The bigots in the valley who scream their lungs out, pelt stones and beat their chests for Freedom (Aazadi) deny the freedom to others to do what they wish to do. How these handful of fundamentalists define the contours of Aazadi and who gives them the autonomy to do so? It’s the muted response of leftists and liberals in the society who are bedazzled by flashes of freedom of speech and press in the West but when it comes to them, they selectively decide on issues where they can let their tongues loose. These leftists are the biggest bigots. Anyone who differs from them, they brand them as Right Wing. How does it even matter if you’re leaning towards left wing or right wing as long as you denying others the “Wings” to fly?
A sixteen year old girl from the Kashmir Valley, who excelled on celluloid depicting the role of a young wrestler, was trolled for meeting the Chief Minister of State. The fringe fanatics from the valley abuse the girl for her choice to do acting in films. The legion of liberals hardly makes a noise. The producer and perfectionist actor of the movie too keeps mum. Is he being tolerant to bigots who are dictating terms to a young girl? What kind of perfectionism stops him from speaking against high handedness of bigots? Is this perfectionist free from fear? A big No. He fears the backlash of Islamic Fundamentalists if he comes out in favor of the young girl. This inertia from filmmakers, opinion makers, intellectuals and liberals gives strength to Bigots to practice bigotry. They know they can hide behind the garb of religion and continue their misdeeds.
The feminists and “Big Bindi Brigade” are missing in action too. They spring into action selectively for entrance in Sabarimala and Haji Ali. Now, a when girl is being harassed and forced to apologize, they are busy socializing with elite somewhere. The cozy arrangement between the intellectual fringe and perpetrators of bigotry continues to flourish. Hafiz Sayeed praises journalistic ethics of Barkha Dutt. They are the Outliers. They rant against the army. Exaggerate incidents and play partners in crime with groups like Amnesty International. Where is Aakar Patel when the voice of young girl is being muzzled by self – proclaimed messiahs of Islam? Does it not fall under category of Human Rights Violation? Does he need to travel to Gujarat, Rajasthan and MP to highlight issues of women safety and harassment? Did Aakar write on Tarun Tejpal’s overtures in Goa Conclave? Where is Arundhati Roy? Why is she tongue tied about gender inequality of girls in the valley? She gets vocal only on Maoist agenda. This unholy nexus has to be exposed. Unless and until these bedfellows are put under spotlight, another girl from another village, city, and town would be subjected to terror of bigots.
The armchair thinkers soaking up the sun in their well-manicured lawns want youth from the valley with guns. They do not want the youth to pursue academic or extracurricular interests. Where were they when schools in the valley were being burnt?
When a girl leaps off to prominence and fame in cinema, their idea of a disturbed valley gets distorted. Normalcy (or the return of normalcy) is the biggest disruption for these elites. If normalcy returns how would they cry foul about the way Indian government has failed Kashmir and the need to engage all stakeholders (including separatists) outside the realms of constitution. When people like Yashwant Sinha start to fade into irrelevance, they start quoting a Magical Formula of Talks with all parties including Hurriyat. Mr Sinha! Why you did not offer your views on Zaira Wasim’s ordeal? Staying too long on the “Margdarshak Mandal” has forced him to deviate off the Marg (Path).
Picture Credit: Screenshots from Tweeter, www.celebhdwall.in