Skip to main content

Neo-blacks of Bharat? What happens when "libtard sickular" happens to be a Muslim

By Liaquath Mirza*
So, we have veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah in the news again. No, it's not in connection with any of his movie projects or even his personal life. He is in the news because he wronged the "right" with his 'intolerant' uttering on intolerance.
Aamir Khan had walked down the road, Shahrukh too did so, and even Naseer had done it earlier. While the 'stars' decided to touch the mute button on these touchy matters and generally observe the rule that 'silence is golden' on these matters, the 'actor' decided to voice his opinion once again. And, boy, did it invite the wrath and fury of a tropical cyclone?
Cyclone Phethai has hit the seas of internet and TV studios were flooded with deluge of debates, dissections and down right cacophony. Naseer was hounded for some more sound bites. One can see a sea of bile flowing through the gutters of twitter.
The project "us versus them" has reached its peak.What to do/now that the elections are round the corner? Alas, those had captured the power with the slogan "sab ka saath sab ka vikaas" can boast of neither. "Sab ka saath" was just a diplomatic jumla. A polite way of convincing the middles classes by donning the mask of moderation. An empty promise. If one looks closely at the slogan one notices that it comes with a 'conditions apply' asterisk attached. Condition being Muslims need not count on the Government's saath.
As for as the second part of the slogan, poor chaps in the power echelons did try every trick in the book to build the perception of development. There was the sudden announcement of demonetisation and rainbow dreams were woven around it. Our worthy prime minister even cracked jokes about common man's misery on foreign shores.
Lakhs of crores of black money was to be brought back into government coffers with this one stupendous move. One RBI governor was sent packing to pave the way for road roller of demonetisation . Another supposedly pliable one was brought on board who turned out to be not as palatable as expected to be so much later, the Gods of Delhi decided to spit him out.
The exercise proved to be a bigger flop than the "Thugs of Hindosthan". Figuratively speaking the thugs of Hindosthan were happily fleeing Indian shores finding luxurious shelters abroad, even acquiring new citizenships and generally leading their lavish lives of existence while the self-declared chowkidaar was caught napping.
The move it seemed to me was apparently inspired by a pedestrian potboiler movie from down south in which an 'economist' donning the beggar robes advocates demonetisation of high denomination notes to root out black money. Or was it done at the behest of a certain bright eyed, green behind the ears team of chartered accountants of Pune?
Anyway, the source of germination of this idea is not important. What is important is Mr Rambo 56 decided to carry out the surgical strike on black money with the precision of a hacker performing a delicate brain surgery. The result? Operation success patient dead.
Then came the GST and its shoddy implementation. The 'good and simple tax' turned out to be a nightmare for traders and businesses. Simple became a gargantuan complex maze with myriad layers of tax slabs ranging from 5 to 28 percent.
Rules got complicated, traders got confused and government machinery got muddled. The lawyer finance minister and the entire political science Prime Minister trundled on with brave faces singing bhajans of self-glorification. But masses were unimpressed. Downward slide at the hustings in elections after election left the Gentlemen of the Nagpur-controlled government worried.
So now the tried-and-tested trick of whipping up communal frenzy is hard at work in all quarters. Clashes of saffron and green at every 'adda' are manufactured, magnified and manipulated. The righteous right's favorite whipping boy, the Miyan Bhai, is paraded down the streets, lynched as and when necessary and generally shouted down from every pulpit (this includes Sambit Patra's comical shouts "Maulana baith ja" in TV rooms) for the centuries-old wrongs committed by his so-called 'ancestors'. Revenge served karma style.
The right wingers realised rather belatedly that flogging Dalits (literally and figuratively) would adversely impact their poll prospects. So they are forced to maintain a facade of "Hindu ekta" even though they may detest them in private. But when it comes to the Miyan men and women folk, they still need a villain to cast a shadow over their shortcomings of governance.
So the project polarization and the othering of Muslim monsters continues. The righteous right can't project centuries' old sense of victimhood without Muslims. Muslims are the very reason for their existence, in the first place.
If one has to win elections again then one has to project 'Babar ki aulad' as the villain of the piece for our great nation’s ills. Never mind the current failures of employment generation, agrarian distress, polluted rivers, toxic air and unkept promises of 15 lakh in every account.
Let's talk about Muslims and their misdemeanours is the refrain of TV channel debates. For every short coming of the government, there is the Muslim bogeyman that has to be dusted out, propped up from time to time and held accountable. Occasionally we will also resort to Nehru bashing in the process, but that is only a side dish, our main course is still the Muslim monster.
The nation does not need to know about real problems afflicting society. Muslim fodder will keep the debate mills on TVs and social media crunching, grinding and churning. The nation needs a 'tamasha', and skull cap wearing bearded Miyan Bhai puppets are the antagonists pitted against theatricals of a supposedly 56 inch chested and pot bellied ageing matinee idol and his cohorts. Bollywood block buster pot boiler in the making!
It is one thing when a libtard sickular dissents the present powers that be, but when that libtard happens to go by a Muslim name then all hell will break loose. The giant monster machine of propaganda starts whirring, purring and then roaring. All other noises of reason and logic get drowned under the loud clickety clack of this gargantuan transformer toy. Malice manufactured by it does the rounds of Twitter, then Facebook, and then WhatsApp before turning its gaze on TV rooms.
Naseeruddin Shah provided that machine with a perfect fodder that will probably last weeks before cogs in the machine slow down and come to a grinding halt. Now let us see what Naseer said in that ill fated interview given to karvan-e-mohabbat. Loosely translated it goes something like this:
"The poison of polarisation has spread far and wide and now it is difficult to put the Djinn back into the bottle again. There is complete immunity and sanction given to lumpen elements to take law into their own hands. Now death of a cow is given more importance than the death of a cop. I am worried about my children who, we brought up without any religion. I was taught about religion in my childhood but my wife Ratna grew up in a more liberal environment. 
"We both decided that we would not give our children religious education as it is our firm belief that being good or evil has nothing to do with religion instead we taught them about right and wrong. I am worried about my children in situations where mobs surround them and ask them if they are Hindu or Muslim because they are neither. They will not have an answer. I don't see any improvement happening in the foreseeable future. These matters don't scare me rather they make me angry. I feel every right thinking Indian should be angry and not feel scared. After all this nation is our home and who can dare evict us from our home."
Anupam Kher with Narendra Modi
Now any right thinking citizen should not have a problem with the angst and anger expressed by Naseeruddin Shah. Yes, he does exhibit a pessimistic outlook, but given the way lumpen elements have started occupying centrestage, that feeling is but natural. And yet the amount of viciousness unleashed on him actually validates his argument of hopelessness.
Now let us see a few gems of the vitriol. His colleague from the industry Anupam Kher, while grudgingly conceding that everyone has freedom to say whatever one wants to say, comes up with a bizarre logic of stating that our country has so much freedom that one can criticize the chief of air staff, pelt stones at armymen and abuse the army, how much more freedom does one need?
His bizarre logic confirms to the classic whataboutery of the right-wing arguments when they run out of logical arguments . He somehow equates mob lynching where the hapless victims are defenceless, with stone pelting against massive weapon wielding armed forces pitted against their own people.
He sees proportional relationship between a verbal criticism of the air chief to the killing of an innocent teenager on a train for wearing his religion on his head. His inverse world does not differentiate between a verbal abuse and a fatal killing of a cop.
A wannabe rookie leader Amit Jaani of UP Navnirman Sena looking for some limelight goes ahead and buys a one-way ticket to Pakistan for Naseeruddin Shah. The patriot is offended by anti-national utterings of a Miyan Bhai. I wonder if the genius really tried to understand what Naseer said and what was it that he found offensive to his patriotic sensibilities.
One smart alec on Twitter tweets: "This is the same guy who signed mercy petition of Yakub Menon. Problem is with you Mr Gulfam Hassan (a negative character portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah in a movie called "Sarfarosh". He plays the role of a Pakistani Ghazal singer with a grudge against India for partition woes).
The Twitter trigger happy bozo either can't differentiate between reel and real or thinks he is clever in finding a relationship between the two. Either way he fails to understand between what Naseer actually said and what he wanted to understand what Naseer said.
All sundry and sundry TV news channels exploded with gleeful debates with an eye on TRP ratings and the TV room cubby hole windows filled up with assorted characters drawn from across the spectrum of left to right, passing judgements in favour of and against Naseeruddin Shah.
Poor Naseer was hounded again and again for some more sound bites to dig a deeper trench of controversy and ridicule. This tragi comedy circus will continue to hound the viewers until the TV worthies move on to another scapegoat and another spectacle.
I don't know in which context Samuel Johnson said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel", but the saying suits to a T for our present times of mindless debates invoking nationalism and dragging the armed forces into every argument.
While the space of dissent for all right thinking Indians has shrunk substantially, dissent by an intellectual or even an ordinary person with a Muslim name against his photo in his Aadhaar card seems to have virtually come to a zero.
It is not surprising at all when seeds of strife have been assiduously sown by none other than the great orator Prime Minister, who didn't think twice before hitting below the belt with his sarcastic farewell speech in Parliament in honour of the outgoing Vice President. Poor chap should have approached the Yogi of UP for a name change from a Hamid to a Haldiram may be, to avoid ridicule by the glib globe trotter.
Muslims are akin to the 'roaches' of the popular dystopian TV series called 'Black Mirror'. In one of these episodes there is scary portrayal of beast-like creatures bearing human-like features called the roaches. Whatever the 'roach' says or does doesn't make any sense to the normal human beings.
We may even draw parallels between black lives in America and Miyan Bhai lives in India. Both occupy the bottom rungs of their respective societies. Both have unusually huge representations in jails. The only difference is that here in India their Dalit brethren also stand alongside them in jails. Both the blacks of America and the neo-blacks of India are heavily under-represented in government and private jobs. Both of them are dependent on blue collar jobs for their livelihood. Both face discrimination practiced either directly or as an undercurrent by elite members of civil society.
Here in India the Miyan Bhais join the ranks of Dalits when it comes to discrimination.The list goes on and on and can be a topic of another article by itself. While the Dalits are the classic example of apartheid in India Muslims are the neo-blacks of India demonized and dehumanised by the present actors of statecraft.
I am reminded of pastor Martin Niemoller's poem :
"First they came for the communists, 
and I didn't speak out because I was not a communist
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."

I guess like Naseeruddin Shah implored, it's time for all right-thinking citizens of India to speak out... Not just speak out but shout out so loud that the voices of hatred drown out.
---
*Socio-political observer based in Hyderabad, a "free thinker unfettered by dogma"

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.