Gauri Lankesh murder: In an unapologetic nation, it's best to blame puppies for coming under wheel
There's no one but Gauri Lankesh to be blamed for her murder, for she shouldn' have raised her voice, rather, being a woman she should have made chapatis at home
Sir, India's big contribution to the world, after the zero, is probably your theory of historical accidents. If some fellows say that this too is a zero, it's because they don't know Vedic maths; not even remotely your fault.
To paraphrase that theory, sometimes puppies come under the wheels of automobiles. A politician who can make metaphors is a magician, and this shows that there is nothing faulty with our politics.
If some foolish people ask who put the puppy under the wheel, it is because they don't understand free will. Or free wheel. Entirely their fault.
What is a free wheel? Sometimes the puppy may follow the wheel because it likes protesting too much. Sometimes the wheel may follow the puppy home and then run over it. Both are clearly the puppy's fault. Why did it go out into the road, what was it wearing, and how can we be sure that it wasn't trying to do questionable things such as protesting? If the puppy provoked the wheel, that is its fault.
If metaphors misbehave, that is their fault, and they must be beaten like bad puppies till they grow into big obedient dogs.
Sir, if that same Gauri gets shot by unknown men who will never be found, that is not your problem. She should not have been careless enough to wander into the paths of law-abiding bullets intent on doing their job. Karmanye, etc. This is not your fault.
Plus, sir, bullets speed up nowadays due to global warming, and after rainy weather, which is a contradiction and a physics problem, too is not your fault.
All bullets are equal, but some travel faster because they have heard the promise, and cannot wait to reach acche din, even if that is only more biscuits for everybody. Biscuits are never at fault.
All bullets are equal, but some are more equal than others because they feel more employed and empowered when the person wandering towards them has been convicted by a court. That is only their fault.
If she had sat at home, and made chapatis, like somebody from your side of the fence once suggested all women should do, she might still have been alive. We can't make the same prediction about her chapatis, but that is nobody's fault, least of all yours.
If the RSS expresses deep condolences, and we wonder whether this deep is six feet under or more, this is our fault, not yours, for being fascinated too much by Western practices.
A man named Ehsan Jaffri once asked for ehsan (help), and found that the quality of mercy was free enough to travel telephonically but constrained enough to stop outside his compound wall. Yesterday, the same ehsan stopped a few centimetres short of Gauri's chest. While this is not your fault, I'd like to say that nobody is paying attention to the real miracle. Which is that this one and the same Ehsan lasted so long, and stretched so much. We don't look at the positive side of things, and that is our fault.
Sir, if some Rohit died, and some Anitha, this is not to be read negatively, which alas, we do all the time. Why is nobody focusing on the improved ropes we make in India, and the ingenuity of the young people we make in India when it comes to finding rope-substitutes? Is this the rope's fault, for merely being excellent? Or theirs, for being wizards of jugaad?
If 12 bank officers died because you wanted everybody to have rupee notes with GPS, that is surely their fault. They should have done Yoga every morning before going to work.
If gau rakshaks beat Dalits and Muslims, sir, that is not your fault. You are not their gau-father. We know there is no gau-rdian knot connecting you to them.
But sir, let us return to Gauri. If we look at her Facebook page, on the day she died, she sat around sharing links about deported Rohingyas, wanting to eat beef in Kerala, gay rights and one about someone named Modiji being Big Boss. If she was really a journalist, she would have covered development. If she offended so many people in one day, whose fault is that?
As news of Gauri's death spread on Twitter, some said she was a criminal, as if this explained that. Others predicted overuse of the word tolerance and dissent, and one little gem said she had it coming. It is wrong to say that they are Right-wing. They are warriors for the truth. They don't look left, and they don't look right. They only look straight ahead to your silence which is golden, and to what you mean without saying anything, and are thus so fair that we must call this new standard 'Golden Meanness', and this, sir, is entirely without fault.
Sir, I don't think it will be necessary for the minions of Golden Meanness to laboriously type out tweets that begin with 'what about'. After repeated monkey baths, we have evolved towards telepathy about these things.
If my poem has made you weep, please collect the tears, sir, and send it to us. We will have your babies, and rewrite biology to make India great again. If anybody thinks I am calling you a pea-cock, it is their fault, for who can have a chest so wide, a heart so big, and be small anywhere else?
Sir, we have successfully proved that you are free of blame, error, and any connection to what is happening around us. If somebody thinks that free is now a bad word, that is the word's fault, not yours.
Sir, you are the sir that sits in Delhi and we are your doom. If this is the Delhi that a hundred Kauravas ruled and if the word doom means tail in Hindi but a different kind of end in English, that is not our fault. Sir, really sir.
Sir, if the tail is cut off, it will grow back again. If the head cuts itself off, what can anybody do?
This article was reproduced from the author's piece titled, The Assassination of Gauri Lankesh Reconsidered as an Exercise in Exoneration (with apologies to JG Ballard), which was originally published on Facebook.
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