Swami Adityanath:If the majority boycotted SRK ,he would roam the street as a ‘Normal Muslim’
Swami Adityanath has yet again entered the fray and the debate on intolerance has now gone perhaps even to the defenders of BJP and RSS a bit to far.
After verbal attacks by Sahdvi's and former cabinet ministers on Shah Rukh Khan,that he should move to Pakistan ,Swami Adityanath,the BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh and one of the saffron parties leading faces in the state has gone a step ahead and stated 'that there was no difference between the language between SRK and Hafiz Sayeed'(one of the most wanted accused in the 26/11).
Now Come on while the BJP condemns the Action of Sena in Mumbai,its own members tow a line similar to that of the Thackeray's.
(For the record Shiv Sena, which is usually known for adopting the far-right approach, has come out in defence of the actor demanding the BJP to end its hate campaign against the bollywood icon with Sena MP Sanjay Raut stating that "Shahrukh should not be targeted for being a Muslim,")
But such double speak is not unheard of , the fact is if Dharmendra or a Sunny Deol had said this then the aggressive line would have been why did they not speak on the issue during the sikh riots(presuming that they are Punjabi's).But hey did their very own NS.Sidhu speak on the subject……i guess not .Targeting individuals purely along religious or community lines is very dangerous and has serious implications in the long run for the country.
The new debate these days is whether we should all go to Pakistan if we disagree with even a single point which the NDA government believes in .But to allude that we suddenly do justice to pakistan's tourism industry is not as dangerous as the way we are terming minorities in an insensitive way .
The BJP MP also went a step further and warned that if a huge population of the majority boycotted Shah Rukh Khan's films he would roam the street as a 'Normal Muslim'.
What is disturbing are statements where we start questioning people of a certain religious background purely on their faith and not their actions.Even the great Abdul Kalam was not spared when the culture minister stated that 'despite' being a 'Muslim' APJ Kalam was a patriot.
Such language needs to be reprimanded and if these utterances are not contained today i do feel that the nation will get into far more civil turmoil than a stock market crash or slowdown of the economy.
But then we live in the times of Media Campaign and gung ho patriotism that if we disagree we are handed a one way free trip to Pakistan.Sometimes I wonder if the Cold war era was still on a similar statement would perhaps get us a ticket to USA (We were with the Soviets),now i wonder which community would have rushed to the land of the great hope…..hmmmm.
On a serious note though these statements have also created a divide within the BJP with prominent Film actor and a Modi supporter Anupam Kher stating this on his Facebook Post
'Some members of the #BJP really need to control their tongue & stop talking rubbish about #ShahRukhKhan. He is a national icon & We are PROUD of him'
Anupam Kher had recently hit out on critics who had returned the Sahitya awards in view of the spate of activities of communal violence in the country.This time though to be fair to Anupam Kher he did try to defend SRK and had to witness some trolling in the media from the extreme right wing as can be seen in the comments above.
It does seem that Trolling has become a national pastime for the uninformed and the aggressive and to be fair all sides (including the so called liberal's) are guilty of this.Today the debate is not on nationalism or acceptability but on one upmanship.In this environment of hate no one is willing to rationalise and listen.For the record SRK Grandfather fought with the INA and Bose and was a patriot to the core , the same Bose who's partiotism certain parties are using to embarrass the Nehru and Congress legacy.If at all anyone should be angry at SRK family for fighting with Bose against the British then it should be the sufferers of the war like the Chinese,Fillipino's and the Koreans,surely not some Swami from Gorakhpore(Adityanath is a BJP MP from Gorakhpore).
The debate now continuous why there can be no dialogue or a narrative on secularism/intolerance and whether food habits,yoga,diet and Religion are an issue in India in the year 2015.
Too many of the people these are irrelevant topics,but to a few Adityanath's,Sadhvi's and Owasi's this is a perfect platform to get their 15 minutes of Fame.Sadly this seems to be perfectly working in their favour – the politics of polarisation – SRK is just what some would say Collateral damage .
By Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma
The writer is the editor in chief of TNT-The Northeast Today .