khatre main”. They lied and tried their best to spin yarns about Kashmiris being attacked across the country. They hid the fact that one-off incidents where protests erupted, was because those students were distributing sweets to celebrate Pulwama. They hid everything. They lied frequently.
The aim was simple. Kashmiri Muslims cannot be branded as anything but the victims. No matter what, the victimhood trademark must not be shifted. It didn’t matter that dozens of soldiers had been mangled to a pulp by a radical Islamist suicide bomber. It didn’t matter that their families and the entire nation mourned. It didn’t matter that Pakistan had perpetrated an act of war on the sovereignty of India. What mattered was restoring the victimhood narrative to the Kashmiris. And that is what they tried to do. They wanted the soldiers to be forgotten. As always. They wanted the Indian Security Forces to be painted as the aggressors even though they were the ones lying mangled. They wanted to give a context to the cold-blooded murder perpetrated by the terrorist and the heartless, seditious, shameless celebration of that murder.
While all of this happened, citizens of the country who wanted vengeance, blood for blood were vilified. NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan branded all those “attacking” Kashmiris as “anti-nationals”. Not the ones who celebrated a terror attack. But the ones.. well.. the ones who wanted justice being done. The ones who wanted the soldiers’ murder avenged were vilified as war-mongers. They were told how hate can never be the answer and that, the answer lies in love. While the nation grieved, we were told that Pakistan is not a terror state. That terror has no nationality. While the nation held candles, the Lutyens cabal attempted to burn our soul with it.
The central theme of this entire fracas by the perfumed elite was simple: Nationalists are barbaric war-hounds who want bloodshed. Nationalists are murderers in waiting. Nationalism is a curse. Shedding tears for the fallen soldiers is an act and the real motive of the Nationalist is to lynch Muslims. That is the narrative they wish to further and clearly, they will walk over dead bodies to do it.
One wonders, what is it about vengeance that is so hard to digest. Perhaps the elite doesn’t get the demand for vengeance by the majority population of the country because they have carefully hidden their psychopathic tendencies to never feel empathy. Perhaps because the smell of green has deprived them of their ability to feel someone else’s pain as if it were their own. Perhaps because as they have reiterated several times in the past, they view the security forces as fighters for hire and not warriors defending a nation’s honour.
Empathy is hard to find when the subject of empathy is objectified. The elite never thought of the security forces as their own. The nation mourns for a fallen soldier as it would for someone they held dear. And hence, when someone they see as they own, as their protector is brutally murdered, the natural reaction is to seek the blood of the one’s who did it. The elite doesn’t differentiate between soldiers and mercenaries. Men in olive and guns for hire. For them, Pakistan and the ‘Aman ki Asha’ campaign is far more lucrative, in real monetary terms, than seeking justice for fallen protectors. For them, the Muslim victim card is far more precious, as that is where the real story lies than admitting, that this terrorist act was an extreme act of Hinduphobia against ‘cow piss drinkers’. That it is their words of deriding Hindus that is used by Kalashnikov wielding Islamists to murder and maim. That their ideology is just a notch lower in severity that the terrorists. That they are the ideological backbone of Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad and the likes. That while they murder, the Lutyens Elite is the ilk that gives them their defence.
Perhaps they don’t understand that the nation doesn’t want revenge. This is not about personal gain or inflicting punishment for personal gain. The nation wants death avenged. Vengeance is about inflicting punishment for the sake of deliverance of justice. This is not about satisfying some personal blood-lust. This is not about violence for the sake of it. But a terrorist act has been perpetrated on this soil, at Pulwama. The sons of this soil were blown up in pieces, with their insides paving the path red. Justice is a lofty ideal that must be pursued at all cost. And Justice doesn’t give a tiny rats furry posterior about the sense and sensibilities of the elite who, much like sniffer dogs, go where the scent of money takes them.
Samuel Johnson once said, “Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance, of justice. Injuries are revenged, crimes are avenged”. The nation thirsts for Justice. The nation thirsts for vengeance. Not revenge. Revenge would be too small for the crimes of Pakistan.