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Sarabjit’s Death : Is There An Untold Story? May 3, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Indian Politics, Life, Politics.
Tags: ,

As an ordinary man putting the pieces together I cannot help but think as I followed the story of Sarabjit – caught and sentenced to death by Pakistani authorities over 20 years ago, and died yesterday after a brutal attack on him last week by prison inmates-  that there is possibly another side to it. It’s not that I pulled the pieces of stories together consciously, but somehow the pieces came into one, creating this other side of story – perhaps not true, but surely a possibility.

Firstly, Sarabjit will be getting a state funeral, I read today.

True that it may be as a last respect to him for the long years he spent in the neighbour’s prison, but is it all the reason that demanded this respect or is there anything more that ‘qualifies’ him for the state funeral?

I do not have the sources to cite, but very long ago when I was a child and the story of the famous double agent Aldrich Ames was on the cover pages of leading magazines then, there was a relatively insignificant story of a migrant fisherman in US who lived as a fisherman for several years and died in that same village; soon after his death, the embassy of this migrant quickly came in to receive his body and was taken back to his native country and given a state funeral, which is when the US came to know how much has been lost from the underwater ‘work’ he was engaged in all these years prior to his death.

Government’s gesture of a state funeral for Sarabjit reminded me of this story – perhaps rightfully unrelated though!

Secondly, the Times of India today had details of his journey that lead him to the neighbour’s prison. He was just a matriculate, a farmer tilling his land the whole day and somehow crossed the border in an inebriated state after the day’s work.

It just didn’t sit well to my common sense that a farmer would be carrying USD 800 in his pocket as pocket money while unconsciously slipping in across the border.

Who funded him? Was there anyone on top of the tree?

The reader of this article might well be steaming inside with fury against this author – for not accepting the ‘truth’ as it was ‘told’, but point is not to belittle Sarabjith and I wish sincerely as you all that he didn’t have to go through what he did go through.

My point is different. And I need no answers.

The thought that struck me since the last time this issue came out was that whether this gentleman was on the rolls of the government, and if he was, did he not deserve a little more attention through our Foreign Affairs offices and mobilize our international political power that could have altered his fate – with the different ‘varieties’ of governments we had of different ideologies, at the center?

Did the media do enough justice to his cause?

Did we light enough candles – at whichever gates and streets?

Perhaps we are to blame for his unfortunate death if anywhere in the depth of our conscience we know silently that he was serving our country and not just a farmer who happened to cross the borders in an inebriated state.

If he was indeed a servant of our nation with a mission on his shoulders, we are guilty as charged, no matter how we fill the ‘air-time’ now.




1. rajesh madan - May 3, 2013

Shahir, I do believe that he was a spy, but at the same time, he may not be connected to the killings inside Pakistan. Also, all governments disown their spies if they get caught. Nothing new there. It’s part of statecraft.

wordschamber - May 4, 2013

Hei Rajesh, true, ironic though it may be!

Hope you are doing well.

2. Anup Asokan - May 4, 2013

Shahirkka, RAW often pays smugglers and saboteurs to carry messages and stuff into Pakistan. This is on the understanding that if they are caught, they will be disowned. The incentives for them are often monetary not patriotism. They are not considered RAW agents too. I think the decision for the State funeral is purely political.
However there are true RAW agents whom we could have helped. Ravindra Kaushik was recruited, trained and sent to Pakistan at age 23 in 1975. Did his LLB in Karachi University, joined the Paki Army and became a Major, and married a Pakistani woman. He supplied good intelligence from ’79 to ’83 when he caught while the ISI was interrogating another courier. He died in jail in 2001. India never sought for his release and never got the attention Sarabhjit got.

wordschamber - May 4, 2013

O! Anup, how much I miss your intellectual conversations!!! Thanks for sharing this and for visiting WORDSChamber; please continue to stay connected.

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