I’ve been thinking about Jarnail’s action all day. In the afternoon, when I sent Jarnail a text message inquiring after his condition (he had been detained by the police), he replied that as a journalist, he shouldn’t have done what he did. Fair. But there’s still no denying that there has been almost no real outlet for the absolutely colossal sense of outrage that Sikhs in the country, especially Delhi, have felt over the CBI’s recommendation that Jagdish Tytler be cleared of all charges. The party even has the nerve to serve up a ticket year after year to Sajjan Kumar — since the thug wins invariably, to hell with moral perceptions.
As a journalist, imagine Jarnail’s position. And the questions. Was the shoe-throwing pre-meditated, or did Jarnail truly snap in the face of Chidambaram’s signature arrogance. As a journalist, has he violated the sacred line that divides witnessing and affecting. Journalists are constantly accused of being bloodless, heartless drones buzzing between one story and the next. So did Jarnail break the cardinal rule of reporting, which is to report not from your point of view, but from nobody’s point of view? Jarnail himself thinks he did, so nobody else’s opinion really matters.
But he is firm that his motivations were not incorrect or immoral, and nobody can take that away from him. While much of the media — and of course, the political parties — “condemn” Jarnail’s action as improper and inappropriate, they conveniently gloss over the reasons for why this normally tranquil gentleman chose to throw caution to the wind, and put his career and future in clear jeopardy by lobbing a sneaker at the Home Minister. That’s the question the Congress Party should think about. Everything else is just, well, footwear.