Jacob Julius Garfinkle (John Garfield)
First Generation Russian Jewish Immigrant
Actor (Broadway, Hollywood)

March 4, 1913  –  21 May 1952  (Aged 39 Years)
Cause Of Death : Heart Failure (As documented)

Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata (Canada Lee)
First Generation Caribbean Immigrant
Actor (Broadway, Hollywood)
March 3, 1907 – 9th May , 1952 (aged 45)
Cause Of Death : Heart Failure (As documented)

Marguerita Maria Christians (Mady Christians)
Austrian (Moved to USA at the age of 18)
Actor (Broadway, Hollywood)
19th January, 1892 –  28th October 28, 1951 (Age 59)
Cause Of Death : Stroke (As documented)

Joseph Edward Bromberg
Romanian (Moved to USA at the age of 5)
Actor (Broadway, Hollywood)
25th December, 1903  – 6th December 6, 1951 (aged 47)
Cause Of Death : Heart Failure (As documented)

Are these mere coincidences? Considering that all these were called by the Famous (!) HUAC in the 1951 and were on FBI Radar for their suspected links to the communists? At least one of them are directly in the list prepared by Elia Kazan and Clifford Odets (who conspired among themselves to name each other and another common seven) and others were guilty by close association.

We could recall that a promising director of twenties, Thomas Harper Ince too died of heart failure. Only the failure of the heart was (it is whispered) to have been aided by a bullet. In that case though it was by mistake, the poor man wasn’t the intended recipient of it, he was at the wrong time at the wrong place for the right bullet. In these cases of course these were right people, at the right time for the right bullets. This was the time when the whole nation was phobic to the extent of being terrorised with anything to do with ‘C’ letter or red colour. It wasn’t only there, around at that time similar persecution took place at the opposite side of globe, in Bengal too, under the stewardship of similar people at helm.

There are no dearth of such “Heart failures” or “Strokes” or even Nephritis (Ted Healy) which had nothing to do with Beer and Brassica oleracea that he might have had on the restaurant. If one cares to look around, there were so many natural deaths happening in Hollywood. Thelma Todd (accidentally locking herself in car and dieing of CO poisoning), Virginia Rappe (peritonitis)…. they were all medically natural deaths, nothing to be suspicious about, that’s what the police, court and the medical fraternity told.

Of course I am sceptical about all these so called proofs, and am one who might not even believe his own eyes. For example the Healy case.  Some of the witnesses had said that he was very violent and would pick up fights at every pretext.  Whereas some witnesses had said, to explain to his leaving his widow penniless (even unable to pay her and her newborn’s hospital bills), it was due to his spendthrift ness. That was not only on himself. He had put his friends, who were without work, in hotels, non-seedy ones, and their tabs were to be forwarded to him. These same friends, after his death, to help the widow, arranged a charity dinner, which was well attended, and the proceeds of which, at least the widow claimed (and I obviously believe her, despite my otherwise scepticism) she didn’t see a penny of. Now these types of ‘friends’, obviously could say whatever the court wants to listen, especially when it, both the court and the witness’ were encouraged by sufficient lubricants (courtesy one of the largest production house’s boss).

Then there is the infamous haymarket affair, where some clearly non-major elements were sent to chair, by manipulating not only judges, but also pre selecting juries who would send them to chair, or the Virginia double murder case, another clear travesty of justice.

I have seen a funny technical verdict (on IPR Violation), which being from my area of knowledge is ludicrous (it was from an American High court), interestingly the same case, when taken up in India, got a proper verdict. I know it would be taken in which sense, so let me hastily (and correctly) add that the American High-court said it wasn’t an IPR violation. The ground on which it reached the conclusion is something which any one knowing the subject (may be class 12 physics and chemistry in Indian Curriculum) would laugh at. The Indian Court didn’t give me the chance to smile wryly at it. Second clarification, I was an interested party but not one of the combatants. They were two of my suppliers, and the clause of supply was that it has to be with clear IPR rights (in case there are), so I (at that time from the procurement cell) was following the case.

There are many such cases to show that the travesty of justice exists everywhere, it is how much gold is to be taken out of the vault to get a favourable verdict varies from place to place.

In this case these deaths could of course be natural. All that strain that FBI people and the committee member had taken, at least a part of it might have rubbed on to their victims too. The committee members survived, since their numbers made the venom dilute on them. We have to note that of the listed all didn’t die, only few did. Some escaped (like Charlie Chaplin), some stayed and went into crash-diet for some time, before they got some bit parts in Broadway. May be these people were weaker, or they were selected to be made an example of, as a warning to others.

It could be like Alexander Litvinenko or Kim Jong-Nam. With the machinery in right hands these too could have been heart/attack or stroke. Unfortunately they died in enemy country, where even heart-attack/ stroke could be proved to be poisoning. Of course in these cases it was supposed to be actual.

But in my case, four at the same time (within about six months)? It just rankles.

Though this might look to be communist manifesto, but I am not communist. In fact I am quite colourless (Black? may be, after all I try to assimilate whatever I can, and the attitude above does show the ‘noir’ in me). I believe all men (or women) are not equal, and shouldn’t be treated as such either. The inequality of course isn’t by birth, race or creed, but by nature.

Just today’s news shows that in one of the premier tests (JEE- the admission tests for the premier Engineering colleges), for the first time in history a boy got cent percent (600/600) marks. This boy is from the so called deprived caste (which we call a Dalit), which was told in the last sentence (which didn’t have any merit- the sentence, not the boy), that the boy was highest ranked among the candidates of the Scheduled Caste communities. Now one who is highest rank overall with a record can be anything else?  The father isn’t a rich man, from a mid-middle income group, a compounder in a hospital.

A flash in the pan? May be, after all exceptions prove the rule. But if there are more than one exceptions? Will the rule of “caste” superiority stand? What if his elder brother is studying medicine in AIIMS (it is several times more difficult to get an admission into it). With both the siblings at this level of excellence, the rule becomes obsolete.

Those who are not privileged, either naturally or financially, need a minimum subsistence, even if it is more than they deserve, if they are shedding enough sweat. A minimum amount to survive. We have to remember that their progenies could be one of the above. Einstein’s father wasn’t a nobel-able scientist, nor his son was.

People with need, whatever type of need it may be, need to be listened and sympathetically considered. We need not agree or give way to the demands, but listening is paramount, with a clear body language that we are ready to consider if justified, and should strive to do so too (not only act, but action too is necessary). Communism may not have a place in human society, but socialism has, where society has to adopt these persons. But we don’t listen, they think we are not sympathetic.  We start prosecuting them (as in the above cases, and much earlier, infamous Haymarket Incident, a joke on justice system) and then the heart-burn spreads into other types of fire.

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Technocrat, now with age have reached corporate management cadre. Love reading and quite a bit of movies. But both these are limited to slow and enjoyable - wine (which includes obviously technical) and dislike or rather hate the current- whiskey.

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