Monday, September 19, 2011

Hail and Farewell

Since her murder, there have been allegations that evidence was tampered with. There is talk of exhuming Shehla’s body. There is talk of powerful BJP leaders being involved. Senior BJP leaders have also not said anything about the case, nor asked BJP-affiliated politicians to step down until their names are cleared in connection with Shehla Masood’s murder. They are instead taking out a ‘rath yatra’ to stop corruption.

One of the last few things Shehla did was fast — in solidarity with Anna Hazare. But despite his ‘victory’, when faced with the murder of a real person doing real things to combat corruption in her own state, Team Anna has been woefully quiet. Hazare himself is busy making statements about how Sonia Gandhi should be like Indira Gandhi. Perhaps he slept through the Emergency. In any case, nobody is fasting to bring the government of Madhya Pradesh to its knees, forcing it to investigate all instances of corruption that Shehla had pointed towards. Nobody is gheraoing the homes of BJP MLAs.

And I’m thinking, how quickly they fade — our little stars of truth that come tearing through our thick smog of violence and corruption. How quickly they fall, burn out, disappear into the dark night. She has been dead for less than a month but Shehla Masood is already fading from public discourse. The media hasn’t taken her investigations into corruption any further.

Some of her activist friends are trying to keep her work alive. Shehla had been working with a group of students to create a sort of ‘RTI leaks’ — a web resource for all information collected through any RTI application filed across India. It sounds like a very good idea and I hope the website lives and grows, for all our sakes.

Which reminds me of another poem where the lines went something like: They died that we might live — Hail and farewell! — to those who, nobly striving, nobly fell…like kings they died.


Amit said...

she lives here!/shehlamasood

Unknown said...

how well said..
Shehla Masood is a star in the sky and will guide us, us the ignorant, the wasted..

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