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A Grey World- Death of a Policeman

As the night peeps through the horizon, and a fog-dust laden day breathes its last, a world of grey takes shape. This is a strange world, where vision is shaky, and sight unclear. The Sun in this world is not a sharp, round splendour, but a red, wrapped in smoke, spilling over the edges of poorly defined circle. It struggles to render the light on the dusty lanes of a sleepy city, tired after a broken battle, but fails at the night which spreads its sinister tentacles over the city. The brave Sun of the noon, retracts to it's corner, defeated, ashamed at the disappointment of those who needed it to see the world with clearly defined edges.

There was a time, when the smog was not there. The splendid Sun shone in its glory, defining each corner, every edge of the buildings, houses, streets, pronounced, and illustrated to clarity in it's white light. That was a world which lived in black and white. That was a world easy and difficult at once. It was the world which asked it's inhabitants to take sides. That was not an easy choice. Making a choice, taking a position is never easy. It is a taxing thing on human mind, to know, identify, choose a position and to stick to it. It is tiring to the soul, and even punishing at times, when the Sun moves from one quadrant to other and the shadows of the dark suddenly expands to menacingly capture the brightest corners which we had claimed as our own.

But that was then, a world of black and white, where the angelic and the sinister had their own part of the town well-defined, and inhabitant could decide where they wanted to live. But the choice of their part of city was not always easy. It was a tough decision always, for always, we had to leave someone we loved to the other part, which we had lost with the part of city we declined to live in. We begged to be relieved of the choice, we prayed for the arbitrary.

The dark spilled into the bright and vice-versa until there was no distinction left. We have been handed over the world of grey in which there is no right or wrong. The pivot on which sense of propriety rested is broken. We are as right as we are wrong. We are as elevated as we are debased, both at the same time. We are sleep-walking on the middle-path of a high traffic street and are run over several times a day. We cannot stand on our post and can not even abandon on it for we do not even know where we stand. When our soul tries to speak to us, we strain our ears, but all we hear is incomprehensible mumble; and on those rare occasion when we try to speak to it, all that comes out of our mouth is a gibberish of a senile mind.

We live know in a world of grey, devoid of colours. It is a world of dwarfs and half men who communicate through denials and rationalisation. Ability to rationalise was a tool offered to mankind, which used a fertile mind, to create a buffer to sustain, bear and handle the misfortune of nature and human failings. We loved the tool so much as it spared us from the pain thrown at us by life, but we started using it so much that now we use it for all our human failings, even those which borders on criminal, by virtue of being deliberate. This ugly shield so very often used, now wraps us so tight and completely, that human beauty is not visible anymore. It has suffocated and almost killed the human capacity to accept, acknowledge our failings and to apologise with grace.

Of late, the citadels of democracy or the pretence of it was threatened to be blown away by the fury of the impatient young as a response to a repulsively, heinous gang rape in the city. That was a generation tired of the grey, it wanted the glory of vivid vision restored in the town. They wanted a city in which even if the good and the evil were to exist, they were not to be merged and mingled. They wanted right to be clearly demarcated away from wrong, and they wanted state to stand on the side of the right, without riders and ambiguity. The State, having long ceded it's ability to accept,acknowledge and apologise, retaliated with vengeance. It longed to stay in the reign of grey away from the sunlight, which while life giving, pierced the eyes with bright lights. The state put forth people picked from the masses up in protest to guard it's carefully crafted world of myth, denial and rationalisation. People fought people in pitched street battle, on one side, clothed in idealism and on the other dressed in battle gear. Separated by barricades which kept Sun from shining, they looked at one another, with clenched fist, and when tired, they went back at night to homes, similarly poor, similarly smelling of the apathy of governance. They both, the ones in the gear of idealism and the one in State uniform were embraced by the similar families and loved ones, with identical fears and insecurities. The anger, and fear of the other made it difficult to realise that the other side when it shed the gear is as helpless, as concerned about his or her loved one as those on the other side. The State which was busy nourishing it's narcissist glory had long abandoned people on either side of the barricade. Girl's were raped, men waylaid, maimed and killed on either side of the barricade. The men without uniform fought for a cause which was their own, the man with, fought for something which he fast was loosing faith on. He fought without his heart in it, burdened by the thoughts of a colleague killed in neighbouring state for trying to protect the modesty of his daughter, as I am sure his mind echoed with endless "do you know who I am" ringing in his ears. The chant of justice on the other side of the barricade grew, they were kids,
like his own, fighting to protect those, like his own. They wanted State, which claimed to represent them, to be formed out of them, to apologise for failing to protect it's daughter.

The man in uniform was tired and unwell, but was prodded into a fight, because the State, the humongous one, did not want to apologise. It prodded the men to fight and it's articulate think tanks to rationalise, since denial was made impossible by the obviousness of the incident. The men in battle gear, groped in the dark for the fury to find feet, and struggled hard. The composition of the crowd on the other side suddenly changed, families with kids were asked to stay away. The state in the throne pushed those in uniform, it sent some to give righteous peg to place it's confused conscience on, and then the part of State which was striving for the throne joined on the other side. Suddenly they human mass on the other side of the barricade was different. It no longer looked like his family back home, though some faces resembling folks back home still persisted. The ache in his heart settled, the monster was visible on the other side, breaking barriers, overturning stationed cars, soiling the war memorial. The State, in power and out of it, provided the moral hinge to initiate an ugly battle. The anger and imminent danger silenced the voice, which kept on pestering the man in the uniform, repeatedly saying, "all for an apology" suddenly was silenced. The men fought on the street and suddenly there was blood on the uniform. He fell, and he thought of the daughter at home, who comes home sometime late at night, he thought of wayward rich young men, who break law with impunity and when law catches up with them, get away conniving with the same state which pushed him to fight his own. The girl being cornered and hit with baton, resembles his own, with hands over her head. He could not rise to save her, he could not rise. The Sun has hid in the envelope of grey. The State imperious in attire smiled gleefully with satisfaction, the battle for justice has been discredited, all it costed was a man who lived with as a number, a mango man in uniform. The state has been spared of an apology. The threat to the structure, the lofty heights of the pedestal on which power rests is now countered and crushed into oblivion. The State does not need to apologise, does not need to converse with people it govern, and a man, one of our own, sadly on the other side of the barricade is the price paid for it. Constable Subhash Tomar, RIP, the nation weeps for you. This was totally unwarranted and unnecessary, all it needed was an apology and discussion and Sun would have shone and grey would have disappeared.

In memory of a brutally thwarted uprising of the youth and unfortunate death of Police office, Shri Subhash Chand Tomar, on account of cardio-vascular failure precipitated by the mayhem during the protest.


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