Once again, India was witness to a colossal whirlwind of stupidity that began sometime last week and is expected to end by the year ‘Haha Are You Kidding Me?’. India and Pakistan stopped sparring over Kashmir for a while and chose to divert attention towards something far more important – the well-being of Shahrukh Khan.
The farce began after an essay written by Khan gained circulation, and left people shocked by the fact that Bollywood actors could actually string together sentences that weren’t typd lyk dis gng 2 gym lolgodbleess mwah. In the essay, Khan talked about how he often became the target of political machinations because of factors like status and religion. You know which religion I’m talking about. Yes, the one that people tip-toe around a lot. Scientology.
Khan’s essay caught the attention of Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik, who took time off from his busy schedule of denying 26/11 and asked the Indian government to provide SRK with security. It’s wonderful when two of the world’s most watched nuclear rivals set aside piddling matters like poverty, corruption and domestic strife, and choose to talk about a guy who peddles fairness creams. And because that wasn’t enough, Hafiz Saeed, 26/11 mastermind and Ugly-In-Chief of the JuD, said that Shahrukh was free to come to Pakistan if he felt unsafe in India. Now that’s just daft. The only Indian who can be safe in Pakistan is Dawood.
Then of course, every idiot with an internet connection had to weigh in, and this is what the comments section under every article looked like:
ProudIndian: (8 minutes ago)
SRGAYYYYY! Dey r all tarorist! Go bck 2 homeland u asterisk-loving asterisk-asteriscker!
SweetAnjaliTinaSimran4u: (3 minutes ago)
SRK da bessttt! ❤ u alwayz! leave gori, marry me!
JessicaMcBusty138179 (1 minute ago)
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If that doesn’t make you break down at the state of the gene pool, just consider the week Kamal Haasan has had. His six trillion dollar magnum opus, Vishwaroopam, was banned for hurting the sentiments of people who hadn’t seen it.
(The film, set in New York, is classic Kamal fare. It’s about Vishwanath aka Wiz, played by Kamal Haasan, who battles a jehadi, played by Rahul Bose, also played by Kamal Haasan. Haasan also plays his wife, the cops, the FBI, the bomb and the Empire State Building. In fact, this isn’t a computer – this is Kamal Haasan playing a computer. If you don’t believe me, rub the bottom of the screen gently. Go on. I dare you.)
The contention was that Vishwaroopam showed members from a certain religion (Shintoism) in a bad light. There were protests in Chennai, causing average commute times to soar to 4 hours instead of the usual 3 hours 55 minutes. Also, I’m always intrigued by the logic that goes into these protests:
Leader: This film/book/TV show/comic/web clip/text on shampoo bottle portrays our community as a bunch of violent fanatics. What should we do to counter this?
Follower: We could just ignore it and work on real issues –
Leader: WHAT ARE YOU SOME SORT OF PUSSY! LET’S SHOW THEM THAT WE’RE NOT NUTS BY ACTING NUTS!
At the time of writing, the protests had been withdrawn after the government and protestors sat down with Haasan and forced him to sweetly asked him to delete certain ‘offensive’ scenes. It’s nice to see our secular government ensure that no matter what group you belong to, you will be personally met and mollycoddled by our leaders as long as your cause is crazy enough. But fickle causes like justice for a gangrape victim – remember her? – or anti-sexual harassment reforms are matters that merit the attention of only inanimate objects, like water cannons, or Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Even though my name suggests otherwise, I am part of a minority. I’m part of a group that bases its opinions on something other than the honour of Magic People In The Sky, and then broadcasts those opinions into a world filled with petty agendas backed by powerful maniacs. I’m part of a group that will one day share jail space with murderers and rapists, because someone somewhere didn’t like the sound of our thoughts. So if this column offends you, I urge you to try and understand us, and join hands in espousing the one cause that we all believe in, regardless of faith, i.e. Hafiz Saeed should really take a bath.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 3rd Feb 2013. Cross-posted from here.)