The public suicide of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal on November 1, 2016 is reminiscent of suicide of the Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh in full view of Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in April 2015. Both seem to have been stage managed, which went horribly wrong. Just like Gajendra Singh, Ram Kishan Grewal – a highly decorated serviceman – had no apparent reason to end life.
Stage managed or not, our politicians, ever ready to make political mileage out of every incident, competed with one another and rushed to visit the bereaved family of late Ram Kishan Grewal, ostensibly to pay homage to the departed soul but actually to grab limelight and to be seen consoling the family. Some of the leaders were in such a tearing hurry that they did not pause to ascertain where the victim’s body lay and ended up at the wrong hospital. The ham-handed manner in which the Delhi police handled the situation only helped these leaders. They took in custody leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Ajay Maken, Jyotirditya Scindia of the congress and the inimitable Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia of Aam Admi Party enabling them to hog the small screen and be seen shouting themselves hoarse blaming the police and the government for turning the country into a police state. An incident which could have passed peacefully escalated to a volatile one endangering law and order situation in the national capital.
The body language and broad grins on faces of the leaders taken in custody betrayed their happiness over the way the situation was unfolding in their favour.
The surest way to cause political death of a politician is to deny him media coverage.The ugly scenes would have been avoided if Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, and only Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, were allowed to meet the family individually. Refusal only resulted in dharnas and slogan shouting which really did cause inconvenience to other patients in the hospital.
As usual, Kejriwal lost no time in blaming NDA government and PM Modi. Randeep Surjewala used electronic media to blame the police, the government and Modi personally, taking the opportunity to eulogize his great leader ‘Shri Rahul ji’, hoping that no one will notice his silence about the departed soul or offering condolence to the bereaved family.
Not being able to meet the bereaved family in the capital (read – smelling more media exposure and political mileage, to say nothing of the discomfiture it would cause to the party in power), the leaders named above were joined by dozens more and made a beeline to the funereal site, where the great aam admi announced a compensation of rupees one crore to the kin of the departed soul. Whether they get the promised compensation is another matter altogether.
The question arises, do the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal always visit the family of every serviceman – current or ex – who commits suicide? Or is Grewal the first serviceman to have committed suicide? The answer to both is ‘NO’. Our politicians, irrespective of which party they belong to, go only where they are sure to be in the news.
The soldier is no more. His family is not allowed to mourn him. The TRP hungry media will not let them alone and the vultures that are our politicians (in power or without) must get their pound of flesh. That the common man lives or dies is not their concern.