Prabhat Jha wishes to die
Posted July 1, 2011on:
Prabhat Jha wishes to die. He has written a four-page letter to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil seeking permission, with copies of the letter endorsed to the Chief Justice of India, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
Thousands of persons in the country wish to die every day but the newspapers take notice of the only few who really commit suicide. But Prabhat Jha is a member of Rajya Sabha and also the president of the Madhya Pradesh unit of the ruling BJP. That’s why the newspapers reported even his wish to die.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh says there is enough reason for registering a case of attempt to commit suicide against Prabhat Jha. This, though, is a moot point. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) says that “whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence…” Legal luminaries will have to decide whether seeking permission from the President to die can be construed as amounting to acting towards the commission of the offence.
It may or may not be an offence punishable under Section 309 of IPC, but Jha has unmistakably made it clear that life holds no more charm for him and he wishes to die. What does he mean is his wish to commit suicide because under the Indian Constitution, no President or Chief Justice of India can grant permission to anyone to commit suicide. Whether Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley can grant it is strictly an internal matter of the BJP.
That he is not in his right mind becomes clear from his use of the word ‘iccha-mrityu” in his letter to the President. Iccha-mrityu is divine power which enables its possessor to decide the hour and day of his death. In Hindu mythology, only Bhishma is known to have possessed this power. In the Mahabharata War, he was pierced with innumerable arrows from the hands of Arjuna and there was not a space of even two fingers’ breadth left unwounded in his whole body. When he fell from his chariot he was upheld from the ground by the arrows and lay on a couch of darts. But he did not want to die in Dakshinayana as this period was not considered auspicious for dying. In that condition he waited for 58 days till it was Uttarayana and then only he decided to die.
This is one of the very popular episodes of the Hindu mythology. Under normal circumstances one would have considered Prabhat Jha an illiterate boor who was so ignoramous about the most glorious chapters of the Hindu mythology in spite of his association with persons like Kushabhau Thakre and Lal Krishna Advani. But in the present case, Jha can be excused for making this blunder and seeking iccha-mrityu from the President. A man with suicidal tendencies loses his grip over his critical faculties and finds his mind befuddled.
He has given the reason for his death-wish as the high prices caused by the Centre. But it is hardly relevant. The man with suicidal tendencies cannot think clearly. Had he been really upset with the high prices, he would have also asked chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to reduce State taxes on petroleum products; Madhya Pradesh levies the highest taxes in the country.
There are two guesses about what made Prabhat Jha lose interest in life. One is that Shivraj Singh Chauhan mustered courage and told Jha to mind his own business and not behave like super-chief minister. This, though, is unlikely because Chauhan will need a special type of shilajit to be able to stand up to the persons like Prabhat Jha.
The more likely reason is that Uma Bharati’s return to the BJP has made Prabhat Jha lose interest in life and wish for death.