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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Has the war on terror provoked a clash of civilisations?

Jaipur, Jan 26 (IANS) The war on terror has provoked a clash of civilisations, agreed a majority of the 600-odd people taking part in the closing debate of the five-day Jaipur Literature Festival on the sprawling lawns of the Diggy Palace here। The debate on the motion “The War on Terror Has Provoked a Clash of Civilisations” was anchored by television presenter and journalist Barkha Dutt Sunday night।
The panellists included journalist-commentator M।J. Akbar, political analyst Swapan Dasgupta, Pakistan-based author Mohammed Hanif, commentator Ashish Nandy, historian-writer Simon Schama, journalist and political activist Tarun Vijay, Paris-based political commentator and India expert Christophe Jaffrelot and author Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
M।J. Akbar, while disagreeing with the motion, struck a patriotic note in keeping with the spirit of the Republic Day Monday।

“I will defend the human rights enshrined in the constitution till death, but those rights apply only to those citizens of the country who swear by the constitution and not to terrorists,” the columnist-political commentator and editor said, denouncing terrorism and its perpetrators।

According to Akbar, the war on terror or “rather war on terrorists”, as he corrected the house, could tie the Muslim world with one ribbon।

“But Islam is singular and Muslims are multiple। People have different dynamic intent and the war on terror, which was coined by former US president George W। Bush, is a clash against civilisation. One must remember that Islam, as a religion, is 1,400 years old, whereas Fascism, which came to the world with Mussolini, is only 90 years old. Why do you blame Islam for the sins of the Muslims?” he argued.

Emotions scaled a high when Tarun Vijay, former editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece Panchajanya and director of the Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, switched to a rigid pro-Hindu mode to agree with the motion, saying the war on terror had opened up a clash of civilisations।

“I am and will remain a Hindu। A Hindu civilisation versus the barbarism of the Wahhabis is not a clash, but a defence of the civilisation by one country against fundamentalism. It is an internal clash of the other kind. The war on terror has provoked an introspection in the Hindu society on why we are being killed,” he said.

Wahhabism is a conservative form of Sunni Islam, attributed to Muhammed ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, an 18th century scholar from Saudi Arabia, who advocated that Muslims across the world return to the practices of the first three generations of Islamic practitioners।

Swapan Dasgupta said the war on terror needed to be modified and made more effective so that it does not become a self-fulfilling prophecy because “there is a civilisational schism that already exists”।

Noted historian and writer Simon Schama, the author of the book “The American Future: A History”, felt that the war on terror was a colluded war of convenience and “an empty sententious platitude” coined by Bush।

“It is like a crass B-grade movie that has its roots in the ancient western history which begins with accounts of hatred between the Persians and the Greeks - an irreconcilable detestation between one group of god believers against the other।”

The debate was hosted by Intelligence Squared, a Britain-based public debating society founded six years ago. It also operates in New York and Sydney.
The society attracts high-profile speakers to debates and discourses on current geopolitical and global issues, which are usually broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)। The motion on “War on Terror…” in Jaipur was filmed for NDTV.

The concept of the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ was propounded by American political scientist Samuel J. Hungtinton, whose work “Clash of Civilizations”, a thesis of the post-cold war geopolitical order, changed the way the world looked upon terror. He died Dec 24, 2008.

17th Basanta Milan Function of Rastradeep

'Rastradeep' celebrated its 17th Basanta Milan function on 1st February 2009 at Barabati Stadium Club House in a grand way. Eminent educationist of Orissa Prof. Rajat Kumar Kar and Director of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation Shri Tarun Vijay graced the function as Chief-Guest and Chief-Speaker respectively.
Prof. Kar criticised Minority Appeasement being done in the name of Securism. He also castigated the homosexuality and Gay marriages. He expressed his opposition to modern materialistic life that makes society dehumanised.
Chief Speaker Tarun Vijay paid glowing tribute to the rich history and cultural life of Katak. But he wondered if this cultural and spiritual atmosphere can survive facing external conspiracies to reduce Hindus and the assaults of Jehad . He gave the example of Kabul, Kashmir and Sindhu Valley which were the cradle of Aryan civilization but now they have been turned into playing ground of Islamists. So he warned if Orissa doesnt stand up and spread awakening it will not be possible to safeguard the unique cultural and spiritual life of Orissa . He lauded the role of Rastradeep in making people aware and conscious of their cultural moorings.
The Function was presided over by Dr. Shyam Sundar Mishra. Editor Jagabandhu Mishra introduced the guests and Sub-Editor Shiva Narayan Singh proposed the vote of thanks. On this occasion Director of All India Radio, Joranda Centre Dr. Krutibas Nayak and Editor of 'Samay' Sri Chandrabhanu Pattnaik were felicitated for their contribution in the field of literature and journalism. Various Columinists, best reporter and agents of Rastradeep were also given awards.Sri Tarun Vijay also addressed a meeting at Bhubaneswar on 2nd February, where, readers of Rastradeep had assembled. It was presided over by Sri Jagabandhu Mishra, Eminent journalist Sri Barendra Krushna Dhal speaking as Chief Guest castigated the yellow journalism by a section of media for misrepresenting the Kandhamal episode and tarnishing the image of Orissa. Sri Tarun Vijay said that the Indian cultural, religious places and religious leaders are facing treat. It is a duty of every Indian to save them from the onslaught.He urged for the creation of powerful and proud India.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ammi- Jansatta-22 February 2009


r:.k fot;


tscqfUulk dk csVk Ng lky ckn lgh lyker vkSj [kq”k feykA os rks mEehn gh NksM+ cSBs FksA csVs ds fcNqM+us dk xe D;k gksrk gS ;g dksbZ eka ls gh iwNsA vc og ml eka ds lkFk gS ftlus ml ikyk&ikslkA vnkyr dk Hkh fny ilht x;kA uUgha lh tku A vEeh ds ikl Hkh tk,xkA ij eu yxk ;”kksnk ds lkFk] A dkUgk uanxkao gh jgsxkA nsodh dks bruk gh lq[k eu dks gj’kk,xk fd csVk gS vkSj lgh] lykerA

        D;k bl eka ds nq[k vkSj lq[k] csVs dks xys yxkus dk eu vkSj meM+rh eerk etgc dh js[kkvksa ls cka/kh tk ldrh gS\ csVs ds jgus ;k u jgus dk lq[k vkSj nq[k tks fgUnw&eqlyeku esa ckaV dj ns[ks mlls cM+k dksbZ ikih ugha gks ldrk gSA D;k gekjs fy, fgUnqLrkuh gksuk gh cgqr ugha\ Ik;kZIr ugha\ fgUnqLrkuh gksus ds ckn Hkh cM+h tkr] NksVh tkr] Bkdqj vkSj Hkwfegkj vkSj nfyr vkSj fgUnw ;k eqlyeku nksukas ;g crkuk vkSj trkuk [kq”kh vkSj xe ds fy, D;ksa t:jh cu tkrk gS\

        ,d dks dgk tkrk gS xqtjkr naxs vkSj nwljs dks flQZ xks/kjk jsy nq?kZVukA oSls xks/kjk Hkh xqtjkr esa gh gS] ij ml nq?kZVuk dks xqtjkr ds lkFk tksM+ dj ns[kuk xqukg eku fy;k x;k gSA orZeku lsdqyj lckc dk eqn~nk flQZ bruk Òj gS fd gj lwph] “kksd]  J)katfy vkSj xqLls ls xks/kjk y¶t feVk fn;k tk,A os rks [kqn gh ejs gksaxsA yEiV FksA flQZ dwM+kA dkjlsod FksA fiNys LVs”ku ij pk; ysrs gq, cnrehth dh FkhA mUgsa [kqn muds usrkvksa us ekjk gksxkA

    lkr lky gks x,A ;gh Qjojh FkhA lkcjerh ,DlizslA rkjh[k Fkh 27A os fgUnqLrkuh FksA dgha ls Hkh vk jgs gksa] blls D;k muds ftUnk jgus ds gd ij dksbZ QdZ iM+uk pkfg,\

7-43 cts lqcg lkcjerh ,Dlizsl xks/kjk LVs”ku ij :dhA pkj ?kaVk nsjh ls igqaph Fkh] ojuk Bhd le; rks eqag va/ksjs vkus dk Fkk & rc  pkjksa vksj jkr dk vkye gksrkA ckn esa yksxksa us dgk] vPNk gqvk nsjh ls vkbZ] jks”kuh gks x;h FkhA ojuk tkus vkSj fdruk cq+jk gksrkA

eka dh xksn esa cPps dh nsg feyh Fkh] tyh gqbZ dks;yk cuhA vkf[kjh yEgksa esa eka us D;k lkspk gksxk\ dgha ls dksbZ f[kM+dh [kqy tk,] A eSa Hkys gh jk[k gks tkÅa ij ml f[kM+dh ls cPps dks rks ckgj dj nwa& cp rks tk,A dksbZ Hkh iky ysxkA eSa Hkys gh jgwa u jgwa & cPpk cpk jgsA

dksbZ ugha cpk FkkA

    xks/kjk LVs”ku rd lc Bhd&Bkd FkkA xkM+h vkxs c<+rs gh fMCcksa ij iRFkj Qsads tkus yxs] lokfj;ksa us Mj dj f[kM+fd;ka candj yh FkhaA IysVQkeZ ls lkS xt vkxs pydj xkM+h :d x;hA jsyos iqfyl us xkM+h ds nksuks vksj ls iRFkj Qsad jgh HkhM+ ij ykfB;ka cjlk dj mUgsa frrj&fcrj dj fn;kA xkM+h fQj pyh ij dqN gh feuVksa ckn dbZ fM+Ccksa ls ,d lkFk psu [khaph x;ha] A lkrsd lkS ehVj vkxs py dj xkM+h fQj :d x;hA djhc gtkj yksxksa dh HkhM+ us jsy xkM+h dks ?ksj fy;k FkkA ,l 6 vkSj ,l 7 dks tksM+us okyh oSD;we ikbi dkV nh x;h] nksuksa esa vkx yxk;h& ,d esa lokfj;ka cq>k ik;ha] nwljs esa& ,l 6 esa tc jk[k gks x,A flQZ 20&25 feuV dk Fkk ekeykA vV~Bkou yksx& ftuesa 27 efgyk,a vkSj nl cPps Fks & ty ejsA


cl blh loky dk tokc pkfg,\

bl loky ds tokc esa feyrk gS flQZ lUukVkA


ftl fnu xks/kjk gqvk] 11 cts esjs fe= lEiknd dk Qksu vk;k Fkk] mUgsa Hkh iwjh tkudkjh ugha fey ik;h FkhA vxys fnu ds v[kckj vHkh rd lgst dj j[ks gSaA mlds ckn okys fnu ds v[kckj Hkh j[ks gSaA fdlh us Hkh] fdlh Hkh iafDr esa ;g ugha fy[kk Fkk fd ejus okys fgUnw Fks vkSj ekjus okys eqlyekuA iwjs ns”k esa dgha dksbZ HkRlZuk] fuank] LrC/krk] nq[k] vkب'k] ds c;ku ugha NisA ekuks dqN ,slk gqvk gh u gks ftl ij dqN dgk tk,A


vkSj mlds ckn\ gka iafDr esa] gj lsdqyj v[kckj vkSj pSuy us fgUnw&eqlyeku dj fn;kA dslfj;k iêh yxk, og nfjUnk vkSj gkFk tksM+s vka[kksa esa vkalw fy, izk.kkas dh Hkh[k ekaxrk og nthZA cl bl ,d fp= us og bfrgkl fy[k fn;k tks d”ehjh fgUnw ej dj bTtr xaok yqVk dj Hkh u fy[k ik, FksA

xks/kjk esa tks ejs os dkSu Fks\

muds uke\ muds fj”rsnkj\ dkSu x;k muls feyus Hkh\ mudk ftØ rd djrs os Hkh ldqpk dj cxysa >kadrs gSa ftu ij lkEiznkf;d gksus dk BIik yxk gksrk gSA

     jktusrkvksa dks Hkyk dc ;kn j[kuk iM+k gS fd muds fy, fdlus dc tku nh\

,d psgjk rks ,slk crk nks tks v;ks/;k esa ekjs x, dkjlsodksa dh la[;k crk lds\

fdrus ejs ;g Hkh ;kn j[kuk t:jh ughaA uke dh rks ckr gh tkus nhft,A 30 vDVwcj v©j 2 uoEcj dh xksyhckjh viuh vka[kksa ls ns[kh gS& ?kjksa ls ckgj fudky fudky dj jke “kjn vkSj muds tSls nhokuksa dks flj esa xksfy;ka ekjh FkhaA ckyk”kadj esjs lkFk Fks] A dkjlsodksa dks ftl us xksfy;ka ekjh Fkh ml [kkdh onhZ okys dk psgjk bl ftUnxh esa gh ugha vxys tUe¨a rd flQZ uQjr ls ;kn d:axkA ges i=dkj tkudj og NksM+ x;k FkkA lj;w es yk”ksa] A jsgfM+;ksa ij ynh gqbZ yk”ksaA gekjs cPps Fks osA gekjs ?kj dsA tks flQZ lR;kxzg ds fy, x, FksA mUgsa ekjus okyksa dh rjDdh ds fy, flQkfj”k djus okys T;s’B& Js’B yksxA dye Hkh fcØh] jktuhfr HkhA lc pqi gS& lj tkus Hkh nhft, uA

   feV~Vh dk Hkh eksy gksrk gS ij jktusrk dh vihy dk rks eksy ml feV~Vh ds cjkcj Hkh ugha fudyrkA

xks/kjk D;ksa gqvk Fkk\

   D;ksafd 6 fnlEcj gqvk Fkk blfy,\ fdruk [krjukd gS ;g tokc& tkurs gSa vki\ d”ehj esa 172 efUnjksa ds rksM+s tkus dh lwph ds ckn fQj D;k djsa\

     Lkcls T;knk uQjr QSykrs os D;ksa fn[krs gSa tks veu ds bf”rgkj Nkik djrs gSa\

Ckjcl ukfLrd gks tkus dks th pkgrk gSA ij og Hkh rks ,d vyx fdLe dh vkLFkk gh rks gqbZ uk\ efUnj efLtn u gks] ij Hkkjr [kq”kgky] ,d jgs rks fdldk uqdlku gksxk\

 jked`’.k ijegal us dgk Fkk & thcsj lsck] f”kcsj lsckA ;kuh euq’; dh lsok f”ko dh lsok gSA egkf”kojkf= Hkh fudV gh gSA f”ko ik[k.Mh deZdkf.M;ksa ls izlUu gksaxs ;k bZekunkj dlkbZ ls tks f”kofyax dks cês ds rkSj ij bLrseky djrs gq, ekal rkSyrk Fkk\


     D;k vEeh ds eu dk nnZ xks/kjk ;k xqtjkr esa QdZ dj ldrk gS\ fnYyh ds lsdqyj djrs gSaA eq>s ugha ekyqe xks/kjk ds f”kdkj cPpksa vkSj cM+ksa ds ?kj okyksa ls fdrus yksx dc vkSj dSls feys gksaxsA

vEeh ;kuh tscqfUulk dks lkFk esa ysdj tkuk pkfg,A

    ckj&ckj jke th ;kn vkrs gSa] bdcky us mUgsa bekes fgUn dgk rks fdlh us cqjk ugha ekukA ij ge t; Jhjke dgrs Fks rks tsy es Mky nsrs FksA fo’.kqdkar “kkL=h th jkr Hkj iSny py dj feV~Vh esa lus ikao fy, v;ks/;k igqaps FksA

 ^dsruk ej xÃyu] dsruk th;yu] ,dj ds ds ijokg ckA cl gekj caXyk] xkM+h vmj pquko Bhd g¨ tk,] r v¨gh esa gekj fnYyh ckA*

,d u;k /kekZUrj.k vfHk;ku py jgk gSA muds tSlh Hkk’kk cksyks] muds tSlh eqgkojsa bLrseky djks] rc i ,ulhlh esa HkrhZ gsrq izksRlkfgr fd;k tkrk FkkA ckSf)d laokn dsoy vaxzsth esa fd;k tk; vkSj chp&chp esa vaxzsth oSls Bwlh tk, tSls okbljk; ds egy esa x.kifr fn[kk djrs FksA budh Hkk’kk gj ml vkxzgh fgUnwqRofu’B ds fy, rstkc esa Mwch xkyh xy©t Hkjh g¨rh gSA tSls frjaxs ij pdz vkSj yky irkdk ij ÅWa] oSls buds lsdqyj >.M+s ij xqykch pM~ fyft, dh vki dk lsdqyj cifrLek gks x;kA

   vEeh dk tgku] bu lc ls ijs gSA gekjh vEeh vkSj vkik ,slh gh gqvk djrh gSaA





Friday, February 13, 2009

The new proselytisers

Tarun Vijay
Nandita Das created a stir by scripting and directing Firaaq. It's a soul-stirring movie. The director and the scriptwriter, Nandita has tried to be as honest and candid with the celluloid as her deep-rooted commitment to her political ideology. Terrifyingly impressive was the way she used the silence as a tool to etch her message on the spectators' minds disturbing the perceptional status quo. The actors lived the characters they were explained to represent. And she admits frankly, 'it's a political movie'.
As a filmmaker and a journalist, I would give her full marks for a political statement that has been registered so strongly that this film is going to have better effect than a hundred thousand peoples' gathering.
Surely, more than a movie it's a political statement. She is a person, with strong colours of ideology and she has done what she thought she must do. Firaaq will certainly get rave reviews in the Indian media. Already she has received quite a few international awards, and like Slum dog Millionaire, it has passed the test through firang eyes and hence must be all the more acceptable to the 'progressive secular, peace loving' people here who have a large, global heart and express their feelings in English.
Apart from its technical qualities of cinematography, editing, direction and script it almost convinced me that barbarism begins with Hindus.
There would be a couple of critical articles or comments, if any of the secular press tsar cares to publish them, criticizing the movie on ideological points or for the depiction of the events, which they may find completely wrong and devastatingly hateful. They will forget that this is a political movie that would sell, as the west firang lands needs a Jamal or a Mohsin to be rewarded to help them cover the feelings emerged post nine eleven in the Bush era. Having heard Nandita on the movie and seeing the clips, I too would have converted to her views if the Godhra incident was not vividly clear in my mind.
I would have turned to take Nandita's autographs with a sense of admiration if I had not heard the cries of Seema, whose father, mother and brother were slaughtered with butcher's knife in Doda, before her eyes, when she was barely seven, in the name of a Jihad, my secular friends interpret differently। I tried to ask a question- who were those Hindus killed and brutalized barbarically during Gujarat riots? Its impossible for me to keep mum or justify what happened post Godhra, which saw innocent Muslims being killed so ghastly that no words are enough to express that hurt. The colour of the tears of a mother, whether Hindu or a Muslim are alike. But dividing dead bodies and deciding levels of mourning on the basis of their faith should be as unacceptable as the killings of the innocent citizens. Killing truth and colouring facts must also be called as a pogrom of civility. Nandita has done exactly that. Pray , why? So If I can admire her qualities of script writing and her directorial debut, shouldn't I be expected to appreciate, on the same level of objectivity, the organisational capabilities, commitment to the ideology and the power to motivate-even well educated- as exhibited in the personae of Osama bin Laden? Or should the motive and the message should also be a factor to print our appreciative hymns? And shouldnt the timing she has chosen to release the movie-just before the elections be also noticed and underlined? In fact the secular messengers of new gospel of hate have turned into the aggressive proselytisers setting their worldview as a prerequisite to enter any socio-political or literary regime. They have successfully monopolized the world of various media establishing English as the only vehicle of intellectual discourse thus keeping the doors to higher echelons of elite and decision makers shut to those who belong to the Indian language groups and represent the real ethos of the land. Though to make profits, these very secular groups would sell Bhajans and show religious serials while attacking the very spirit and the protective shields to such a tradition in the very next programme. They can't imagine winning votes with speeches in English or going to the common voter with a wine glass or a beer bottle in their hands. Yet, in their social circuit, they would raise the flag of pub-culture and look at Indian language speaker with the contempt of a British sergeant. Just have a look at the loan forms of the banks. The last paragraph says-those blind, illiterate or signing in a vernacular language must get their signatures attested by someone who knows English. Can this kind of an instruction be tolerated in UK or US for their national languages? Even using the word 'vernacular' for the national languages is a colonial and a derogatory one. But who cares? They look at Indians as slum dogs, are alien to the threads that weave a fabric called India and treat the 'natives' like Kipling's Ramu. So when a Diana came or any other western royalty comes, they are made to cuddle a slum dweller child with a running nose or taken to an orphanage for a photo op-showing western compassion for the underprivileged. Indian Prime Minister would be never asked to give alms to the homeless sleeping on the stairs of St. James in London or offer grants to an NGO in NY working for the victims of child abuse or the teenaged mothers. Compassion must remain virtue of the rich and powerful, you know.
It is this English speaking elite that determines what India must be reading or thinking or how Hindus must be behaving. They read about Hindus through Oxford or Cambridge publishers and show the temerity to sermonize those Hindus who have imbibed their Dharma in their genes and lived every bit of it, making Kumbh melas possible and taking dips in Ganga on the chilling mornings of Kartik and Magh. The secular proselytiser visits Kumbh, not as a devotee but as a photographer to take pictures of bathing Hindu women and sadhus using mobile phones, as if being sadhus they ought to live as cave men. The pictures they wire to press agencies are essentially depict the weird, intoxicated, obscene and the unacceptable face of uncivilized Hindus to the west.
They don't know a bit about our faith, or what Magh, Amavasya or Saptami means. They take Sanskrit degrees in English and tell us, what's the use of such knowledge in today's modern world? To be futuristic means denouncing all that you have preserved since ages. That's an alienated crowd of people with an accent, detached from Indian realities.
They tell us, you bad guys, you demolished our Babri. Yet, not a single political party can dare to promise in its election manifesto that if they are voted to power, they would re-construct Babri over the make shift temple of Ram in Ayodhya. Their influence on the Indian masses is hardly worth noticing, yet their control on media and political power centres make them important and be counted. Their intellectual terror is so overpowering that today most of the national parties in India work execute their proceedings in English. Poor and often unauthorized translations are dished out in Hindi or any other Indian language. The language, idioms and the attitude of this secular English speaking elite, controlling all the control boxes of media, advertisement and governance remains alien to the indigenous fragrances which they dismiss as folk or ethnic contours, only to be enjoyed in a Suraj Kund melas.
The secular code is-abuse and misrepresent the facts about the opponents, use a pub incident in Mangalore more importantly than the anguish and pains of the soldiers demonstrating at Jantar Mantar, turn every news desk and edit control station into Godhra-throttling the other view point, take salaries from those who provide huge donations to cow sheds in Rajasthan yet write columns on the most enjoyable beef in Mumbai. Lynching the other voice and launching pogrom of truth is the hallmark of the Anglicized secular power centers. Unless you convert to their view point and be ready to say 'build a toilet on Ramjanma Bhumi', delete Kashmiri Hindu woes from official list of concerns, forget Godhra victims treating them as expendable waste, ask questions about the motherhood of a Muthalik and front page it giving respectability to the Hon'ble Minister for Shopping and Cosmetics.These are the essentials one must have to get baptized in the brave new secular order.
One isolated incident of the Hindu right would become a globally circulated representative of the Hindu intolerance and terrorism. In fact these seculars are the most intolerant groups who would like to impose their worldview on others and the unyielding would find them charcoaled o their pages.
None of us accepted the way Mangalore happened. Who cares whether Valentine day is celebrated or not. If someone says to me 'happyValentine day', I will just smile and say-same to you. That's it. Those who find it a nice way to feel joy must be free to do so. But why I must say-'yes, the Valentine day is the biggest symbol of love, amity and happiness', and feel elated seeing obscenities on the streets to prove I am an educated modern person? To each one, his one. I must be ready to accept every happy occasion of any colour or faith or stream to smile and send compliments, but should it become as mandatory as a fatwa? If you have a freedom to celebrate a day, don't I have a freedom to express my opinion about it if I find it completely unacceptable to my values? But the secular fundamentalist wont let you have that freedom with his kind of moral policing.
Wait for the day they have turned into a day of Hindu-baiting, and any small time headline seeker would burn a card, or even intimate the media in advance, 'sir, I am burning a card to protect Indian culture, (like they protected our civilisation by beating girls in Mangalore), pl. mera picture lena'. And the entire media would oblige. It is this farce that has to be countered.
But my questions to those who use incidents like Gujarat riots for awards and rubbing salt on Hindu wounds, was -why forget Godhra and Doda and Anantnag and Kishtwar. And the way Maoists' kill commoners and the security persons in Maharashtra and Chattisgarh and 'use' their women cadre. They will never do that. In the case of Kashmiri Hindus, they wont like to earn displeasure of the Jihadi Muslims. And why should they portray Communists, their ideological friends in bad light?
I think it's self-defeating to react to such situations as a complainant. If you feel injustice has been done, prepare to counter the wrongs through legitimate instruments.
Nandita did what she felt was right and did it quite courageously without bothering what the other side would feel. What did you do to present Doda or Godhra to the world? Who stopped any other Indian to make a movie on the pains and sorrows of Seema or to document the desecration of temples in Kashmir and record the woes of Hindus who had to pass through weird massacres like the one we saw at Wandhama?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why are women always the target ?

Why are women always the target of these social disciplinarians?

Tarun Vijay February 02, 2009

If bra burning was the slogan of feminism in the sixties, should the neo-avatars of Simone de Beauvoir make 'I wanna pub honey,' the slogan of 2009? That too unlicensed, illegal pubs, entertaining under age youngsters to get a better 'high'?

The absurdity of blowing up the Mangalore pub incident can be understood only in one context -- it gave secularists another handle to portray the Hindu right in a light that is so dear to them.

Every media channel and magazine turned a Navin Chawla against ideological adversaries, passionately discussing the Mangalore pub incident and the rights of women, completely ignoring the significant protest rally of retired soldiers in Delhi that demanded equal pensions.

It is the same crowd that eulogised the martyrdom of Hemant Karkare, not because of their respect for soldiers, but because it again gave them a chance to pounce upon the Hindu right.

Mangalore should have got a stern warning by those who govern. If pubs are bad and sinful, legislate and stop them legally. Bad things can't be stopped through petty methods like pickpocketing. Be brave and forthright and stand tall on whatever you think is good for all. Face the criticism with aplomb and respond if you have to. But that needs commitment.

A clear, transparent force that lights and shows a path that is free from a pathologically hypocritical high moral ground. At least politicians of the contemporary variety shouldn't venture in a place that's just not meant for them -- public morality.

But while everyone would like to condemn the incident, the media's attitude must also be analysed. The media blew the incident as if a national calamity had occurred, instigated by the Hindu right and related its thread to Malegaon. The columns and comments on the 'grave threats posed by Hindu extremism' must also be analysed and the real motives exposed.

I am strongly opposed to those who create a meaningless fuss over Valentine's Day or create a nuisance like they did in Mangalore. But the selective memory loss of the secular moral preachers is intriguing when anything of the same variety involves Muslims.

Last month, some zealots in a Mumbai mall beat up a Pakistani Muslim girl. A news report read: 'A Pakistani national, Saba Najam, 22, was roughed up at Hypercity Mall in Malad last Monday after some people spotted a tattoo in Urdu on her back. Some women suddenly approached her and assaulted her over the tattoo, which read 'Shukr Alham Du Lillah' meaning 'Thank you, God.'

'Riyaz Ahmed Talukdar, a member of Jan Seva Sangh, a local NGO, had first spotted the tattoo on Saba's back and informed his mother, Shabana Talukdar. Riyaz said, "When I saw the tattoo I was furious as holy words from the Quran were on her back." Shabana, along with a few other women, then came to the mall in the next 15 minutes and slapped the girl several times before the mall management intervened. The incident scared the girl so much that she left for Pakistan on Friday.'

Did you read anything about it in your newspaper? Or a discussion on television channels? Were any of the Muslim clerics or the so-called liberal voices who came to Delhi in a trainload complaining why they were being labeled as 'terrorists', interviewed on the treatment meted out to a girl from a neighbouring Islamic republic by Mumbai's 'moral police'?

It is this attitude that also encourages some fringe elements like those whom we saw at Mangalore.

Surely nothing must defend one wrong by citing another wrong as an example. But politicians must govern and not preach. And pray, who do they think they are? Can they be entrusted the job of preparing a charter for citizen dharma? Should we accept an organisation like the Ram Sene to take it upon itself to impose its own variety of decency by beating girls?

So now, Hindu Dharma, which was defined and elaborated once upon a time by the likes of Swami Vivekananda and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan will have to be understood through the Mangalore beatings of girls by brave young exponents of some kind of a conduct they call 'culture'?

What are we up to and what do we want to achieve? Why are women always the target of these social disciplinarians? They beat them up, abuse them, tell them what to wear or not, be a nice housewife because that's what the 'religious ideal' is, be a mother and an obedient wife, go to places of worship and read the holy scriptures.

There is nothing wrong with that, but do these worthies have a right and a moral authority to tell women all these codes of conduct while they flounder and abuse every bit of simple, civil behaviour in their life?

But the media certainly loves such 'shows'. It had advance information about the pub-attack, still found it prudent to wait till the news was 'matured' through a well-orchestrated attack. If the media had informed authorities those hapless girls would have been saved from humiliation.

Some time back a protestor informed the media about his self-immolation bid in Chandigarh and the media faithfully recorded the event without even once trying to save the guy, who died within minutes before cameramen and correspondents. This is an issue involving media ethics, if they have any or believe they should have them. News or the call of human values?

The use of the word 'culture' for the habit of frequenting pubs is also intriguing. But the whole issue boils down to one point, if one dislikes a certain social behaviour, how should a protest for it be registered? The vegetarians protested when fried chicken ads were aired on television channels and even when the 'eat eggs daily' campaign was launched. If some like non-vegetarian food, those who find it disgusting and against their ethics, do have a right to show their displeasure, but the matter must take a civil course.

Surely going to pubs is a different matter altogether and a large number of people find it nauseatingly unacceptable as some opinion polls by leading newspapers have shown. So what is the solution? The state wants revenue by selling alcohol and licensing for pubs, but at the same time it frowns upon them to get space in newspapers. This duality won't work.

The best that can be done is to propagate alternative ideas of healthy drink. Encourage milk consumption and dairy products and establish more and more dairies like Gujarat has shown. There is complete prohibition in Gujarat and though there may be some breaches, it has certainly helped to bring down the consumption of alcohol to a great extent.

Those who claim they are the followers of Mahtama Gandhi or Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, must respect the law and Constitution of the nation. They have an obligation to lead by example.

I must quote an inspiring story from the life of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, who once refused to turn on a transistor to listen to the news while travelling in a train -- and he travelled third class most of the time -- because the license fee for using it was yet to be deposited. It was obligatory in those days to have a license for using a radio.

Yes, times have changed; yet, religious bigotry must not be accepted in any circumstances.

How many of these moral preachers understand the reality that the place of a woman can't be different than that of a man? Please give us clean drinking water, good primary schools, functional and caring public hospitals, a corruption free administration and enforce the law to save genuine cultural moors. That will be more than what a citizen would need under any party's pronouncedly benign and heavenly noble governance.

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