7 pilgrims have been killed by terrorists. They were on their way to Amarnath. It’s saddening. It makes me sadder than other forms of killing since it was a pilgrimage. Moreover Amarnath is a high profile, strenuous ‘Yatra’ meant only for the chronic Hindu devotees. Civilians, on a pious trip, would be the softest of all targets, even for the hardcore terrorists. Hence it must be condemned harder than other forms of homicide. And that’s what the media is doing.
When the Mumbai massacre (26/11) happened in 2008, we were all hooked on to the TV set. The nomenclature was an obvious derivation from the WTC attack on 9/11. Our indigenous ‘dd/mm’ format gave us a boon. Let me not repeat a ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ line here, though I’ve deep respect for the makers and the content. Today’s newspaper headline reminds me of a few incidents around that time.
1. RGV went to an affected area along with the erstwhile CM and spotted by the media. He wasn’t supposed to accompany a CM. He had probably cast the CM’s actor son in a movie around that time. That gave him a ticket to join the official entourage. I remember the face of RGV, encircled in red, across TV news channels. Then he faced the heat and reacted in a way only a brave man like him could. Being a creative man behind the camera himself, it didn’t cost him much to retort on choosing slow motions, red arrows, circles and repeated airplay of a small footage. He surely didn’t deserve that terrorist-like treatment by making a curious visit.
2. Two elite hotels were held up for hours during this heinous terror act. A renowned TV reporter assembled a crowd next to one of these two hotels to take their views. She could catch a luminary like Mr. Shyam Benegal standing among the crowd. He clearly reminded about all the unnamed people who were killed on the street and at the railway station. A celebrated hotel and its wealthy customers don’t make a butchering here more tragic than one there at the VT.