Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Two Deaths in Bombay

I may run into the chance of being lynched by a group of hooligans, all swearing by the erstwhile last tiger of the land and supporters of the only tiger's party in our biggest democracy, and of course a bunch of impotent  government officials for writing this blog. But then I somehow couldn't stop from writing this.

Well, the title of this blog may not be fully correct, because though one death happened in Bombay, the other not exactly in Bombay, but in Pune. Nevertheless, since we now have the Bombay-Pune Expressway, which has brought the two cities closer, I may be spared on the grounds of blogging license (something similar to poetic license exercised by the poets).

The first death is of course of the Tiger - the Late Balasaheb Thakre. The tiger population in the world has been declining, and it's a shock to lose him. There's no doubt, when it comes to guts and fierceness, Balasaheb was perhaps the only Tiger in politics. The use of its name and symbol by the legendary Shivaji was worth, given the valor and courage he'd shown and eventually converted into a folklore and myth, and so is the epithet being used for Balasaheb. People fear a tiger as much as they do a Balasaheb, even now, after his death. Irrespective of whether you are a jackal or elephant or rabbit or squirrel, you've to pay obeisance to the tiger. And so did everyone to Balasaheb - a politician jackal, an industrialist elephant, a Bollywood squirrel or a 'mango' rabbit.

From the environmental point of view, we do need a Tiger. Any species dying is an ecological hazard, so we do need to preserve everyone, like we need to make every human being live forever. Any death is sad - because a life is being lost. But wouldn't we be happier, if the Tiger were altogether different animals? Say, strong, fierce, powerful, but also loving and endearing like a rabbit and grand like an elephant? Something that even a small kid would love to play with? That would have been an evolutionary disaster, zoological catastrophe,  but no doubt a wonderful thing.

Whatever, I mourn the death of the Tiger. We need more tigers in our country. The Tiger is dead. Long live the Tiger.

The other death is that of a neighbor who had strayed into our house, killed a good part of our family, but still   stayed with us for quite long, enjoying our hospitality because we treat guests as gods. Finally when we ran out of money, we decided to punish him. We hung him - the Late Mohammad Azmal Amir Kasab - yesterday. Another death. Another loss of life. Sad, no doubt, as some intellectuals are saying.

We've been angry that we've been too soft on Kasab. Yes we were. That's where we needed a Tiger.

At the same time, when two young girls were arrested wrongfully by Maharashtra Police, rendered impotent by the followers of the last Tiger, for expressing a view which is neither wrong nor defamatory to anyone, I really feel the jungle would have been better without the Tiger.