Just a week ago all national headlines were hogged by one news – plot to kill Modi unearthed by Maharashtra Police and everyone seemed to have forgotten to mention that Devendra Fadnavis too was on the target list. Life of every Indian is important and any security threat to the life of any citizen is supposed to be taken very seriously and if this citizen happens to be your Prime Minister, the issue should naturally attract a lot more seriousness and attention.
Picture this – Maharashtra Police gets a ‘lead’ and the lead gets splashed on the front page of every news paper and dissected thread bare in front of live cameras. And this lead,which is in the form of a letter, happens to be about a plot to kill the Prime minister of the country. Imagine the kind of damage it must have done to the investigations. However that is for the investigative and legal agencies to decide and we can only ‘hope’ that an issue as serious as this one should not be politicised.
Leaving the legal side of it to the appropriate agencies, let’s concentrate on the political side of it. Every thing about the news seemed to be going right for BJP, almost ‘poetic’ and only in hushed voices, in whispers, did the opposition parties hint that it was just a ploy to garner sympathy and shift the debate from the failures of the govt., fearing back lash.
Social media being social media, picked up on the news and various viewpoints started emerging. It’s a double edged sword and one who lives by the sword dies by the sword. BJP that has been able to set the tone of a debate on social media till now, since the day it seized power and sat on the Delhi throne in 2014, seemed to be on the back foot on this issue. Accusations of it being an attempt to kill the dalit movement and farmer’s movement started to float around and some chose sarcasm to make their point. However at the same time the debate still seemed to be going in favour of BJP on mainstream media.
Enter Shehla Rashid with a tweet and the entire debate seems to have shifted from the murder plot to tweet. Shehla’s tweet read ” Looks like RSS/GATKARI is planning to assassinate Modi, and then blame it upon Muslims/ Communists answer then lynch Muslims # RajivGandhiStyle.”
All hell broke loose and the tweet took the center stage across all public platforms. The actual murder plot was forgotten and everyone was debating the tweet. The tweet had given the opposition new lungs, while Gadkari himself let the tweet hijack the plot by threatening to sue Shehla Rashid and ever so eager Subramaniam Swamy jumped in to help him in the cause. Suddenly everyone was discussing the amount demanded by Gadkari instead of the actual murder plot. ‘Ironically’, BJP seemed to have lost the plot on this one.
By next morning it was clear that david had managed to killed the goliath, the tweet had killed the death plot story of the Prime Minister. What helped, were the events to follow – Trump did a jig with the ‘little rocket man’ and everyone seemed to be loving it and then BJP pulling out of govt. in J&K, landed the funeral service contract. With ‘burial of the dead’, the contemporary wasteland of Kashmir was now left staring wide-eyed at the impending destruction by dust storms.
A story cycle, a ‘widening gyre’ that started as a murder plot had ended with a brutal murder of the senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari reminding us that Kashmir was still blood soaken, frost of the winters yet to melt and the Sun needs to shine a few ‘shades’ brighter. Kashmir is still waiting for ‘the tweet’ that can kill this cycle of violence.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his visit to Kashmir did demonstrate the power of a statement much before Shehla Rashid, when he made that comment ” insaniyat ke dayre mein baat hogi”, and the atmosphere of entire valley had changed overnight and the night frost seemed to have transformed under the warmer sun-rays into little streams of gush-less, shriek-less dew water, which drew a map of their own making lines in the direction they found an inviting slope or a deep heart. We have tried hurling jingoism from news rooms for long now and things only seem to be getting from bad to worse, adding gyres to Hephaestus’ hobbling on the thin lipped armorer of Achilles for Thetis of the shining breasts to cry out in dismay, so why not try a tweet, a tweet that is ‘insaniyat ke dayre mein’.
Any tweets coming? Even one ? From any sphere? Any sky?
Rest assured, the story of Prime Ministers murder plot isn’t politically dead, for BJP atleast, with elections around the corner and so isn’t the story of Kashmir…..
But is there any comfort to be found?
Man is in love and loves what vanishes,
What more is there to say?
(The author can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)