Sunday, March 19, 2006

Showing Him The Doors?!

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

The only thing missing is the spark. In a nation of obsessive lovers, passion can easily degenerate into persecution. The crowds are booing Him (And it’s not Eden Gardens, it’s the Wankhede crowd for Chrissake!). TV commentators are politely hinting that He should probably take a break. Inanities like “Oh! He’s great, he still has a lot of cricket in him,” are being offered to soften the blow. Calcutta had been questioning His place in the Indian side ever since Dada was shown the door, now the rest of India seem to be seconding the view. An entire nation is shaking its head in disbelief as time and time again He fails to come good with his bat. As I write this, newspaper editorials are probably echoing what Moin Khan said a couple of months ago. Today a headline screaming “Endulkar” will probably not generate the same outrage it did a few days ago.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Thursday, March 09, 2006

In defence of Zahira

Times of India, March 9
Zahira gets 1 year in jail, fined Rs 50,000
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the report of the high-powered committee which had indicted Best Bakery case key witness Zahira Sheikh as a "self-condemned liar". The Court awarded one year’s simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 on Zahira for contempt of court.

The Hindu, March 9
Special police team to trace Zahira
Special Correspondent
AHMEDABAD: The Vadodara police has formed a team to track down the prime witness in the Best Bakery communal riot case, Zahira Sheikh.
The Vadodara police commissioner, Deepak Swaroop, said that Ms. Sheikh was "untraceable'' and was probably not in Vadodara or anywhere in Gujarat. He said the Vadodara police was in touch with the Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai police. The Vadodara police was on her trail for the last few days but she was not found either in her old house in Best Bakery or the rented house in Hanuman Tekri, where she was staying after she had turned hostile.

Zahira Sheikh has been accused of contempt of court and dubbed a "self-condemned liar".
Here is a 19-year-old girl from a Vadodara slum. She has seen her sister and uncle being killed, her elder brother going mad and 14 people being roasted alive at the Best Bakery.
She has, as she describes, gone through “tens of panchanamas, dozens of visits to police stations and scores of appearances before government officials.”
She has had to deal with a partisan police force, she has seen a mockery being made of the judicial process.
She has seen the entire nation stand around as mute spectators while the Gujarat chief minister mobilised the entire state machinery to silence and terrorise people like her. She has seen him cock a snook at the international community.
She has been threatened with death and worse. She has been offered money beyond her wildest dreams and a secure future by her tormentors-turned-protectors.
So, what was she to do?
Don the cape of the Beacon of Hope? Play to perfection her role of The Poor Muslim Girl Fighting For Justice? Have visions of “Satyameva Jayate” flashing through her head just as in Bollywood B-grades? Or was she expected to have the perspicacity to realise that it would take four long years for justice, partial at best, to be done.
Is it so difficult for these Supreme Court judges and these "high-powered committee" jokers to realise that unlike them Zahira doesn’t have the luxury of returning to the comfortable confines of a Lutyen’s bungalow in an air-conditioned white Ambassador? Don’t they realise that unless Zahira cut a deal with her tormentors, they would not have allowed her or her family a moment’s respite and continued to hound them? Maybe the 19-year-old was convinced by senior members of her family that there’s no justice for people like them in a country where the credo is jiski lathi, uski bhains?
Your Honours, you are not just condemning Zahira to jail, you are condemning the Indian judicial system to ridicule!

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