I didn’t like Prakash Jha’s movie “Aarakshan”. This movie has hurt my sentiments; please throw Mr Jha out of India. Yes this is what going on in India, if you do not like someone’s art or literature, you have all the right to throw him out of India. But now the government is saying that they have not banned Salman Rushdie from coming to India, rather Rajasthan Police has advised him to stay away from India because if he dares to enter in India, some assassins from Mumbai underworld would kill him. But then why his video conferencing was banned? Are the Mumbai underworld assassins so technologically advanced that they can kill Mr Rushdie through Television?
This is not the first time; Salman Rushdie is coming to India. He came to India in 2007 for the same purpose, but there was no hue and cry then. So why now?
Mr Manmohan Singh calls Mr Gilani a “Man of Peace” and his government says that Rushdie has hurt the sentiments of Indians. And what about Mr Gilani? Has he not hurt the sentiments of Indians? Ask the relatives of those killed in 26/11 attack. Ask them who is a greater evil – Rushdie or Gilani? What message Mr Manmohan Singh is trying to give to the whole world that the biggest democracy of the world is incapable of giving protection to life and liberty of a person; the biggest democracy of the world is not able to protect the fundamental right of a person. So why the hell we spend so much of our money on security agencies. I suggest it’s time now we should lease out the security department to some European country or USA or NATO. Even the Indian citizens should now start fleeing this country because if the Indian government and its huge (so called) security and law & order enforcement agencies are incapable of giving protection to just one person, god save the rest 1.2 billion people of this country. There are millions spent on the protection of politicians, even the most corrupted ones – A Raja, Kanimozhi and many others are escorted in and out of jail and courts under heavy bandobast, but one minute why do they take protection – the security agencies are incapable of giving protection, so why all this dramas of Z+ securities. Mr Manmohan Singh’s government is giving protection to Afzal Guru, Kasab and other like terrorists, but when it comes to common man, we see them die in front of Delhi High Court or in a Mumbai Local.
This is not the first time; government has banned any book in India. A book on Shivaji was banned because it hurt the sentiments of Marathis (supposedly Indians, however I doubt Thackerays); similarly one version of “Ramayana” was banned because it hurt the sentiments of Hindus and similarly books by Nathu Ram Godse. But how far it is justified to ban the authors? No doubt, books can be banned, but how can the authors be? Advocates of Islam are arguing that being an Indian their sentiments have been hurt by Rushdie, so he should not be allowed to come to India. Fine, they have a point to an extent. Government can obviously take the help of CrPC and IPC and say they are justified in disallowing a person to come to India on the pretext of threat to law and order situation. But who has posed this threat – the Muslims. Who has given them right to create law and order threat? And then they speak of democracy and fundamental rights. Why didn’t they pose this same threat when MF Hussain was taking masochistic pleasure in painting Hindu Goddesses in sexual reunion with their own sons? Why didn’t they put pressure on Government to throw MF Hussain out of India? India being a secular country every religion should be respected – be it Hindu or Muslim or Christians or any other. And moreover government is creating distinction between MF Hussain and Salman Rushdie which is again against the Right to Equality (remember right to equality is available to aliens also).
And now this new drama – to ban the video conferencing. Why? Now the other day you will also ban him from speaking to his Indian friends over telephone. Okay the government can again take the benefit of laws, but the question still remains – threat from whom and why? MF Hussain, even after absconding from India (I use the word absconding because a non bailable arrest warrant was issued against him which he didn’t answer and fled) kept on giving interviews to Indian News channel and continuously kept on justifying his art and the Government still didn’t feel any threat to law and order. The Muslims were tight lipped. And then the height of shamelessness – Indian Ministry of External Affairs sent its delegates to request MF Hussain to return to India. On one hand the same government is disallowing Salman Rushdie to appear through video conferencing on the pretext of law and order disruption, on the other hand the same government’s external affairs Minister Mr SM Krishna is requesting MF Hussain to reconsider his plan of giving up Indian citizenship. The Hypocrites.
However, taking a liberal point of view and respecting the Muslim hardliners (this again does not mean I support Hindu hardliners like VHP, Rama Sene or Bajrang Dal), for a minute I can support the ban on Salman Rushdie’s India visit. The muslim hardliners constitute a big fraction of Indian population and it is the duty of the government to protect each and every citizens’ sentiments and religious feelings. So keeping in mind these duties of government, I can understand the justification on banning video conferencing too, but still one question remains – Why was he not banned from coming to India in 2007? He came to India then, he attended the literary fest, he spoke to his fans – why the Mumbai underworld assassins were not out to kill him that time? Why were their sentiments not hurt then? What is so special about 2012?