Kill the leader of a nation,
Go to jail,
Spend two lifetimes inside prison,
Never give up the quest for your own freedom,
Get freed, eventually.
Come back home to a hero’s welcome,
You killed an unsuspecting man after all,
Who did not have any inkling that death was approaching,
But that was his problem, not yours,
What you did was incredibly brave,
Something to be really proud of!
Especially for a rat,
A deed to be commemorated through songs, drama and dance,
Shall be remembered for ages, your act of valour.
Come back to the family that kept up the fight,
To get cheered on by the society
that craves for role models,
To get felicitated by the CM, no less,
For you are now a symbol-
worth your weight in votes.
Come back to be offered
their platform by the Express,
Avail of this opportunity to get humanized,
Narrate your struggle with the pen of caution and the ink of vagueness,
Buy sympathy by playing a victim of circumstances,
Get normalized because everyone loves a good charade,
Does anyone ever scoff at a story of survival?
You’ve written to comfort your inconsolable mother,
Taken care to mention your father’s a retired Tamil teacher,
Listed all the near and dear ones you miss,
Who have moved on in life
while you rotted inside.
The sisters and nephews,
Friends and relations,
You’ve listed them all who provided support,
Else despair would have long back overturned the boat,
Gratitude and humility are the hallmarks of a worthy victor,
Just do not forget that your victory
was an act of mindless killing
that achieved nothing, but cut short a life
of love, hope and promises.
The long, deep anguish that you talk about,
Recount the daily struggles, long phases of doubt,
Complain about fighting ‘the mighty system’.
A fight not thrust upon you, but chosen
by yourself when you decided to kill,
After that, was it not supposed to go downhill?
Not a single word on the victim could I find,
No apologies, no regret- betray poverty of your mind,
Did all those long years really reform?
Can time reshape a soul deformed?
Where lies the healing without feeling the burn,
What kind of people are cheering your return?
Perarivalan was offered their platform by the Indian Express to celebrate his release from prison. He has grabbed the opportunity to inform the world that his father is a retired Tamil teacher, and that his family cried by bucketfuls on the day of his release.
One cannot have any issues with his attempts to humanize himself.
He complains about solitary confinement, and loss of senses, but maintains silence upon prison food and hygiene.
An aunt sent him her gold necklace to take care of his legal expenses. A twenty year old girl immolated herself in 2011 to protest against the death sentence awarded to him. Justice VR Krishna Iyer and journalist Mukund Menon always stood by him. Perarivalan has thanked all of them profusely. He is a grateful man.
He talks at length about his anguish that stretched for 32 years, and how millions across the world supported him with empathy, affection and care. He knows he is a hero to many for the heinous crime he enabled. He says he was ‘forced to fight the mighty system for justice’.
Perarivalan is a stingy and mean person. He has not spared even a single word about the victim or his family. I do not detect any trace of shame. His anguish and his fight are all he recounts. What about the pain of the family of the man he killed? In his own write-up, aimed at humanization of self, he ends up dehumanizing himself by showing lack of remorse or guilt.
Yet a worthy question rises in my mind. Why did the Express have to offer their platform to a man who just wants to play a returned hero, and not own up or apologize for his dastardly act. Such publications are the enablers, the myth-makers, the celebrators of martyrs of dangerous causes. Beware of the placard that says ‘Free Press’.
#perarivalan #tamilnadu #rajivgandhi #assassination #supremecourt #noapologies #nosorry #noregret #tamil
#eelam #ltte #pardon #release #incarceration #confinement #RI #dravidianmovement