Saturday, February 20, 2016

DEATH OF HANUMANTHAPPA IS TRAGEDY AND THE OTHER NINE ARE MERE STATISTICS

Arnab Goswami is not a journalist. He is a part of a dangerous propaganda machinery that creates binaries, "double binds" to induce schizophrenia in society.

On the JNU issue he created the Hanumanthappa-Afzal Guru binary, where the channel asked “If Afzal guru is a martyr then who is Hanumanthappa”.

On 3 February 10 Indian Army Soldiers at a post (20,000 feet high) on the Siachen glacier were reported missing after an avalanche buried their post. The army launched rescue operations but for some reason the Northern Army Command declared all ten to be dead after 24 hrs of search. And on the same day, 4 February 2016, Prime Minister Modi offered his condolences through a tweet. All this while the army’s operation to dig out the bodies of the dead soldiers was on.  

Five days later on 9 February 2016, the media reported that one soldier, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa was found to be miraculously alive after being buried under 25 feet of snow for six days. The news of his rescue and survival went viral. Some sections of the media credited his regular practice of Yoga as the reasons for his survival. The nation was urged to pray for Hanumanthappa’s health. He was brought to Army’s Research and Referral hospital at Delhi.

On 9 February 2016 (same date on which anti-India slogans are raised in JNU), the Prime Minister visited Hanumanthappa in the Army hospital in Delhi. There are videos that show the PM standing next to the dying patient in the intensive care unit. Inside the ICU, PM was without a mask and is chatting with doctors and the Army chief.

Hanumanthappa suddenly becomes the symbol of extreme sacrifice and grit. Arnab Goswami and others anchors yell at JNU students calling them anti-national for raising pro-Pakistan slogans, especially when Hanumanthappa was fighting for his life.

On 11 February Hanumanthappa is declared dead. Incidentally, on the same day there is another protest rally in JNU where JNSU President Kanahiya Kumar raises slogans for freedom from capitalism, poverty, casteism and exploitation. This video is then doctored; the slogan of ‘azadi-azadi’ from his earlier speech is juxtaposed against the backdrop of anti-national slogans.

Hanumanthappa’s funeral is televised live. Nobody bothers about the names of the other 09 soldiers killed by the avalanche. No TV channel tracks their grieving families. These 09 unknown soldiers simply fade away (as have others since independence) because the propaganda machinery had no use of them. Death of Hanumanthappa is converted into a tragedy while the other nine are mere statistics.  


The selective use and appropriation of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa and complete obliteration of the other 09 Soldiers from public memory only goes to show how one body-bag was used for political propaganda aimed at polarizing society.