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Monday, December 21, 2009

My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul

Times of India(blog)
Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

Tarun Vijay

I am not Khan. My name bears a different set of four letters: K A U L. Kaul. As those who know Indian names would understand I happened to be born in a family which was called Hindu by others. Hence, we were sure, we would never get a friend like KJ to make a movie on our humiliations, and the contemptuous and forced exile from our homeland. It's not fashionable. It's fashionable to get a Khan as a friend and portray his agony and pains and sufferings when he is asked by a US private to take off his shoes and show his socks. Natural and quite justifiable that Khan must feel insulted and enraged. Enough Masala to make a movie.


But unfortunately I am a Kaul. I am not a Khan.


Hence when my sisters and mothers were raped and killed, when six-year-old Seema was witness to the brutal slaughtering of her brother, mother and father with a butcher's knife by a Khan, nobody ever came to make a movie on my agony, pain and anguish, and tears.


No KJ would make a movie on Kashmiri Hindus. Because we are not Khans. We are Kauls.


When we look at our own selves as Kauls, we also see a macabre dance of leaders who people Parliament. Some of them were really concerned about us. They got the bungalows and acres of greenery and had their portraits were worshipped by the gullible devotees of patriotism.


They made reservations in schools and colleges for us. In many many other states. But never did they try that we go back to our homes. They have other priorities and 'love your jihadi neighborhood' programmes. They get flabbier and flabbier with the passing of each year, sit on sacks of sermons; issue instructions to live simply and follow moral principles delivered by ancestors and kept in documents treated with time-tested preservatives.


They could play with me because my name is Kaul. And not Mr Khan. I saw the trailer to this fabulous movie, which must do good business at the box office.


There was not even a hint that terror is bad and it is worse if it is perpetuated in the name of a religion that means Peace. Peace be upon all its followers and all other the creatures too.


So you make a movie on the humiliation of taking off shoes to a foreign police force which has decided not to allow another 9/11.


The humiliation of taking off the shoes and the urge to show that you are innocent is really too deep. But what about the humiliation of leaving your home and hearth and the world and the relatives and wife and mother and father? And being forced to live in shabby tents, at the mercy of nincompoop leaders encashing your misery and bribe-seeking babus? And seeing your daughters growing up too sudden and finding no place to hide your shame?


No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie, a telling, spine-chilling narration on the celluloid, of five-year-old Seema, who saw her parents and brother being slaughtered by a butcher's knife in Doda. Because her dad was not Mr Khan. He was one Mr Kaul.


Sorry, Mr Kaul and your entire ilk. I can't help you.


It's not fashionable to side with those who are Kauls. And Rainas. And Bhatts. Dismissively called KPs. KPs means Kashmiri Pandits. They are a bunch of communalists. They were the agents of one Mr Jagmohan who planned their exodus so that Khans can be blamed falsely. In fact, a movie can be made on how these KPs conspired their own exile to give a bad name to the loving and affectionate Khan brothers of the valley.


To voice the woes of Kauls is sinful. The right course to get counted in the lists of the Prime Minister's banquets and the President's parties is to announce from the roof top: hey, men and ladies, I am Mr Khan.


The biggest apartheid the state observes is to exclude those who cry for Kauls, wear the colours of Ayodhya, love the wisdom of the civilisational heritage, dare to assert as Hindus in a land which is known as Hindustan too and struggle to live with dignity as Kauls. They are out and exiled. You can see any list of honours and invites to summits and late-evening gala parties to toast a new brand. All that the Kauls are allowed is a space at Jantar Mantar: shout, weep and go back to your tents after a tiring demonstration. Mr Kaul, you have got a wrong name.


A dozen KJs would fly to take you atop the glory - posts and gardens of sympathies if you accept to wear a Khan name and love a Sunita, Pranita, Komal or a Kamini. Well, here you have a sweetheart in Mandira. That goes well with the story.


And you pegged the movie plot on autism.


I wept. It was too much. I wept as a father of a son who needed a story as an Indian. Who cares for his autistic son, his relationship with the western world, his love affair with a young sweet something as a human, as someone whose heart goes beyond being a Hindu, a Muslim or a proselytizing Vatican-centric aggressive soul. Not the one who would declare in newspaper interviews: "I think I am an ambassador for Islam". Shah Rukh is Shah Rukh, not because he is an ambassador for Islam. If that was true, he could have found a room in Deoband. Fine enough. But he became a heartthrob and a famousl star because he is a great actor. He owes everything he has to Indians and not just to Muslims. We love him not because he is some Mr Khan. We love him because he has portrayed the dreams, aspirations, pains, anguish and ups and downs of our daily life. As an Indian. As one of us.


If he wants to use our goodwill and love for strengthening his image as an ambassador for Islam, will we have to think to put up an ambassador for Hindus? That, at least to me, would be unacceptable because I trust everyone: a Khan or a Kaul or a Singh or a Victor. Who represents India represents us all too, including Hindus. My best ambassadorship would be an ambassadorship for the tricolour and not for anything else because I see my Ram and Dharma in that. I don't think even an Amitabh or a Hritik would ever think in terms Shah Rukh has chosen for himself. But shouldn't these big, tall, successful Indians who wear Hindu names make a movie on why Kauls were ousted? Why Godhra occurred in the first place? Why nobody, yes, not a single Muslim, comes forward to take up the cause of the exiled and killed and contemptuously marginalized Kauls whereas every Muslim complainant would have essentially a Hindu advocate to take on Hindus as fiercely as he can?


If you are Mr Khan and found dead on the railway tracks, the entire nation would be shaken. And he was also a Rizwan. May be just a coincidence that our Mr Khan in the movie is also a Rizwan.


Rizwan's death saw the police commissioner punished and cover stories written by missionary writers. But if you are a Sharma or a Kaul and happened to love an Ameena Yusuf in Srinagar, you would soon find your corpse inside the police thana and NONE, not even a small-time local paper would find it worthwhile to waste a column on you. No police constable would be asked to explain how a wrongly detained person was found dead in police custody?


Because the lover found dead inside a police thana was not Mr Khan. No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie on 'My name is Kaul. And I am terror-struck by Khans'.


Give me back my identity as an Indian, Mr. Khan and I would have no problem even wearing your name and appreciating the tender love of an autistic son.

7 comments:

Lalit Koul said...

Dear Tarun Ji,
You have hit the nail right on the head. Filmmakers like KJ will never have the courage to show the truth. They are more comfortable rubbing their shoulders with Khans than using their medium to highlight the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits i.e., Kauls, Bhats, Rainas, Dhars et al.

Thank you for doing what you do BEST !!!

Best regards
Lalit

G said...

Why is this disease unique to our ELM intellectuals? Because they start education in English. Remove English in first standard and 90% of this disease will be cured. This education system teaches to treat India and Indian majority as stupid and immoral savages - hence this revulsion for everything Indian and its major religion.

Hiteshwar Bhakhri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sgk said...

Tarun
Kudos for a hard-hitting and thought provoking article! How I wish I could give words to the same emotions that I have which you have expressed so well!
It is high time Indians 'woke' ( yes, they are still sleeping and blissfully unaware of goings-on in the rset of the world! and have not woken up despite clarion call after clarion call by the likes of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo etc. have fallen on 'Kumbhakarna' ears!) to the reality of true secularism vs phony ones!
Regards
SG Kalwad

saggirex said...

Tarun ji, Pranam.

Its really great to read such articles which highlight the plights of Kashmiri pandits and expose the media apathy towards this issue.

But, I have few questions in my mind, which can be answered by you.

1. What is the stand of BJP/RSS on article 370 abolishion.?

BJP conveniently forgot the issue during NDA rule on the pretext of stable govt and blah blah.

2.What is RSS doing on ground level and helping KP cause?

3.Are they highlighting their cause in proper forum to get justice?

4. I have never heard this issue raised in parliament in recent days. Not even by BJP.

Exile of KP is the result of biggest state sponsered Ethenic cleansing and our right wing organisations who supports hindu cause are lagging behind Abrahmic media and organisation.

Its hightime, RSS should take up this issue as a mission.(why can't they take up this issue as a mission?)

I wish i could get a reply from you on the subject and raised questions.

Thanks once again for the article.

Andrew said...

Tarun this is a funny article.. i enjoyed reading it. You do seem to have issues with the Khans eh lol. However do you remember Graham Steins?

Andrew said...

I do hope you allow contrary views to get published on your blog. You must be democratic.