The award of Rs 1 crore to the family of Ram Kishan Grewal is absolutely absurd on several counts. For one it lauds suicide which is a criminal offence.
For another, it makes a dead ex-soldier more important than thousands of live soldiers risking bullets.
For a third, it sends out a very negative evaluation of life and the price on it.
Why not Rs 2 crore or Rs 3 crore, how does one reach a figure?
One is aghast that in a nation where half a billion people living on less than $3 a day a sarpanch aged 70 with strong and hardy sons and getting a pension must now have his family rewarded with a fair amount of money because he killed himself.
By this token of appreciation, there may be many more contenders willing to sell their lives for a ransom so cheerfully paid up in applause for self- inflicted death.
People live lives of despair. Many millions live without hope nor health nor peace around but they carry on. They do not use life as a weapon and they do not self-destruct. You think living in poverty is a ball? You think being in debt is fun. You think being exploited is a gala. You think sleeping hungry is easy? But millions do it. This man was none of these.
He was not cast upon the waters. He just wanted more money like every other armed forces personnel.
The man was a soldier. He killed himself and you are making his family rich.
Ironically, he got it.
What is the message the Delhi government in its mad hurtle to embarrass the Modi government is sending out to the nation? That if you feel done down by the Central government then do us a favour and kill yourself and we will bleed it to the maximum in terms of political mileage.
If I had a disease and was dying from it I’d take them up on the offer… somebody will.
One wonders if there any other nation that actually gives financial awards to the families of those who commit suicide, an act that is a crime under Section 309 and one is still not sure how it is implemented or if it has been removed because assisted suicide and euthanasia are still not allowed.
What is most scary about this congratulatory fiscal windfall for those who are left behind is it's not only making suicide a courageous act but it is telling schoolchildren that if you fail in your exams, don’t feel guilty, go jump off the building and Mommy and Daddy will become rich.
For a sheer grotesque message, this one is hard to beat.
Children are the most impressionable and in their minds suicide suddenly becomes a romantic option with lots of money at the end of it.
And if they grow into teenagers when we think life is forever and a day any step which acknowledges dying by your own hand as jolly good thing to do and worthy of emulation devalues the texture of life per se and calls upon the young to take risks, drive fast, drink and drive, go into drugs, life is cheap, only if you kill yourself it becomes expensive. And don’t worry, you die and the moolah rolls in.
There is nothing edifying about the act and the payment is ghoulish in the extreme. No one can make case for it because it sanctifies death.
If anything, paying his family a bonanza while our men face bullets on the border or freeze in sub-zero temperatures is to call them cowards and this man heroic.