More than a hundred thousand people die each day all over the world. Unless we are related to them in any form, their death goes unnoticed for the rest of the world. Death does excite a feeling of bereavement, however, it’s the affiliation that we truly grieve over.
It can be seen with accidental deaths that receive a divided response. Just over a week ago a plane crashed in Colombia that was carrying Brazil’s first division football team. Those who affiliated themselves with football and the players onboard felt more sorrowed than others like me who had no idea of the team members aboard that ill-fated flight.
My emotional response to the incident was a feeling of sorry for the 71 people (including football players), their families and those associated with them. However, my grief could not be the same as those of the family members or to the same degree as football lovers.
The reasons are obvious. I did not know them personally nor did I affiliate myself with any of those onboard. Though I stood empathetic over the tragic accident.
Social media was divided over the death of Junaid Jamshed (JJ hereinafter), a singer turned tableeghi who had been a famous youth pop icon in his days and a preacher lately, sometimes controversial. JJ died, along with his wife, in the tragic plane crash of PIA flight 661 that was bound from Chitral to Islamabad yesterday, killing all 47 aboard. The divide over social media whether the incident was about JJ and 46 others or 47 deaths including JJ began as soon as the news of the airplane crash began to surface.
JJ was an icon, a star for the country and loved by many for different reasons (equally averse to many for different ideological reasons). Those who affiliate themselves with him feel more grieved than others, be it be for his iconic songs like Dil Dil Pakistan or his famous naats and preaching lately.
Receiving a mixed reaction is natural and totally makes sense. We associated with him with varying degrees, each linked to a certain level of emotional remorse. What is important is that having differences of ideology and/or opinion with JJ (or anyone) does not justify anyone not being grieved over the accident, let alone celebrating it.
Further, both phases of his life should receive the same condolences from everyone, irrespective of whether your affiliation was with the singer JJ or Molana JJ.
At the end of the day, he was a human fellow being and to my knowledge at least, he did not hurt anyone knowingly and when he was blamed to have done, he was the first one to come up and apologize.
Prayers and thoughts for the families of those who lost loved ones in this heartrending incident. That’s the least what morality demands from us.