On Wednesday, a doyen of Kannada cinema, Dr.Rajkumar passed away. While his death itself was a shocking blow to Kannadigas, the aftermath of his death has left the city reeling with disbelief. What we witnessed on the day and the next left me speechless. The recurring question that danced uppermost in most people’s minds was ‘why??’ The futility of the pointless melee and mob violence that marked the day left a stinking bad taste in our mouths.
As we watched the proceedings on TV within the safe confines of our homes, the visuals just didn’t register in my mind. Many people I saw were seen jumping around with gay abandon, waving to the cameras, not a trace of sorrow or grief on their faces… Are these people fans of the great star? Were they offering their tribute and shraddanjali in this despicable manner? As the funeral procession proceeded from Kanteerava stadium to the Kanteerava studio with the oceanic mass of people accompanying, the loss and destruction it left in its wake had to be seen to be believed. Not a single building along Sankey road has its glass panes intact. Scores of people grievously injured, property worth crores damaged and destroyed in arson, hundreds of civilian vehicles, police jeeps, public transport stoned and set on fire, thousands of policemen beaten up… why??
There were stories of the whole incident being doctored by political forces and the CM has claimed that a thorough investigation will be conducted. But can the damage done to the city, its people and its image be rectified? Who are the losers in this whole episode? Whose property was destroyed? Who is going to pay for all these eventually? Doesn’t a mob ask itself these questions before it goes on a rampage? Was this behaviour justified in any way? The frenzied emotions ran so high that Dr.Raj’s last rites could not be performed decently by his family members. Did he deserve this kind of treatment in his last journey; after having entertained millions of his beloved fans for so long, is this what he gets in return? Couldn’t we have left the grieving family alone in their hour of sorrow?
I am a proud Kannadiga and a prouder Bangalorean at all times, but this series of events has raised so many questions in my mind, some of which I’m unable to answer to myself… 😦