Author: My Say

Salman Rushdie And The Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 Controversy!

It all started way back in 1988 when Salman Rushdie’s published book “The Satanic Verses ” became objectionable to the Islamic hardliners Worldwide and turned controversial for “alleged blasphemy” against Prophet Mohammed. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime minister of India, sensed the fury of minorities in India and the book was banned in the country. In fact India was the first country to impose a ban on “Satanic Verses”

Since then Rushdie paid two visits to India,once in 2000 and  in 2007  for the  Jaipur Literature Festival despite of the protests from some Muslim groups. When news of his 2012 Festival visit spread, the protesting Muslim group raised their eyebrows and  Rushdie decided he would cancel his visit to Jaipur sensing life-threat as some of his Intelligence people informed him of an assassination plot arranged by Mumbai Underworld. He doubted the news but did not wish to risk things . It was then decided Rushdie would attend the festival via video conference on Tuesday at 3:45 pm January 24th 2012. Rumours are spreading that State Police may deny permission for the conference  whereas Festival producer Sanjoy Roy declared he had no information about such denial hence they will go ahead with the video-conference as scheduled, till  any written confirmation is produced by the police.

Today,24th January2012, it has been cleared that the video-conference has been given the clean-chit on grounds that Rushdie should not be speaking anything on ‘Satanic Verses,

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has been quite active against Rushdie’s visit to India and forthcoming elections seem to be a major reason why the present Government does not wish to take any risk of hurting Muslim sentiments which might affect their performance in the elections. However , it is very important to realize that lawfully Rushdie who is a British citizen of Indian origin cannot be banned to come to India.

Some facts regarding the hype created over Rushdie’s 2012 visit was purely due to elections and except for few groups who actively wanted Rushdie not to attend the Festival , I doubt if the common Muslim community even bothers about him being here or not. Of course , had the Media not sensationalized the issue , none would have bothered his visit.

We commoners have enough issues to deal with rather than coming out on streets every single day , leaving our duties. Probably the Media-Claimed failure of Anna’s Mumbai Fast was the biggest example.

How many of us have (even in Urban India)  read the controversial book which is anyways banned ? How do we know if it is really hurting religious sentiments when the major population of India (including the minorities) lives in Rural India which does not know English beyond some common words ? And has our Governments left us with any free time to go about reading books , leaving our source of earnings ?

Rahul faces shoe attack.Repeated incident in Dehradun

Are Shoes selling real cheap in Dehradun ?

Some days back it was Arvind Kejriwal and today, 23rd January 2012, its Rahul Gandhi who faced similar agitation where an individual hurled shoe at Rahul while he was addressing a rally there. 

‘After – Incident’ stories remaining the same where the accused got caught by the cops and political leader stated the incident as ‘unfortunate ‘ . The eye catching fact is , these incidents have become so common these days that even the News Sites do not bother elaborating the news and end it in a line or two.

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“Tonight Show With Jay Leno”-Leno’s controversial remark on Golden Temple.

On January 19’2012,the NBC Channel Chat Show, ‘ Tonight Show with Jay Leno’  again made the Indians,perticularly the Sikhs raise eyebrows not only in America and India but Worldwide as well. 

Jay Leno, the popular host showed an illuminated picture of Golden Temple of Amritsar as the summer home of Mitt Romney,  a rich businessman and politician  who making news these days for amassing wealth and evading rightful taxes.

This is not for the first time Jay Leno has crossed limits of humour while addressing the Sikh community. In 2007 in the same show he was criticized after he called Sikhs  ‘Diaper Heads’. But it does not seem to have any effect on him.

The American Sikh Community has protested against this but the point here is that Humour has its limits which American and British popular TV Show Hosts should realize. India always seems to be a soft-target for such humour where our religious and national sentiments are repeatedly hurt  and in return neither the concerned person seeks apology nor does he stop from repeating it.

Shoe Attack on Kejriwal

Beat Up ! Slap ! Throw Ink ! Throw Chappals and Shoes !

All these actions seem to have become a trend in our country . Are these self – motivated or well-planned opposition attacks? It is only the attacker who knows it best.

On Saturday,21st of January’2012 similar incident was repeated in Dehradun while Team Anna member , Arvind Kejriwal was heading towards the stage to address the gathered crowd. Identified attacker, Kishan Lal threw his shoe towards Kejriwal. His explanation for attacking was his response to insensitive statment given by Anna Hazare when NCP leader , Sharad Pawar was slapped. Well,such repeated attacks on Leaders from various walks of  life, seem pre-planned and politicaly motivated rather than genuine agitations.

UP Elections-Season of Promises

As the dates of U.P. elections are nearing by , the more is louding up the “Trumpets of the Elephants”(BSP), “the Rings of the Cycle Bells”(SP),”the Claps of the Hands”(Congress) and the Beauty and “Incense of the Lotus flower”(BJP).

Reminders of developments (so what ? if just the parks and the statues ) by the ruling party is getting louder.

Other contesting parties also recall the surprise visits , they (their leader) made by suddenly barging into farmers house(of course with the media) for dinner and pretending to be disghusted with the present conditions of  the farmers( as if , if they win, will give bungalows to the farmers ).

And some would not talk what they did and what others did not but directly come to the point that if they win the elections, what gifts can the citizens expect.

The embarassing fact about Political Elections in our country  is, we are made to choose between the Bad, Worse and the Worst and once we select best of the lott, it is the Bad Party which turns Worst and the cycle goes on!