Since yesterday, the whole of karnataka has been plunged into grief, upon the news of the sad demise of their beloved Dr. Rajkumar, "Annavaru" or "Big Brother" as people used to lovingly call him.
I being an alien in bangalore have just stared in awe at the turn of events since yesterday afternoon. People were out in the streets mourning. Police used Tear Gas to disperse mobs at palace grounds, where the body of Dr. Raj was kept. Women came out on the streets crying like they had lost one of their own. The huge respect that this man carried in the hearts of all kannadigas is beginning to dawn on me. The amount of grief being expressed has stunned me. Hard to believe this guy was a movie star. The people here hold him next to God.
The flipside of all this is that some unruly elements, typically belonging to some obscure political outfit, who want to use this opportunity to register their presence, have wreaked havoc in the lives of common people. Almost riot like situations have broken out in many parts of the city. There is chaos and violence in the streets. One of my friends is in a hospital. He was caught in one of these incidents at a typically heavy traffic crossing last evening. His bike and laptop were damaged beyond repair, and he was stabbed twice. Though I would want to go and visit him in the hospital, I cannot because of the situation in the city.
All shops are closed. There is no place people can go to buy their basic neccesities like food and water. Its not because the shopkeepers don't want to, its because of some antisocials who have threatened to break everything in their shops if the owners attempted to do so. Cable television has been shutdown. People are being advised not to go out into the streets.
I have been surviving on rice and dal since last evening. God knows how long this situation will continue. Grief is undestandable, but this unruliness and harrassment of the common man is not.
Dr. Raj would have been ashamed had his "spirit" been around to see what his followers are doing.
May his soul rest in peace.......