At the height of the Mandal Commission agitation in 1990, student Rajiv Goswami attempted to immolate himself in New Delhi. It was a sensational piece of news at that time and after 25 years; Delhi saw another tragic incident when Gajendra Singh died at a rally organized by the Aam Aadmi Party.
This gruesome incident has thrown a lot of questions...
Was Gajendra a businessmen-politician?
While initial reports talked of the late Gajendra primarily as a farmer, subsequent reports have shown that things are much different. For one he is a politician and had contested Assembly elections. His uncle is also a sarpanch.
He had a website called www.jaipurisaffe.com and made money over turbans. He was also a celebrity and had tied the pagdi for former US President Bill Clinton. He also owned an SUV. While his exact land property varies from report to report it is clear that he had enough land not to be called a simple farmer.
How much did the AAP know?
One report said that he was close to AAP Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and came at his invitation. There are many more curious aspects. Why did the publicity-hungry Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tell the media to keep away from the rally?
Why was there a dummy of a farmer hanging from the tree before the incident? What is AAP doing conducting a farmer's rally in New Delhi which is the least of India's agricultural states? Why did no-one take note of Gajendra's threats hours before the incident?
Why did AAP leaders start Tweeting about the death even before he was confirmed dead? One of the first Tweets used the word “Shaheed” (martyr). How did they know that?
Why did Kejriwal continue speaking as if nothing had happened after the incident? Why did Kumar Vishwas use the brutal and mysterious “latak gaya?” (Has he hung) so flippantly?
Why was Ashutosh even more flippant and sarcastic after the tragic incident? In fact Gajendra had climbed the tree with a broom, which is the AAP symbol.
When Kejriwal finally broke his silence, he contradicted himself and then Ashutosh went ahead and cried on live television to become a laughing stock on Twitter. (#AshuCries)
Why is the family blaming AAP?
While many of the usual suspects on TV channels started blaming the BJP (that's par for the course), the family have been blasting the AAP. Reporters who visited the family found them saying that the AAP incited him.
What about Delhi Police's obstruction claims?
While the AAP has been quick to blame the Delhi Police, they have hit back saying that AAP supporters were indeed inciting the man. To make matters worse, the police claim that they were prevented from going near the tree by AAP supporters and even the fire engine was obstructed.
A FIR has been filed in that regard and it remains to be seen how this investigation progresses.
Was it really a suicide note?
The note that was found seems more like an appeal of help than a suicide note. He lists his troubles and ends it with: Koi mujhe ghar jaane ka upaaya batao (Somebody tell me the solution to get home) followed by Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.
Of course now a lot of questions are being raised about how AAP supporters found it in the first place and whether the note is genuine or not. Gajendra's family members showed his diary and pointed to the fact that the handwriting was different.
What's it got to do with the Land Bill?
The Government's Land Bill may or may not change the fortunes of the farmers as opinion is sharply divided on that one. However, it currently has no impact on the crop and its distribution in India.
Gajendra also never said directly that he committed suicide over the Land Bill even though many media outlets are directly making that claim. Gajendra is not exactly just a farmer even though he is being presented that way.
In fact currently how Gajendra died is a more pressing issue.
In India the truth is never the plain vanilla truth. It always comes in extreme flavours...
A. Humble farmer commits suicide protesting Modi's anti-farmer Land Bill.
B. Politician-businessman-farmer and AAP supporter dies under mysterious circumstances even as an indifferent Kejriwal continues his political speech!
In fact the AAP has many many questions to answer but Kejriwal rarely answers tough questions posed to him nor do the media apply pressure.