Monday, 30th October 2017

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“I am pained…”

It is not actually possible to die of insult, though it might leave one feeling somewhat dead

  • Published 30.06.19, 10:11 AM
  • Updated 30.06.19, 10:11 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Muslim activists protest against lynching of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand, at Iqbal Maidan in Bhopal, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (PTI)

“I am pained…”

After Tabrez Ansari's death by lynching in Jharkhand, the Prime Minister of all of India said. “I am pained and those responsible will get stringent punishment but it is wrong on the part of the Opposition to call Jharkhand a hub of lynching as that is akin to insulting all the people in the state.” A dictionary moment please. Pain, n., highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury. Synonyms — suffering, agony, torture, torment... Insult, n., a disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or act. Synonyms — jibe, affront, snub, slander, defamation, abuse, humiliation, indignity, rudeness.

Death by insult

Please note: one may die of pain or that which causes it. It is not actually possible to die of insult, though it might leave one feeling somewhat dead. On June 18, Ansari, a 24-year-old welder was reportedly tied to a pole and thrashed through the night with sticks. The justification offered by his perpetrators — he had stolen things. Sticks on body, again and again for a stretch of time most likely caused pain. It is being said he was forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Hanuman". It is not known how that affected him, but he did not die yet. He was arrested instead. And he was alive on June 19 and June 20 and June 21. On June 22, he succumbed to his injuries. An uncle of his told the media: “Are the police blind that they did not see that he was badly beaten? Why could the doctors not see his pain?” Jharkhand, however, survived the insult.

Past forward

The circulating image of Ansari — yes, there was more than one video — the look in his eyes is reminiscent of another face, another time. Once upon a photograph, there was a tailor named Qutubuddin Ansari. 2002. Ahmedabad. The Riots. The caption of the Reuters image by Arko Datta read: An Indian Muslim stranded in the first floor of his house, along with a few other Muslims and surrounded by a Hindu mob begs to the Rapid Action Force (Indian paramilitary) personnel to rescue him at Sone-ki-Chal in Ahmedabad, March 1, 2002. After Tabrez Ansari died, the BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said the “crime” is “regrettable”. Regret, n., a feeling of sadness over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do. Synonyms: remorse, sorrow, pangs of conscience, guilt… Was that the word you had in mind too?

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