The entire controversy emanates from the Narendra Modi regime’s earlier reluctance to accept the death of Indians as mentioned by Masih.
There is something very odd in External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s laboured arguments to prove that Harjit Masih, a daily wager, is a liar. In fact, she seemed more critical of the poor chap than the murderous ISIS which slaughtered, among countless others, 39 Indian nationals.
The entire controversy emanates from the Narendra Modi regime’s earlier reluctance to accept the death of Indians as mentioned by Masih. In June 2015, 39 Indians were captured and held captive by ISIS terrorists in Iraq. Masih said at that time that he was among those who were all shot at. He was also injured, but feigned dead and somehow managed to escape.
Accepting this version would have meant that the 56-inch Rambo had failed to rescue his compatriots from the clutches of jihadists in another country. But this was the truth; acknowledgement of this truth would not have diminished Modi in any way because no sensible Indian would have blamed him for not saving 39 Indians in another, distant country.
For this government, however, perception is infinitely more important than the reality; it seems for this reason alone the government didn’t tell the truth to the relatives of the murdered Indians. So, Gurpinder Kaur, sister of Manjinder Singh, one of the killed youth, had earlier rejected Masih’s version, reported The Times Of India (March 21).
The guy is tough, having survived the barbarous jihadists in a foreign land and the callous cops in his own country.
Similarly, Harbhajan Kaur, whose son Harsimranjit Singh was among those abducted by the ISIS, had outrightly rejected Masih’s claim after last meeting Swaraj in May last year: “Why should I trust Harjit and not my own government?” But Harjit has been proven right; we don’t know what Harbhajan Kaur now has to say about the government’s credibility.
Come to think of it, the foreign minister of the world’s largest democracy goes to great lengths to prove that the survivor is a liar. Evidently, for his ‘lie,’ the poor man was thrown behind bars for six months. This is how our government treats the poor.
“After reaching India in 2014, I narrated the entire incident to various agencies in Delhi and surrounding places for over a year and later when I along with AAP MP Bhagwant Mann narrated the entire incident in front of the media, I was implicated in a false case of human trafficking by the Punjab police. I am a daily labourer and sole breadwinner in my family. I don’t want to enter into any mess-up with the government,” Masih told Hindustan Times (March 20).
He is poor but sensible; he knows that a daily wager stands no chance against a Cabinet Minister. But he has the guts to question the version peddled by her—that he had escaped by using the name of ‘Ali,’ and that too earlier than the massacre of 38 Indians.
“If I escaped from the factory using a fake name, then how would I know that all my fellow teammates were dead. I still recall that horrible time when we are kidnapped from our factory by the ISIS. We were forced to sit on our knees in a row and ISIS men opened fire. I received a shot in my right leg and was covered with bodies. I fell unconscious. Next day, when I regained consciousness, I found all my fellow workers dead,” he said.
The guy is tough, having survived the barbarous jihadists in a foreign land and the callous cops in his own country. Even if we accept Swaraj’s version, it is undeniable that he showed unusual gumption in the face of grave danger. It is deplorable conduct on the part of the Minister that instead of lauding him for his courage, she chose to malign him.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.