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The tragic ‘death’ of Mr. Gajendra Singh, a farmer from ‘Dausa’ ( Rajasthan) who came to participate in the farmers rally (much in ‘vogue’ these days) organized by AAP, is much more than a mere addition to an unending series of suicide being committed by our farmers in different parts of the country. There could hardly be anything more ‘hypocritical’ on the part of AAP leaders who assembled at historic ‘Jantar Mantar to prove their credentials as the ultimate ‘resuscitators’ of the farmers against the Congress and the BJP and ended up becoming a lot of ‘morally deficient’ and facetious speakers or in other words ended up exposing their ‘true’ self.

The unfortunate incident did not take place in a sudden burst of anger or disgruntlement which means there was ample time to intervene to avoid such a case. The leaders of AAP were seen to be so deeply committed to the cause of farmers that they could not see that one of those farmers was actually committing suicide within the easily approachable distance from the great ‘dais’ they were standing upon as the leaders of ‘Aam Aadmi’.

They kept on delivering their visionless and ‘anti-establishment’ speeches (as they usually do) amid all those developments even after the death of Gajendra so that their political objectives could not come under jeopardy. The Police very much committed to their consensually drawn code of ‘behavioral apathy’ remained a mute spectator because none of the ‘Jawans’ had any idea as to how to climb upon a tree and secondly they could not afford to take any chance given the serious threat posed to the lives of newly born elitists of AAM AADMI PARTY.

The Indian media deeply soaked in ‘shallowness of sensationalism’ preferred to cover the whole story and committed to their professional ethics kept their cameras alive to cover minutest of the movements till the person finally died and in fact they pursued his dead body with greater alacrity and vigil because they were about to get enough of raw materials to satiate the unending thirst of their 24×7 channels at least for 2-3 days. None of the reporters tried a pause to discharge his first duty as a human being to stop the person from committing suicide. Now, they are making so much ‘hue and cry’ over the indifference and insensitivity of political leaders and the police.

They are still continuing and will remain so until they squeeze the final drop of sensation from the subject matter. Over and above, all such institutional insensitivity, the ‘techno-savvy’ and modern facebook community with faceless values (in the farmer’s rally interestingly) exhibited their inability to distinguish between real and virtual with unpardonable stupidity and insensitivity. While the farmer in question was approaching suicide they were jostling for space to capture the whole episode in their cameras so that they could celebrate few moments of attention and cheap visibility in their equally worthless virtual community. And the farmer amid all such ‘purpose oriented’ and insensitive assembly of ‘spectators’ committed suicide.

Commentary begins …………………………………………Traders of wisdom, knowledge, intellect, public interest, humanism………………….are busy. The unending ritual of ‘blame shifting’ exercise is in progress and in a day or two will be replaced by something more appealing and interesting. Farmer is where they happened to be once upon a time…………………………………………..

No doubt, our sense of converting tragedy into comedy and comedy into the tragedy is extraordinary. Are we really marching ahead as a civilization?

We have mistaken material comfort and conveniently calculated statistical growth for what we call CIVILIZATION.

Sajjan Pratap Singh
Director, IIIASA