The VIP said: ‘Ondu condolence message kottbidi’

Death manages to inspire only cliches even among the best amongst us. But it takes a particular genius to be inured to it; to be so unmoved as to only offer a cyclostyled statement.

Below are the condolence messages issued by two weighty Karnataka worthies—Uttarakhand governor Margaret Alva and Union labour minister Mallikarjuna Kharge—in the wake of the Mangalore air crash.

They offer a small insight into the creative juices that lubricate the mind of the average Indian politician; but they also throw a giant spotlight on the value they place on human life also known as voters.

First, Margaret Alva’s statement, issued under the letterhead of the “information wing” of her Raj Bhavan:

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, 22 May 2010: Mrs Margaret Alva, governor of Uttarakhand, has expressed deep shock and grief at the heavy loss of lives in the air crash at Mangalore Airport today morning. She has wished speedy recovery for the survivors who have been injured due to the mishap.

“Mrs Alva expressed her deep sense of sorrow and sympathy for the deceased and their grieving families. ‘May God grant strength to their families to bear the irreparable loss,’ is her prayer.”

Next, Kharge’s statement, issued under the government of India’s ministry of labour:

New Delhi, 22 May May 2010: Mr M. Mallikarjuna Kharge, minister for labour, has expressed deep shock and grief at the heavy loss of lives in the air crash at Mangalore Airport today morning. He has wished speedy recovery for the survivors who have been injured due to the mishap.

“Mr Kharge expressed his deep sense of sorrow and sympathy for the deceased and their grieving families. ‘May God grant strength to their families to bear the irreparable loss,’ is his prayer.”