Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stop you crybabies

Hindu radicals from Vishwa Hindu Parishad have filed an FIR against cricketer Harbhajan Singh for hurting what they call “Hindu sentiments”. His crime: he donned the getup of Ravana and matched steps with actor Mona Singh, she’s Sikh too, on a reality show where a cricketer is paired with a haseena.

Before this, Akal Takht, the supreme Sikh religious body, had blasted Harbhajan for the same dance saying he hurt Sikh sentiments by posing as a Hindu mythological villain and even sported a vermilion dot on his forehead. The Akal Takht also had some strong rebuke for Mona Singh, a Sikhni, for partnering with the villain of the piece. In one spin, the two ended up hurting both Sikh and Hindu sentiments, said the Takht. “I think it is unreasonable to mock at religious deities like this. Ravana is known as evil. How can Ravana and Sita dance together? That the dance was done by two Sikhs is condemnable,” Akal Takht chief Gurbachan Singh said.

Indians are a sentimental people. But are our sentiments so pansy they get hurt every time someone so much as sneezes? I watched that dance and found it funny in some parts and ridiculous in most. But my sentiments were intact. I do not know many people who take dance contests so seriously as to hurt their sentiments. But the VHP guys went out and burned effigies of Harbhajan Singh and even complained to the police.

These hardcore fanatics are actually softcore sissies when it comes to sentiments. Militant Bajrangis went on a rampage and attacked churches in Karnataka because they claimed their sentiments were hurt by pamphlets distributed by some evangelists. The same gang has forced into exile one of India’s greatest artists, Husain, because a painting apparently hurt their sentiment.

Muslim sentiments are hurt by Satanic Verses or cartoons published in some Danish newspaper. A newspaper here illustrated that story with a copy of one of those toons and its editor ended up in jail. The police encounter at Batla House has also hurt Muslim sentiments. Jamia’s sentiments are hurt because a couple of its students have been caught for being involved in terrorist events. Santa-Banta jokes never hurt Sikh sentiments but some innocuous statement from an insignificant politico would instantly hurt them.

In spite of being a secular country, we keep banning books and films lest we should hurt sentiments of some people. We also have official sentiments. A Tricolour sari or bikini hurts the sentiments of the entire nation as if we existed because of the flag and not vice versa. In this country, people were not allowed to use the Tricolour on their cars or houses. Even now you can’t have it fluttering at night. I have seen British films where they take off their Queen’s pants off, but our films don’t even show the President lest it should hurt the sentiments of the government. I remember many films just showing the back of the President. We worship the divine lingam and yoni but private parts of mortals are a strict no no.

Bong sentiments aren’t hurt when a mad woman takes the state for a ride and drives a car project to BJP-ruled Gujarat. But Sourav Ganguly’s retirement will surely hurt because “Sourav is a victim of regionalism in cricket”. The sheer scale of poverty and lawlessness does not offend the common Bihari but calling Bihar a lawless land hurts their sentiments. Raj Thackeray shows no signs of having a heart but his sentiments are hurt by a Jaya Bachchan saying she was from UP and would speak in Hindi. She is a Bengali from Madhya Pradesh, married to a UPiite and living in Mumbai for ages.

I remember my days in Bangalore where it was sacrilegious to question the acting talent of then retired superstar Rajkumar. A group pf Kannadigas went berserk when he died. Not in Veerappan’s custody but a natural death at his home.

Time we behaved like a confident nation and learned to keep our sentiments in check. Powerful nations don’t behave like cry-babies.

1 comment:

सबकी कहानी said...

You will find people dressed as monkey god Hanuman begging in the streets literally everywhere..
In the name of god everything "chalta" hai.
Also on every nook and corner of the country,lord Shanidev appears to help hapless people.
In UP, Bihar and Punjab bar girls dance with the barest minimum to appease netas( and not gods) during ramleela..
Will the "thekedars" of dharma will ever see how the lord ganeshas statues are treated after their immersion in Mumbai. will vhp and shiv sena will ever raise their voice.