Benazir Bhutto’s death affects so many

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s former prime minister, has affected millions of peopleBhutto
around the world in varying degrees.

It has affected her immediate family. They have lost a wife and a mother, a person they can never replace.

It has affected her supporters. They will have to find a new leader, a person they can rally behind. Some of them will never be able to run through the streets chanting another leader’s name again.

It has affected her opponents and enemies. They will have to find someone else to hate. Some of them won’t be able to sleep at night until they can say to themselves, "If only so-and-so were dead, our lives would be better."

It has affected the children of Pakistan. Some of them are sad that a leader has been killed, that their country is enduring more violence, while others are excited that they get three days off school.

It has affected speech writers around the world. Many of them had to scramble to write statements that politicians could read, condemning the violence, offering sympathy and appearing to know what was going on in Pakistan.

It has affected the media, especially the 24-hour news networks. They had to drop other news stories and fill their airtime with hundreds of Pakistan-related reports and interviews. Just about anybody with a Pakistani connection was put on the air, even the doorman at The Ritz-Carlton who once exchanged pleasantries with the Pakistani ambassador.

It has affected people who hadn’t even heard of her, people who turned on CNN, BBC or some other network and said to themselves, "Benazir who? I didn’t know Muslim women were allowed to leave the kitchen."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. The media never mourns, not since the days when we had only doordarshan in India. When Indira Gandhi died we had sad, oh! really really sad, music played on tv, radio for three days. They showed the entire funeral and that is all we could see. Doordarshan made the whole nation mourn. That was the power of media then.

  2. I know what you mean, Sowmya. I was a child in Zambia when Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese leader, died. The Zambian government declared seven days of national mourning, with nothing on TV but somber music and scenes from his funeral. That really gave us a reason to mourn.

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