There are dozens of irritating things on the 24-hour news channels, but does anything come close to the slick, air-conditioned, accented tears that are shed for the victims of the "Uphaar Fire Tragedy" year after year? Like today, 13 June 2006, the 9th anniversary.
Make no mistake, we must mourn lives snuffed out by the mind-numbing avarice of the theatre's recalcitrant owners (the Ansals) and we must remind and remember so that such incidents do not recur.
But where is such an annual orchestrated demonstration of grief on national TV for, say, the 90 children of the Kumbakonam school who were cooked alive?
Where is such an annual orchestrated demonstration of grief for, say, the 25 mentally retarded people who were charred to death because they were shackled in Erwady?
Where is such an annual orchestrated demonstration of grief for say, the victims of the Venus Circus fire in Bangalore or the 'Sword of Tipu Sultan' fire in Mysore? Or the dozens of natural and man-made disasters and tragedies that stalk us day in and day out across the country?
Put more bluntly, do South Delhi lives matter more than the lives of other Indians? Or what? You tell us.