Gaddafi: Old book Re-Opened
The fall of the African Dictator: The brutal treatment of Gaddafi’s body.
Post death scenario, the question mark on Libyan revolution and reportage of his death by Indian media.
“What did I do to you? Do you know right from wrong?’’ These were Col. Muammer Gaddafi’s last words before being shot by the fighters on Thursday, October 20, outside his hometown Sirte.
The dramatic minutes leading up to Gaddafi’s death were chaotic, violent and gruesome — as testified by the grainy mobile phone footage seen by the world of the former leader, bloodied and dazed, being dragged along by NTC fighters.
Gaddafi was still alive when he was captured hiding in a storm drain outside his hometown of Sirte, but he already had blood streaming down the side of his face and a wound close to his left ear very shortly after he had been seized.
The authorities are adamant that it was necessary to put the dictator and his son on show to reassure the Libyan people. The oil minister Ali Tarhouni, said: “I told them to keep it (the body) in the freezer for a few days to make sure that everybody knows he is dead.”
The UN has called for a full investigation into the circumstances of the dictator’s death. Video footage recording the minutes after Gaddafi’s capture , when his convoy came under Nato and rebel attack, shows an alive but injured Gaddafi pleading for his life. Footage of Mutassim smoking a cigarette and seemingly only slightly injured shortly before his death has also raised concerns.
The footage has provoked the US into calling on Libya’s new authorities to give a full account of the deaths in an “open and transparent manner”
As investigations continue into the circumstances of their deaths, their bullet-ridden bodies were still on show, with hundreds of people queuing to see them laid out in a cold storage room in Misrata. Occasional chants of “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) were heard from the crowd, but the calls were muted by the face masks worn by onlookers to overcome the smell from the decomposing bodies.
Nearly three days after the Libyan leader was captured and killed, he wasn’t buried, contrary to Islamic custom – a fact that appears to be causing divisions within the National Transitional Council, which appeared paralysed by indecision over what to do with the bodies. One NTC official admitted that the continued presence of Gaddafi in cold storage was a cause of contention. “Under Islam he should have been buried quickly but they have to reach an agreement whether he is to be buried in Misrata, Sirte or somewhere else”, he said.
Gaddafi’s widow called from her exile in Algeria for the bodies of her son and husband to be entrusted to her, amid speculation that they could be secretly buried at sea, as in the case of Osama bin Laden, to prevent a burial place becoming a shrine.
The international acclaim for the Libyan revolution is being tempered by growing revulsion at the treatment of the bodies of Muammer Gaddafi and his son Mutassim. The way the whole operation was conducted is putting a question mark on the strategy of the western countries. A revolution that was meant to bring peace didn’t deserve a win which put blood marks on its existence. As far as Human rights are concerned, the manner of dictator’s death remains doubtful and raises several questions. The video footages show that he was captured alive and then shot. The dictator’s 65 years old body couldn’t bear the blood loss and he passed away.
UN is raising the question in front of the new rulers, why was he killed when he could have been captured alive? The answer is yet to come by.
Africa’s Kings of kings surely didn’t receive the same treatment in death as in life, ironic to the title given to him. Gaddafi, 69, ruled Libya for 42 years and refused to accept even in the last months that the country he ‘loved’ had turned against him. In his words, “all my people love me and would even die for me.”
Gaddafi, as is claimed, was an unpredictable and brutal personality. Fearless as he was, he never shied away from saying whatever he wanted to. He never bothered if any of his statements soured his ties with east or west. He supported Palestine openly and forever changed opinions and sides on Indo-Pak issues. Since the time Indira Gandhi was Indian Prime Minister, Gaddafi’s relations with India grew to be stronger and weaker given the dictator’s unpredictable nature. On Kashmir issue he once said that it belonged to India and on one occasion he demanded support for Kashmir as an independent nation.
Once he made his peace with the west, he turned to mend diplomatic relations with India.
He sent his son Saif ul Islam with a “sealed” letter for then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He urged Vajpayee to take the initiative to reunify India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, a reversion to the pre-1947 structure! Vajpayee was amused. He should take up the project first with Pakistan, Vajpayee suggested with a glint in his eye.
Gaddafi has been a favourite of Indian media, given the dictator’s amusing suggestions since then. The Libyan revolution and the incidents post Gaddafi’s death were covered by Indian newspapers and news channels. Indian media got hold of the news only five hours after it was reported internationally by Reuters. The reportage came out and it was all over news channels, that very evening and newspapers, the next day.
But given the nature of a few Hindi news channels, they lived up to their reputation of blowing up news out of proportion. It was saddening to see the way video footages of Gaddafi’s death were flashed on TV screens with titles ‘The demon has been gunned down’ or ‘The rat was hiding in a drain’. The man whose death was already under suspicion on the Humanitarian grounds was being verbally raped by that section of Indian media, given the terms and language used.
Surely, he was a stone hard personality but the Hindi news channels need to grow and come out of this ‘breaking news’ shell. It was hovering to see how the video footages, were shown, which should have been blurred given the violent content they contained. After all, whatever said and done, he was the head of a state and deserved a little inch of respect on the basis of humanity.
Posted on December 5, 2011, in Politics and tagged Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bangladesh, Dictator, Gaddafi, Gaddafi's death, Human Rights Violation, India, Indian media, Kashmir, Libya, Libyan Revolution, news Channels, Pakistan, United Nations. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.