Sushil Modi, I am writing this article to inform you that Sanjay Kumar is alive. His skull is intact. He can move his limbs. He can walk on his own. He can even see. Forget the persisting pain in his neck, abdomen, his thighs, the hurt in his eyes and his blurred vision. Forget the fever that keeps returning.
All this, after all, is superficial. You say he is faking his injuries. You even doubt that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has admitted him. You accuse him of exaggerating his injuries to “evoke sympathy of the media and the left-liberals.”
You also accuse him of dramatising the attack on him. To attract sympathy of the left and liberals.
Dear deputy chief minister, it was not Kumar who dramatised the attack on him. He was simply sitting in a room in his third floor house where the goons who are your nationalist friends, descended. They dragged him down the stairs, pushing, punching, hitting him with an iron rod. Then he was dragged on the road and while being dragged, constantly attacked.
The attack was quite dramatic. But it was not Kumar who dramatised it. It was the gang of your nationalist friends who made it theatrical. One of them even filmed the entire episode. So the drama which could have been ephemeral turned into a document for posterity. One of the attackers was bold enough to boast after his performance that the work was done.
Like the old dacoits, the attackers had announced beforehand that Kumar would be punished. They kept their word.
In your view what these young friends of your party and ideology were doing was an outpouring of grief and hurt that Kumar’s Facebook post had caused them. Why, you say, even you, a hardened politician, felt hurt by his criticism of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. So, the hurt that Kumar’s words caused was returned to him physically.
This is very ironic, for the quality that you and your colleagues praise in Vajpayee was his tolerance of criticism. It has been claimed that he used to laugh away any criticism. Which is of course not true. He, who in his own eyes was great, was often angrily surprised that people could criticise him! But if we accept your words, then how do you fare by his standards?
You and yours, who cannot respond to words with words, act with iron rods. Once I asked a representative of your student organisation, “Why burn books? Why not respond to them by writing books?” I remember his response. He said that writing books takes time and requires labour of a different kind. A much easier and economical response is to light a matchstick!
So why take the trouble of responding to Kumar – who called the politics of Vajpayee fascist – by discussing fascism and why Vajpayee was not one. Since you cannot discuss it and since your lexicon is so utterly limited that you cannot go beyond “anti-national”, “Maoist”, “urban Naxal”, etc, you use your fists and iron rods and guns. This is precisely what someone did to Umar Khalid barely a few days before your leader passed away.
A colleague of your party, just like you, said that the attack on the JNU student was being sensationalised. If it was a pistol, Khalid should have died or at least been seriously injured! The fact that the pistol jammed proves that the attackers were just kidding, playing a joke. It is Khalid and his left liberal friends who are dramatising the whole thing.
How similar are the arguments. In the case of Kumar, his post was the original crime. In Khalid’s case, his very existence is itself a provocation.
You lament that the media is ignoring the original crime, which according to you, is Kumar’s Facebook post. If it was a criminal act, you were free to file a case against him. By assaulting him, your friends committed a crime. You, as a minister and a lawmaker, cannot ignore this crime.
You are also trying to say that Kumar himself is accused of other crimes. A complaint against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been filed, which is very serious. How devious can you be! That the case is fabricated is so transparent. It is like police planting weapons on the body of a person it has killed. But a deputy chief minister resorting to this should be taken very seriously by the people of Bihar.
What has riled you is the empathy that the media, which is certainly not left-liberal, showed to Kumar (if we leave out that section of the Hindi media which has lost all its humanity, and that too long back). Of course, you do not think much of the ‘left-liberals’. So, it is surprising that you take their sympathy for Kumar so seriously!
Kumar, as I said, is not fatally injured. But that does not mean the attack on him was less serious. It is just a chance that he escaped without major, life-threatening injuries. That he could not be killed. But only a diseased mind can infer from this that the attack was faked or being exaggerated.
We need not stretch matters too far, but what Sushil Modi said sounded so familiar. The same argument of faking injuries was used to make light of the violence in Gujarat or Muzaffarnagar. We have even heard people claiming that Muslims and Christians burn their own houses or hurt their own people for compensation. It is also common to hear justification of the violence against them by referring to their “original sin”: cow slaughter, ‘love jihad’, conversion, etc.
The deputy chief minister has spoken. The chief minister, who uses words according to the gravity of the situation, has not moved his lips. We learn that even he entertains the same views. It is too small an incident to warrant his attention.
The spokesperson of his party has used the same arguments. He also believes in the action-reaction theory. He feels that had Kumar hinot made that “offensive” post, the attack would not happened. So, who is the culprit?
The statements of the deputy chief minister and the JD(U) need to be taken seriously by the people of Bihar. If the video footage of the assault on Sanjay Kumar is proof that criminals have a field day in Bihar, we also now know they have their friends sitting in the government to justify and legitimise their crimes.
Apoorvanand teaches at Delhi University.