Naseeruddin’s comment reflects contemporary scenario
It is sad that Naseeruddin Shah, one of my alltime favourites, feels threatened but says that he will not run away from the country, getting the cow...
It is sad that Naseeruddin Shah, one of my all-time favourites, feels threatened but says that he will not run away from the country, getting the cow into his arguments. The Holy Quran and the Mahabharata also cropped up in his conversation. It is unfortunately a political statement against the ruling party and adding to the extreme pressure our PM has been facing from the first day of his term. It is ironic that a religion and culture of Hinduism known for extreme theological tolerance since centuries stands accused of ‘caste atrocities’ and ‘cow hypocrisy’.
The cow needs protection, said even Mahatma Gandhi, but our rulers and people mostly ignored him. Things just rolled forward in the malicious definition of secularism as appeasement of minorities and of liberalism as abuse of the Hindus by our post-Independent ruling party and academicians. Suddenly, a fringe group develops, whose methods to protect the cow most Hindus condemn, even the uneducated ones, and they become the defining point of the ‘violent conversion’ of a peaceful India under a new fascist regime.
A Hindu thought of extreme tolerance even allowing a silent subjugation; and a plasticity to absorb anything into its fold is its only way according to many intellectuals and celebrities. Unfortunately, any deviation from this established paradigm or the slightest assertion becomes ‘intolerance’, ‘violence’, and worse, ‘terrorism.’ It is sad indeed.
The biggest and the most unpardonable failure of the Congress over so many decades of uninterrupted rule after independence is that they could not set up an all-inclusive grand national narrative, which every citizen irrespective of religion, caste, creed, or language could be proud of. They blew a wonderful opportunity. A malignant discourse harped on our warts; negated past secular achievements; and avoided our spiritual roots to build a future, confusing secularism with religion.
A political mishmash of European democracy and Russian Socialism did not help matters with ideology coming in the way of defining patriotism and national pride. Sanskrit became a Brahmanical exploitative language, Ramayana and Mahabharata became exclusive 'Hindu' scriptures and so did the Vedas. These belong to the land and its people and existed centuries prior to the coming of any organised religion into India. It was before ‘Hinduism’ also got a definition.
This land of Sanatana Dharma with its acceptance of all paths including atheism, and acceptance of even science belongs to all. It was indeed a tragic short-sightedness of our nation-builders and text-book writers to equate Sanatana Dharma with the narrowly defined Hinduism.
In a desperate desire for power common to a democratic system based on elections, the division of the people on every single issue continued following independence. The Congress replaced the British in this regard. Sri Aurobindo was worried about the Congress policy of appeasement instead of all-inclusive common narrative many years before Independence.
I am not a fan of any political party, but the BJP is just an outcome of the extremely long divisive policies rampant in our politically charged country. The BJP simply asks now for a joint Hindu vote. If this happens after a full six decades, surely our intellectuals and celebrities from all religions and castes should reflect on the reasons. They should talk about solutions rather than making statements sure to harden stances.
- Dr Pingali Gopal, Warangal
Shah needs to be more circumspect
In a recent interview a veteran actor has said that, the death of a cow is given more importance than the life of a human being and he worried about the upbringing of his children in the country like India. The actor’s comments were related to the Bulandshahr mob killing of a police personnel. Naseeruddin Shah should note that, the inquiry and investigation initiated by the state government is under process and the culprits will not be spared.
In a democratic country everyone has the freedom to express their speech but with a sensible restrictions in the interest of not to incite others with an offensive and demean manners, of late the word “intolerance” being in the news, and many celebrities and well known personalities are uttering this word in public and expressing their apprehension, which they shouldn’t have uttered as an responsible citizens, this kind of statement by the so called celebrities makes more impact amongst the public in a larger manner, rather than the reasons for which they compelled to use the word “ intolerance”.
We are living in an age where the false news spreads like a wild fire than the genuine. There were number of mob lynching cases reported in the recent times, and the probe finds the reason for this cold-hearted activities are happening through rumour mongers and fake news propaganda spread through social media. The celebrities should understand that returning awards, migrating to other countries and giving immature statements may have the attentions of the public, whereas it will not find an eternal solution till the public start using their sagacity, no religion is preaching to kill others, therefore blaming on the religious front is to be averted and the famous figures when in public should speak responsibly and to use peace spreading words to its fellow citizens so has to enhance the religious harmony in the country.
- A Balamurugan, Nellore