Skip to main content

Nasiruddeen Shah "mustn't" stop speaking: Silence in these times would be "criminal"

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
What Naseeruddin Shah said the other day was the reflection of the fear humanists and secularists have in all those societies which are today polarising on religious identities. It is easier to get around that and cry. The cinema in India has remained a vehicle for the Brahmanical hegemony over culture till date, with its leading lights behaving spinelessly before the power-that-be, even as getting benefits from it.
But why does it shock us when he says: "Death of a cow is more important than death of a police officer?" What is wrong in this statement? Hasn't the Uttar Pradesh government showed its callous attitude on the issue? Two young sons of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh -- who was murdered by Hindutva-inspired goons having open allegiance to Bajrang Dal -- have spoken of the threat to their lives and their mother.
More than 50 Muslims and Dalits have been killed in cow-related lynching cases, but there is not a single conviction so far. The trial court hearing to the Sohrabuddin case, meanwhile, has released all the accused, with the judge apologizing to the family that there was not enough evidence to punish the accused.
Our jails are filled with Muslims, Dalits and Adivasi activists, and Hindutva goons have a free day to kill, lynch anything, challenge the Constitution openly, with complete immunity. In such a situation, any right-thinking person would say what Naseeruddin Shah has said.
Things become more for difficult for people like him, because they say things openly, pointing out that their children got secular education, that time and again they have spoken out against evils within the Muslims community. But then Hindutva politics doesn't bother about your political ideology; it only identifies your birth-based identity.
A Muslim, in their scheme of things, has no right to speak about India. Naseeruddin Shah, after speaking on the fear about his children, has become a 'Muslim' for them, and that too may be 'anti-national'. Some are asking him questions about Rohingiyas, others about Islamic countries, as if he is their spokesperson!
The whole thinking of Hindutva and the politicians inspired by it is to defend all the rubbish and continue to flood India with their idiocies so that people don't discuss any other things but fall in their trap.
One has to only see how different voices in their party are now giving different castes to Hindu God Hanuman. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister started it by suggesting that Hanuman was a Dalit, followed by a Hindutva Muslim leader suggesting that Hanuman was a Muslim, as he has a 'man' in his name, adding, only Muslims have 'man' in their names -- Salman, Rehman, Suleiman, and so on. Another joker was not to left behind; he came out with a new idea that Hanuman must have been a Jaat. Now these are the political discourses in India which reflect the situation and the level of our discourses. Surely, all this is deliberate.
The Brahmanical media is doing its duty. It must to protect the Brahmanical system. So, it dutifully paints things entirely differently. It would raise the question as to why Naseeruddin Shah spoke like that. "People of India give these Muslims so much of respect and yet they speak like Pakistanis", they suggest, as if Muslims have no right to speak, question or fight for their rights.
That is where Hindutva protagonists have taken every debate in India to, with the active support of the corrupted media houses and their doubly corrupt anchors. They want to debate India in the Hindu-Muslim binary, which suits the power elite among Hindus and Muslims, while all those who speak from a caste angle are sidelined. The 'secularist' media too falls in this trap, because a majority of the bosses in these secular houses are Brahmanical in nature and avoid speaking beyond these binaries.
Now we are hearing lots of issues being raised about Naseeruddin Shah. He can't move out as there are protests. His travel to Ajmer has been cancelled. He is being abused and condemned. This unashamed trolling is the biggest contribution of the Sanghi-inspired online rogues, who want rights of immigrants and minorities in the developed world, but don't want this for others.
Naseeruddin Shah and others must not stop. Everything is political, and they must stand for secular voices for social justice and social change. They should continue, regularly speak on such issues which confront the nation. The trolls want them not to speak, and it is time they mount their attack against such goons, who want every saner voice to get silenced. We must not remain silent, as silence in these times would only be criminal.
---
*Well-known human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.