INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN…96
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
(Gandhi, Nehru, Bajpai, Advani and Singhal are seen hiding in a small room in Srinagar. Rifle shots and machine gun fire is heard outside. Screams and cries of pain are heard around. )
Gandhi. What is going on outside?
Nehru. Militants are firing at Army post.
Gandhi. But why they are not firing at them?
Advani. They have no orders to fire back every time unless most essential.
Gandhi. But why?
Advani The Indian government is shit scared that there would be adverse reactions from Amnesty International and other foreign agencies about Indian excesses.
Gandhi. But in firing some soldiers and officers could die unless you fire back
Advani. Very true. Poor fellows. What else they can do?. It is unequal battle. Their blood must be boiling when they see their mates being shot in cold blood and they are unable to react. Poor Jawans and officers are mere gun fodder in India. They can be easily expended. Who carres in this country?
Bajpai. That is why they become merciless when they get a chance. They become revengeful. It happens in every army. Ours is no different. After all they are humans.
( The rapid machine gun burst is heard and they see a Jawan rushing at the room. He is very badly wounded in the firing. He collapses at the entrance to the room bleeding profusely. Gandhi peeps outside. He sees many jawan’s watching the wounded soldier although holding rifles. They are not firing back. Gandhi rushes at the wounded soldier and comforts him)
Gandhi. Dear son. I am very sad. You are paying dearly for none of your fault and for the country. I am helpless. I can only sing Ramdhun in your last moments. You will become a martyr soon.
Soldier. Sir. My name is Narayana. You are Bapu. Isn’t it? ( Raises his hands saying Namste) Sir why are you here? This is not a safe place for you. Please go away. If you are shot dead, none will bother for you. I am dying soon. Who will care for my young kids, wife and aged parents.
Gandhi. Whole nation will be behind you.
Narayan. Hope so Bapu.But it is al bogus. None cares. A soldier is forgotten once he is dead. See the fate of ex -service men in India. Just go to any District Ex-servicemen welfare office. You shall know. No one cares for them. They are ready to bite leave listening. Once I am dead none will care for my family. They have to rough it out.
Bapu. Are things so bad?
Soldier. Yes. Better talk less about these things. Let me have peace before I die instead of discussing about army and the welfare.
Gandhiji ( Comforts him). Then I shall sing a bhajan.. ( sings) Raghupathi Raaghava Rajaa Ram.. eee…eeee..( looks around). Ohfo.. No one is singing along with me.
Soldier.. ( Feebly) Bapu. I shall give company.. ee…eee. Patheetha Pavana seetha Ram…( He dies)
Gnadhi. Ohfo.. he is dead ( weeps) eee..eeee… aaa..aaa. ( sings in pathetic voice)
The brave soldier is dead and faded away into wild
Having been shot and he was mild
Unjust politics and the leaders brought ruin
The country is sunk deep into the groins
Nehru. Bapu. Let us go. It is unsafe.
Gandhi. What happens to this soldier?
Nehru. Fate will take care of him. His dead body will be collected by army once firing stops. His family will be informed and body will be sent if possible to his home town for funeral.
Advani. In his town, some state govt. officials if have time will visit and pay lip sympathy and crocodile tears and vanish never to return. The body will be cremated with some jawans firing shots and sounding of last post. Some serving military officers will surely attend the funeral and wipe eye.
Bajpai After few days, he vanishes into pages of history. Then none cares.
Singhal. That is the sad story. Let us not dig graves. Skeletons will roll out
Advani. Bapu. This is not safe for you If militants see us they may capture us and demand ransom. They may even demand release of their colleagues.
Gandhi. Do you think our lives are still valued in India?
Nehru. I doubt. We are already dead. Others have some value. But they are from opposition parties. I doubt if any one cares in government if they are kidnapped Govt. may not care for them.
Gandhi. Then run.. run.. run away… fly. Fly… fly… away
(They all run to Srinagar bus stand as rifle fire stops and at bus stand they catch a bus leaving to Jammu Tawi)
In the distance, Surendra is heard singing a sad song.
Bhool Jaa…Bhool Jaa
Bhool jaa jo Dekhtaahai
Jo hai Dekha bhool Jaa
Yaad rakh kar kya karega
Ye tamasha bhool Jaa..
Forget the past
Forget what you have seen
What shall you do
Remembering the past
Forget the drama
That goes on)
( Surendra nath BA LLB ( Surendra) was a very great actor singer and contemporary of KL Saigal in Hindi cinema field. He was a very popular singer hero during 1936 to 1960. He passed away in 1987)
Note. This article was written in 1993