I am, by no yardstick. a professional scribe, but nearly became one, at the beginning of my livelihood – career, if that be a better word, 30 years ago.  Barely has half this year been half compete, but two stout representatives of the what is sometimes derisively termed the Fourth Estate, have gone the way of all flesh, in a manner in which the onlookers, their fellow-citizens, no less, should rue the day that such a heinous deed transpired, and even as no one would ever aver that a statue should be erected for these two in the crowd who deserve the encomium shaheed, and who lived in two sides  of the border, my heart palpitates, and mutters incomprehensively to myself, – there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Now, to take names, one is Saleem Shehzad in Pakistan, and the other is J. Dey, in Mumbai, India. They would probably not even have known about the existence of each other. One wrote on the underbelly of the tenuous links that “terrorism” had across divides in his own country, and the latter, on the underworld elements in India’s commercial capital. But the difference between the people who ” did them in ” to use a Dickensian phrase, is one of degree, and not of kind. They both trod in dark shadowy corridors, alleys and by-lanes that eventually ended up in a violent death. Yet, I wish to think that they were martyrs for a larger cause, that common folk could live and prosper in a more conducive environment and life-style, even though we may only wish to commend to those who may have made such sacrifice wearing uniforms.

This is precisely where, any kind of law-enforcement agency that wishes even one whit to live up to its name and credo, needs to show itself publicly too, that it can ” deliver the goods ” .