Talk:2006 Meerut fire

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1857 -

On one fateful day the people of this town rose to the injustices that the nation was facing. Meerut, the burning ground of the revolt of 1857, still burns but for a very different reason, one that glares the Indian democracy in the eye and screams INJUSTICE.

“50 dead” flashed across the screens of every major news channel on the 10th of April. Every correspondent available was on the scene to witness the biggest genocide since Jalliahwalla Bagh. Come 12th April something so grave is forgotten like a bad dream, the nation had a new agenda, the media a new story “Dance Bars.” The media packed their visions of truth, which were blind anyway, and returned back to “newspeak”. The nation mourned for a day and moved on, leaving a city in ruins where the families of the deceased made futile efforts to find the missing bodies, which flowed down the Ganges, courtesy – the Government.

REWIND:

So suddenly those reading this are all up in a frenzy and clueless as to what I am talking about, so let me fill in the gaps, the gaps that the media deliberately decided to leave.

The number dead was no where close to reported, a simple headcount at the sight could tell you that this number was much more than what the media was reporting. They just calmly decided to turn a blind eye and continued to feed you the lies that you were supposed to be fed. Ask the families who lost their loved ones to the tragic fire and the numbers that come across are shocking. At least 750-1000 people were consumed by the pyre that set ablaze at Victoria Park, Meerut. In a matter of 10 minutes the lives of thousands was turned upside down. A class mate of mine lost his parents, his sister and his two cousins and a family of eight was reduced to three (may God be with them.).

The media had a responsibility to report what was true and not distort the truth with made up facts. I believe the norms for exhibitions like these exist and if they do why were they not in place? Why was there a fire brigade with no water, why were there no emergency exits, and why didn’t the government – the all binding laws and the powers that be see to it that a tragedy like this never took place? Given that sometimes it takes more than norms to prevent a tragedy and the best of efforts can succumb to the powers of nature but at Meerut efforts were made to save money and not people.

Humbled and saddened by the catastrophe Meerut mourned as the sun set upon the democracy, we call – India. As darkness prevailed, the devil got to work, and the evil empire – the government made sure that the deaths were the cause of our desire. In a situation like this the least the government can do is make sure that the ground where the bodies lay was well lit. Instead, the electricity of the whole city was cut off and then it was Jalliahwalla Bagh all over again. GENOCIDE. Bulldozers lined up at Victoria Park and rubble by rubble they swept the bodies washing the grounds off their sins. The politics, to save money, since Rs. 2 lakh was what each life was valued at. 50 was the official figure while the real figure was somewhere around 750-1000, do the math.

Meerut raged, the crowds standing silent took to the streets, tore down every lie but in vain. While Meerut revolted, the nation slept on the lies fed to them by the media, by the government. Meerut felt betrayed, once again Meerut rose to the injustices of the RAJ, our very own dictatorship, but this time you felt that the war was elsewhere. You betrayed us in our darkest hour. We fought a losing battle but I believe the war continues. All we need is for you to testify to the truth and punish the government for this genocide. Mourn with us, light a candle for the dead, and pray that something like does not happen again.

With a sense of betrayal and disgust for the “vultures who robbed us blind.”

Pranav Kohli

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