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OPINION

An open letter to Aamir Khan on his ‘fatwa’ to have an unstable Government in Delhi

Please don’t get alarmed by the use of the term ‘fatwa’. What is it after all but an advice and opinion on a chit of paper and I’m using it exactly in that sense.

Your ‘fatwa’ defies simple logic. If Indians across the board are ever apprehensive of anything in elections, it’s a fractured verdict that gives them an unstable government. They certainly don’t go out and vote for a fractured verdict deliberately.

And how do you vote for such a verdict Aamir?  I mean do you go to the voting booth and look at the EVM carefully and say, ‘Let me see how I can defeat the eventual winner by pressing a certain button, the fractured verdict button, and ensure an unstable government incapacitated by pulls and pressures of various vested interests?’ Do you do that? That’s how you act as a responsible citizen of the country?

It’s only an enemy of the nation who would wish for a fractured verdict and a resultant unstable government.

This does not imply that you are an enemy of the nation. We have people who act in ways that are inimical to the nation like buying smuggled goods and pirated DVDs and by evading taxes, dealing in contraband, jumping the traffic light, and giving and taking bribes. They feel it’s no big deal and this kind of malfeasance is not anti-national behavior.
If they are told that the money they pay for the pirated DVDs goes to Dawood Ebrahim, probably they won’t buy those DVDs, and certainly not if the country is at war with Pakistan. They even deliver fractured electoral verdicts without knowing the consequences of it.

So, why do they do it? There are various selfish economic reasons that make them do it. It’s understandable. They can be ill-informed of the real consequences of their behavior. They may also act this way because of their insensitivity. In all such cases they need to be informed, educated and sensitized. That’s what your programme Sataymev Jayate intends to do….the slogan ‘Jis Ko Desh Ki Fikr Hai’ indicates that it’s apparently a programme to sensitize people about their civic and social responsibilities.

You are a sensitive person being an artist. Why will you want a fractured electoral mandate and an unstable government in Delhi, knowing it well that our nation is standing at a crossroad? Our economy, defense preparedness, governance, internal security, law and order situation, etc. are in doldrums. Over and above we have external forces that constantly try to undermine our geo-political integrity.  In such a scenario, the least any sensitive and sensible and even mildly patriotic Indian will wish and pray for is a stable government.

But that’s not what you think. So let us guess, since you have not elaborated on the issue, what will India gain from an unstable government in Delhi. Start counting…. So what is point number one…

I cannot think of a single reason why we should have an unstable government.

However, it will be a dream come true for Pakistani generals , LeT leaders, Indian Mujahidin terrorists, Chinese Generals, Naxal commanders, Jihadis, evangelists, American hegemonists, and Dawood Ebrahim.    

God forbid if I ever club you with these groups. You are an Indian Idol…a star, an awesome actor par excellence with a great record of blockbuster hits and a stupendous box-office pull. You are the most recognized intellectual of the Indian film industry next only to Bhatt Sahib, and Javed Sahib. Your opinion matters to millions of your fans and countrymen. You are one of those rare and sensitive and sensible souls who actually care for this nation…You played a sensitive revolutionary in Rang De Basanti and even the role of the hero of the first war of India’s independence in Mangal Pandey. 

But give me just one fucking good reason why India should have a fractured mandate and an unstable government in 2014.

Let me guess again. It seems you have come to the conclusion that a single party, namely BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi may win big in 2014 and you don’t want that to happen.

You are not alone in thinking like this. You are in the august company of Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh, Lalu Yaadav, Mamta Banerjee, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejariwal, Akbaruddin Owaisi, and many more politicians and ideologues of different hues and cries. They are united in their hatred for Modi. Their only agenda is to stop Modi for no apparent reason than the fact that he seems to be on his way to becoming the PM. And they are so blinded that they now share the dream of every possible enemy of our nation.

Is that your agenda too? If it is so, why must you hate Modi? He may be a political threat to the others mentioned above, but what kind of threat does he pose to you? Do you think if he leads the majority government, he may become dictatorial? Let us presume that’s your main grouse against him. Is it based on solid evidence?

He has been into politics for decades and the Chief Minister of Gujarat for the last 12 years. You may not be aware, since I know your knowledge of history is limited, Modi fought against Indira Gandhi’s authoritarian regime like thousands of other RSS workers when there was no political force left to resist her.

Modi already has a brute majority in Gujarat Assembly having won the elections there thrice. There is not a single instance where he has tried to run down the opposition or subvert democratic institutions in any way including the media. His faith in federalism is absolute and he has stood up and has been counted when the UPA 2 regime has repeatedly tried to damage and destroy our federal polity.

He does not run Gujarat with the help of his cadre. The executive, and not the politicians, governs the state.

In comparison, the CMs of other non-BJP state governments use their cadre and the state machinery to browbeat and harass their political opponents and activists. It happens in West Bengal, Kerala, UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, and even in Delhi where the last government blatantly used its activists as vigilantes.

Modi’s unblemished democratic credentials should not be the cause of your concern and I have a feeling it’s not. It’s something else that is playing on your mind. Is it the 2002 riots? But you are wise enough to know that worse riots have happened in the past. You know what happened in the 1993 Mumbai riots.

Moreover, Modi has been honorably exonerated by a SIT that was appointed by a rabid Modi baiter Supreme Court judge like Arijit Pasayat and was headed by an officer handpicked by him. A court in Gandhinagar has also examined that report and has found no truth in the allegations made against him.  Those who made such allegations can also be prosecuted for perjury. 

Let us presume for the sake of analysis that Modi has an anti-Muslim agenda and bias. If so, this should reflect in his governance of Gujarat. At least the Muslim population in Gujarat should have dwindled. Gujarati Muslims should have been setting up businesses outside Gujarat.

Are they doing that? Have they migrated to Maharashtra or Rajasthan, the nearby states, like what happened in Kashmir when lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits had to leave the valley? There is not an itsy-bitsy evidence to suggest that. On the contrary Gujarati Muslims have prospered even more than Hindus. They have greater share in government jobs in proportion to their population in Gujarat.

I’m sure you are aware of these facts. Then why is it that you wish and pray and dream of an unstable government in Delhi while it is a nightmarish scenario for most of our countrymen jinhe fikr hai desh ki? 

Let me guess why. Deep within their minds the educated and well-to-do Muslims of India have an Islamist streak. That was the reason when it came to the creation of Pakistan nearly 90% of them voted for it. When it comes to their religion they don’t care for liberal sentiments. There are always exceptions to the rule. But exceptions are exceptions.

Let me give you the example of JAI HO, Salman’s last film. I heard from a friend the story of this exhibitor from a small UP town who released the film in her single-screen theatre. The town has been totally Islamised over a period of time with 90% of its population being Muslims. Salman Bhai WAS the most popular Bollywood icon among the Muslim youth, who came up in droves to watch his Eid releases and turned his exceptionally insipid films into blockbusters.

They were so much in love with Bhai that they hated his known adversaries and wouldn’t watch Vivek Oberoi or Abhishek Bachchan or Aishwarya Rai films and many a trade analyst attributed the career downslide of these actors to this factor.  

Salman went to fly kites with Modi. This annoyed the clerics who issued a fatwa to the Muslim world not to watch Salman films. Strangely enough none of the liberals in the film fraternity stood by him, including you. There was not a single word of support from the community for Salman and Salim Khan.

And look at what happens. The Fatwa works wonderfully. In that small UP town with 90% Muslim population, just ten people turn up to watch the first show of JAI HO. Salman is a pariah now.

What does it show? It shows bigotry is on the rise among Muslims. Just a few days ago in the late evening, the India-Pakistan one-day cricket match ended with Pakistan beating India. And suddenly I hear a burst of firecrackers coming from a predominantly Muslim locality. They were celebrating Pakistan’s victory. Now I also know it was not an isolated case. It happened in other places as well.

So here are my last words. Though I won’t call your dream of a fractured electoral mandate and an unstable government in 2014 as anti-national, I will term it as bigotry and go a little further and say that such views encourage the Islamists and all anti-India forces that would not like to see our nation as a strong economic and military power in the region.

However, your statement will certainly help you win more cohorts in that small UP town with 90% Muslim population and the worst of your films will have houseful run for weeks there. Aamir Bhai will replace Salman Bhai who is probably branded as the ‘kafeeron ka kutta’ in their mass cultural psyche.

You should be elated now for having become the most popular Bollywood icon among Muslim bigots. Who knows some cleric may issue a fatwa, asking his followers to regularly watch your TV programme to boost its TRPs.

As far as Hindus and nationalists are concerned, most of us shall try to act liberal and watch dispassionately the polarization of all anti-India forces against Modi. We will also continue to watch your films. That’s how we are. That’s why we were kicked around for 800 years, living as second-rate citizens, with hordes of marauding religious bigots and iconoclasts destroying our beliefs, culture, and sacred legacies and doing everything to wipe us off the face of the earth.

The process has not stopped yet. We may soon have a law that will legalise us as the second rate citizens of this country. We deserve it according to Akbaruddin Owaisi sahib.

I wish and pray that nationalists in general and Hindus in particular unite and polarize politically to foil the attempts of bigots to undermine efforts to make our nation economically, industrially, and militarily strong, a nation where there is justice for all and appeasement of none, a nation where the youth look at the future with a lot of hope and our pluralist Hindu legacy survives and flourishes to show the world ways of happy co-existence.

Rajesh Kumar Singh