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A Homage to Ankit Sharma

Image courtesy: News18.com

Yesterday a part of me died. It was after reading a news. It was not that some more innocent Indians were killed in cold blood in a senseless way in a riot. I am used to it by now having grown up with seeing mindless violence around me. But yesterday was different. It was how someone was murdered and how his body disposed off. His name was Ankit Sharma. He was twenty six years old. He was on duty. He represented my police and my country, the reasons why he was killed. And he was a Hindu, the reason why he was stabbed four hundred times. This crime is a different sort of crime according to victimology. It is a crime with a message, not a random one but one for the whole country. We can miss it at our own peril.

As a psychologist who has worked with criminal justice system for over two decades, I am used to dead bodies. I have seen mutilated bodies, bodies of children, people burnt and sat by their bedside to listen to their dying declaration. As a child, I saw my first riot in 1970, in Bihar and saw dead bodies strewn on the streets. I had then asked questions and my father told me about evil. In 1984, I saw a Sikh man being chased and burnt by a mob. I had felt helpless not able to do anything. In 2002 I talked to many victims in Sabarmati express whose two bogeys were put on fire. They disturbed me but didn’t make me numb. I had built a wall around me. That wall, I realized, is no more since yesterday after reading about Ankit Sharma.

Each murder is tragic. But the murder of Ankit Sharma symbolizes a threat to everything that Indian civilization stands for.

There were four hundred stab wounds on his body. In my career, the worst heinous murder I had come across of killing by knife, the murderer, a meat seller had driven the knife in the body of his victim 13 times and then stopped because he felt tired. How many people it would have taken to drive the knives in the body of Ankit Sharma 400 times? And what would be that amount of hatred with which they would do so? How much time, how much collective evil it would take on the part of a crowd to do so? Was it only because he was a law enforcement officer and nothing more?

The way the body of the victim was disposed off shows the feelings the perpetrators had towards the victim and his identity. A body mutilated and thrown away in a drain shows intense feelings of contempt for the victim and hatred towards him, an ideology that sees the victim far removed from a human being. Where does it then come from and is it not part of a macabre feeling that exists and is running as a collective in the thinking of the people?

The story of Lala Lajpat Rai comes to my mind. I read his story many times as a child and often visualized him facing the British. Protesting Simon Commission, he received multiple injuries on his head killing him. Crying in pain but his head held high, he had declared, “Each blow on my head will become the death knell of the British Empire.” Can each stab wound on Ankit Sharma’s body awaken the sleeping conscience of the nation today? I pray it does. Otherwise, next time it will be one of us and no one left after that.

Ankit Sharma’s death shows how dangerous it can be for an officer to do his duty fearlessly in certain areas, to belong to the faith of the majority of the country and last but not the least do it around people opposed to the very idea of India.

Lynching has sometimes given birth to new identities. From the ashes, has risen a new determination against injustice. Sometimes it is an idea. The Blacks decided to unite after the lynching by Ku Klux Klan. The chanting of ‘Kill the Jew’ led Theodore Herzl more than a century ago to understand that Jews have no one to call their own.direct action day

Today, the conscience of the nation is on trial. The murder of Ankit Sharma has raked our conscience and will continue to do so till we understand two things. One why he was killed and second how he was killed. During the Direct Action day, partition, the countless riots, this is the story that has been repeated. The killers wanted to send only one message and that was we will not accept ‘the other’ as an equal. When ‘the other’ tries to change his identity that has remained the same for thousand years, the perpetrator opposes him.

The other lesson from victimology about this ghastly crime is that it is a crime with no moral dimension for the perpetrators. The political climate in Delhi is not going to be the same ever again after this election. As a result, the perpetrators of Ankit Sharma have found overwhelming emotional satisfaction in manipulating, dominating, controlling and exerting life and death. This is a message which should not get lost to anyone, that it is here to stay. It will repeat itself now and replicate itself till we find a closure.

There have been too many people, more internationally than nationally, who have felt powerless and out of control with the coming to power of Modi and the far reaching changes he is bringing in the Indian society. The riots in Delhi and the symbolic killings of the last few days is a desire to get that back that power they have lost.

Today, as a citizen of India I pray and ask that the killing of Ankit Sharma be a fatal blow to the narrative of ‘secularism’ thrust upon us, to the fanaticism that has taken over in the last few days and one that made some of us as lesser than equals in our country.

14 thoughts on “A Homage to Ankit Sharma”

  1. Chowkidar India says:

    A very well written and engaging Article which brought to the fore the ground realities.

    Dharma and Bharat are facing existential threats and you really portrayed the deep resentment that the perpetrators have for Hindus.

    A Brave Soul gave his Life to protect Dharma and Bharat Mata.

  2. AMITPAL says:

    Gunah kuch gumrahon se hota hai bhugatna saoron ko padhta hai. Kyoki nafrat ka virus janha bhi failta hai to sare samaj ko jakad let’s hai. Is virus ke khatma ke liye kuch antivirus sabko lena hoga.

  3. AMITPAL says:

    Brave heart like Ankit and many more are innocent victims of the virus of hatered spreading in our country, if we don’t treat it immediately, this may distroy many pillars of our country.

  4. Roshan says:

    It’s the worst kind of bestial cruelty. What could be the motivation for committing such a mindless crime? Perhaps to send a message to the powers that be that the assailants could go to any length to cripple the administration.

  5. Deba Prasad Daityari says:

    On reading the ghastly killing of Ankit Sharma, what Dr Rajat Mitra brought have opened the new dimension of hate crime is a repeat threat to the Indian majority which are accumulated in post independent period due to a special privilege given to a minority community in the name of the draconian word called Secularism. Time have come 👆 to read the writing on the wall otherwise history will not forgive. This is the time the investigative agency and the judiciary should act shoulder to shoulder to give justice to the perpetrator of the heinous crime in the name of fanaticism. The post by Dr. Rajat Mitra is really a factual feeling of 😍 the main stream common men. Well conceived writing.

  6. A.Krishnamoorthy says:

    I fully agree with you about the barbarism of killing Ankit sharma just because he is a Hindu, I urge the Government to Declare this country as a Hindu Nation by replacing Secular. We have already given Muslims their Nation.

  7. Deba Prasad Daityari says:

    Further to add, I am speechless in the incidence, what will be the impact on Ankit helplessly dying second by second. May his departed soul rest in peace

  8. Lalit Sharma says:

    After Nibhaya’s case, we again died. Politics, Crime, Justice all are pooled.

  9. A N Hegde says:

    let his soul in peace..only god can help…..

  10. Esha Dethe says:

    No words these pussfuls are evil and hate us God save us .

  11. D A Desai says:

    Very well articulated the pain felt my many citizens of this country, who are well aware of the capabilities of certain section of society to go to any level of hate and cruelty. The videos exhibited by perpetrators of similar crimes are available in a large number as supporting evidence.

  12. Pijush says:

    Only hope loss of such valuable lives do not go in vain.
    High time WE WAKE UP. 🙏

  13. K.K.MITTRA says:

    When people blocked Shahinbah for
    more than 70 days leaders keept quiet.
    After this violence leaders are on thier
    feet shouting BJP BJP.One group was
    preparing silently for the violence.The time was chosen during the visit of
    American President.

  14. Anjali Sachdev says:

    Horrific! Horrific is the cruel killing of any being. Would becoming a Hindu nation would cruelty towards towards eath other stop? Would the extreme macabre thoughts of Hindu supremacy towards the dalits, shudras, baandhis, women, children stop? Think for a minute?
    Besides consider the Indian Armed forces they are a secular nation in themselves, who protect you from every threat possible. A soldier does not think that he is ready to give his life for particular religion he just protects you without asking who you are?

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