The Common Man Speaks

25Feb/172

Why we shouldn’t blame Nihalani alone for Lipstick Under My Burkha sexist attack

While we were busy analyzing the results of various municipal elections in Maharashtra, the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) imposed their downright sexist thoughts on the audience.

The board refused certificate to Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha. In other words, they feel the audience should NOT watch this film. The reasons stated by them have sexism written all over them.

In a letter given to the producers, the board justifies their act saying, “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious (sic) sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(viii), 2 (ix), 2(x), 2 (xi), 2 (xii) and 3 (I).”

Now, let’s break down their so-called justification. They have given away their sick thoughts in the first five words itself by stating that it’s a ‘lady oriented’ film. When you feel offended by female-oriented films, it speaks volumes about your sexist and pro-MCP mindset. You look at it as a threat to your deep-rooted patriarchal thoughts.

Lipstick Under My Burkha and NihalaniThe second justification ‘their fantasy above life,’ means a female can’t be shown having fantasy. These people have had no problems all these years when a male, or ‘hero’ as they call it, fantasizes about a girl in various ways.

The other reasons – There are contanious (sic) sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society – don’t hold ground because the job of the CBFC is not that of a Moral Science teacher.

To make matters worse, Nihalani has justified their actions by sugarcoating it with ‘Indian culture’. He said to the media, “The aim is also to protect our culture and tradition. Our motto is right film should go to the public.”

He should remember that it’s a film CERTIFICATION board. So, their job is only to certify films according to age groups and not pass judgments on which films are ‘right films.’ This was also said by the Bombay High Court during the Udta Punjab fiasco last year. Nihalani and CBFC surely couldn’t have forgotten it so soon. After all, who can forget such huge national embarrassments?

And for your information, the issue is not just limited to a film. It is about how a group of individuals are forcing the people to walk onto their patriarchal path. It is also an attack on freedom of expression in one of world's largest democracies.

However, during every such fiascos by the CBFC, we just don’t tend to look beyond. We criticize Nihalani and other CBFC members but that’s about it. We clearly forget who appointed them and why they are still not removed.

It is the Central Government that had revamped the CBFC committee in 2015. It happened after Leela Samson, the previous chief, and her team resigned due to issues while certifying MSG: The Messenger. The members are handpicked supporters of government ideologies.

Therefore, it is the Central Government that is to be blamed for every attack on freedom of expression by the CBFC. The list of dictatorial blunders by the CBFC is long. So, despite this if they are still not removed, it only means that the government supports them and is propagating its dangerously regressive mindset through the CBFC.

If the government doesn’t support such ideologies, what is stopping them from removing Nihalani and others from the CBFC?

Are they so helpless and powerless?

Conclusion: The film industry needs to unite in huge numbers and protest for the removal of the current CBFC committee team. It has to happen or else we would be discussing the rubbish decisions by these dictators after every few weeks.

By: Keyur Seta

25Jan/170

How Dangal showed that patriotism can be felt, not preached

Nitesh Tiwari’s Aamir Khan-starrer, Dangal has shattered box-office records by becoming the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever. The film has earned over Rs 370 crore so far. Collections in this range speak about a film’s wide acceptance. More so because the earnings have been constant. Its peak business wasn’t limited to the first few days or first week.

But the film, based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, has also achieved something else subtly.

In today’s times, patriotism and nationalism are transformed to hyper-patriotism and ultra-nationalism. It is a ploy used by self-proclaimed patriots who are always ready to attack anyone not agreeing with their pro-government views in the name of Desh Bhakti.

Dangal stillThis is also seen the most if you disagree with their views of opposing everything that is Pakistani. Be it actors, cricketers, artists and who not. These are the same people who completely turn a blind eye to the non-stop trade between India and Pakistan, even after the Uri attacks. Some of them might even be staying in houses made from cement that comes from across the border. However, this is a different story.

Coming back to the main topic, in the midst of such hyper-national atmosphere, Dangal has shown the actual meaning of patriotism, which should be felt and not preached. This is in the climax when the National Anthem is played. It was an excellent technique to make Phogat realize that Geeta has won the Gold medal.

Tiwari got the audience rooting for Geeta Phogat in her quest to win Gold for India in such a way that most of us were forced to stand during the National Anthem. Some of us who have been opposing the playing of our anthem before films also stood up. Why? Because we badly wanted her and India to win the Gold and make Mahavir’s dream come true. So, the climax brought a sense of pride towards our nation.

But all this was achieved without a single dialogue highlighting the importance of patriotism. Without any sloganeering. In fact, there were no instructions on the screen either asking people to stand. Hence, it’s proven that patriotism is a feeling, not a slogan.

In all this, Aamir has also truly destroyed the morale of hate mongers, who were spreading messages to boycott Dangal. But he did that without saying a word against them and by just making his work do the talking.

They urged everyone to boycott his films. People made it the biggest hit ever.

They labeled him ‘anti-national.’ His film showed the true meaning of nationalism.

Hope for peace lives on...

- By Keyur Seta

24Dec/160

Dangal Dialogues

Dangal's dialogues play a large role in making the Nitesh Tiwari written and directed film so impactful. Of course, one can’t deny the enormous contribution of the screenplay, direction and performances, especially Aamir Khan. But the smart and witty dialogues surely lift the film further.

Here are 10 best dialogues (lyrics) from Dangal:

- Tu ek saal seene pe patthar rakh de. Agar kamyab na hua, toh main poori jindagi seene pe patthar rakh doonga.

(Translation: You bear it for a year. If I don’t succeed, I will bear for the rest of my life.)

- Pahalwan ke khoon mein kushti hove hain.

(Translation: Wrestling is inside the blood of a wrestler.)

Dangal poster- Medal jeete toh koi na poochhe hain. Magar haare toh sab gaali deve hain.

(Translation: People won’t be bothered if you win a medal. But they will surely criticize you if you lose.)

- Mhari chhoriyan chhoron se kum hain ke?

(Translation: Are my daughters less then sons?)

- Gold toh gold hota hain. Chhora laave ya chhori.

(Translation: A gold medal is a gold medal, irrespective of whether it is won by a boy or a girl.)

- Jyada dil chhota na kar. Tu national level ke pahalwan se hara hai.

(Translation: Don’t worry. You have lost to a national level champion.)

- Geeta ko kyun chhore dekhne aavenge? Woh khud chhore dekhne javegi.

(Translation: Why will boys come to see Geeta for marriage? She will go to see them.)

- Thara bapu thare baare mein soche toh hai.

(Translation: At least your father is thinking about you.)

- Agar silver jeeti, toh aaj nahin toh kal log tanne bhool jaavenge. Gold jeeti toh misaal banjavegi. Aur misaale dee jaati hai beta, bhooli nahin jaati.

(Translation: If you win a silver, people will eventually forget you. If you win a gold, you will become an example. And examples are set, not forgotten.)

- Thari ladaai har us insaan se hain jo maane hain ki chhoriyon ka kaam sirf chokha dhaani karna hain.

(Translation: Your match is against all those who feel girls are only meant to do household chores.)

24Dec/160

Dangal Review: A true Gold Medalist

Sports films have become an overdose in mainstream Hindi cinema. But Nitesh Tiwari’s Dangal won’t let you think about this statistic for two reasons. It is not just the best sports underdog film but also one of the best films to have come out from our part of the world.

Dangal is a real life account of India’s wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s efforts to make his daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat champions in the sport. As a young man, Mahavir (Aamir Khan) couldn’t fulfill his dream of winning Gold Medal for India due to his family condition. So, he goes on a mission to make sure his upcoming son will bring India glory.

However, he is blessed (or in this case, cursed) with not one but four daughters. This shatters him as he believes only a son can win Gold in wrestling. But one day he realizes that two of his daughters, Geeta and Babita (Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar who grow up as Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra) also have wrestling in their blood. Mahavir’s hopes re-emerge.

Although Dangal is a biopic, the makers honestly confess at the start that a lot of aspects have been fictionalized, including some characters. This might disappoint some but it won’t matter to you once the film begins. Dangal is an ideal example of an intelligent screenplay, mature dialogues and masterful presentation. The combination produces one memorable sequence after another. And like every intelligent film, at a lot of places it says a lot without saying much. Also, in a lot of places, serious situations are presented humorously.

Dangal posterThe film does have few logical errors here and there but the huge number of positive points makes sure you don’t get affected. Even Tiwari has done well in covering them up intelligently. But there comes one moment at the end which is too fictionalized. However, the incredible effect it produces in the end transforms it into a masterstroke.

In fact, in my opinion, it is the one of the most overwhelming climaxes. A lot of people, if not all, who are against the playing of National Anthems during movies would happily rise up when it is played in this film.

It is difficult to jot down the best moments, apart from the climax. The one that stands out is when Mahavir explains to Geeta that her fight is not against the opponent but with all those who believe girls should only be restricted to household chores. The entire gist of the film explained so simply.

The film’s technical department matches up to the content and even enhances it. Cinematographer Sethu Sriram has a long body of work including Tere Naam (2003), Wanted (2009) and OMG – Oh My God (2012). But with his fine work here, he has arrived.

The background score is minimal which is a smart move. There are no loud sounds during wrestling scenes to make them forcefully appealing, which a lot of films are guilty of. In fact, there is no background score on most occasions and rightfully so.

Pritam’s music and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics add plenty of effect. The songs take the story forward and are not treated merely as songs.

Lastly, the film reaches this level because of Aamir Khan. He once again proves he is one of the few greatest artists from India. And with this performance, he shows he is the powerhouse of dedication. But it is not merely an Aamir Khan film. Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra make enormous use of the opportunity and manage to match-up to Aamir, which is no small achievement.

Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar, who play their younger versions, stay etched in your memory their limited screen time. Sakshi Tanwar should do more films. She provides a fine act as Mahavir’s wife. Girish Kulkarni is a phenomenal performer and he shows it with his act as the coach. Aparshakti Khurrana, as Geeta and Babita’s cousin, isn’t bad. At times, he is overused to provide humour.

Overall: Dangal is one of the finest films you will see and one of the very few ones with a lot of repeat value.

Box-office prediction: The film has gained a tremendous opening on the first day earning Rs 29-30 crore (as per BoxOfficeIndia.com). With the incredible word-of-mouth, it is sure to rise higher and has a fair chance of being the highest earner of 2016 defeating Sultan. If not that, it is sure to reach the Rs 300 crore mark.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Nitesh Tiwari

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions

Writers: Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Meharotra

Cast: Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Sakshi Tanwar, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar

Music: Pritam

Genre: Biopic/Drama

Runtime: 161 minutes

Dangal Geeta Phogat

22Dec/160

6 reasons why Demonetization is indefensible

As soon as Demonetization was enforced on November 8, the first question that struck people was whether this move will help curb the menace of Black Money and corruption, as promised by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As I mentioned in my last post (HERE) on the issue, people like me, who have absolutely no knowledge in Economics or Finance, cannot answer this question.

However, you don’t need to be an expert in any subject to understand the extreme suffering experienced by a large number of people in the country. More than a month ago, the question was whether demonetization will succeed. Now, experts are trying to understand the extent at which demonetization will affect the country. In other words, it is a blunder.

Here are 6 reasons why defending demonetisation is like defending the indefensible:-

GPS joke: To support government’s move of introducing Rs 2000 note, news channels like Zee News and Aaj Tak ran programs explaining that the currency contains a chip that can be detected through satellite with the use of GPS technology. However, the news (?) not only turned out to be false but also a joke (watch VIDEO below). You can easily hoard black money in the Rs 2000 currency as well. If banning high value currency like Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can lessen the menace of black money, what exactly is the logic behind introducing Rs 2000 notes?

Instant backfiring: The above point was proven right even before 15 days of the decision. A number of members from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been caught with bundles of the new Rs 2000 notes. At the same time, banks are getting limited amounts of the new currency. So, how did your party men laid hands on the new notes in such large numbers? If this is not a scam, what is? (read news HERE and HERE)

Picture: Livelaw.in

Punishing innocents: Instead of affecting black money hoarders, the move has made life hell for people from small towns, villages and those involved in small business that run entirely on cash. Wage workers have been temporarily out of job (read news HERE). You don’t need to be an expert to know that a large section of our population has no bank accounts and there are many villages either without any banks or having banks are faraway places (read news HERE). How can you expect them to leave their daily work and stand in queues for hours?

And sorry, the logic of going cashless doesn’t apply to poor people who live from hand to mouth. Even city dwellers like me have just installed PayTM and that too out of force. Plus even in 2016, there are villages with no access to electricity. So, how on earth do you expect them to buy smart phones and install PayTM? Don’t tell me you had no idea about this despite being the PM of a country.

Justifying death? This is the biggest reason why demonetization has failed. In fact, even if it would have yielded fruitful results (which appears like a dream), it would have still been a failure if more than 50 countrymen (might be more unofficially) got killed in it. Of course, Bhakts have been making inhuman arguments that a large number of people die every day. But these people died after standing in long queues for hours. They were standing in queues only and only because of the decision. They weren’t standing there out of their will or just for fun. There are incidents where people died after not receiving medical attention as the patients’ families didn’t have new currency. How will you justify these deaths even if demonetization turns successful?

Mocking the helpless: Like I said in my previous post on the issue, what has annoyed me the most about this whole episode is the mocking and casual attitude of the PM despite these many deaths. Last month in Japan, he mocked those who are facing problems due to demonetization (see video below). He repeated it later by stating that even beggars have started using PayTM. Seriously? The only justification for this can be that it was his lookalike who spoke these things.

Political parties can party: This is the second biggest fiasco after deaths. Political parties are the ones with most number of black money, which is spent the most during elections. Nobody knows who pays for those 24/7 in-your-face-and-TV advertisement played during elections. Now, these parties have been given further relief to not disclose their funding in old currency. A notification (out of the many) says that they are exempted from scrutiny (read the news HERE). So, if the biggest source of black money isn’t going to face any problem, what exactly is the point of the whole exercise of demonetization?

By: Keyur Seta

26Nov/160

Spoof: What the Common Man of A Wednesday thinks about Demonetisation

The Demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and the introduction of Rs 2000 notes are garnering mixed reactions among the people of India. So, I and a couple of my friends - Padmanabh Subramanian and Ankit Tripathi - came up with this spoof on how the Common Man of Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday would think of Demonetisation if he is facing problems due to it.

 

This is it:-

Here are the words of it:

Main woh hoon jo aaj do hazaar ki note se darta hai. Main woh hoon jo ATM jata hai toh uski biwi ko lagta hai jung pe ja raha hai. Pata nahin bachega ya nahin. Har 2 ghante ke baad phone karti hai ki paise mile ki nahin, number aaya ki nahin. Darasal woh yeh jaan na chahti hai ki main zinda hoon ya nahin. Main woh hoon jo chunavi vaadon mein phasta hai. Kabhi jumlo mein.

Kala dhan kisi ka bhi ho, bewajah marta main hi hoon. Bheed toh dekhi hogi na aapne? Bheed mein se koi ek shakal chun lijiye, main woh hoon. I am just a stupid tax payer, wanting to jump ATM queues.

By: Keyur Seta

13Nov/160

Demonetization chaos: Why punish innocent citizens?

No, I am not giving an opinion on whether the Demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and introduction of Rs 2000 notes is a good move. I have zero understanding of matters related to Money, Finance or Economics. After going through some expert opinions, I am assuming it’s a good move.

This write-up only looks at the situation from a logical and humanitarian point of view. The main aim or reason behind the demonetization exercise is to control the flow of Black Money in the country and to punish those who indulge in keeping undisclosed amount. Apart from this, it is also aimed at stopping the supply of counterfeit notes.

Picture: BBC.com

Picture: BBC.com

There is a saying, “It is fine if 100 criminals go unpunished, but it is not fine even if a single innocent gets punished.” The scenes taking place in the country since yesterday have made sure that this saying is continuously playing inside my head.

It is completely understandable that one has to face some inconvenience during such operations. I, along with many others, have no problems with it. There is dearth of Rs 100 notes while Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are finding no takers. It is okay for us because we have numerous options like online purchase, ATMs, net banking, etc.

However, we seem to have forgotten that a large chunk of Indian population doesn’t have bank accounts, leave alone net banking facility. How do you expect them to survive? As is seen from videos posted on the net, people have broken down as they have no cash for basic necessities. Just have a look at the insanely long queue outside a bank in Surat (below video). Have you ever seen such row of people ever? Are you assuming all of them are corrupt Black Money holders?

Such scenes clearly show that there was no planning whatsoever for an operation as massive as this one. But who is suffering the most due to their blunder? The Common Man, who pays his tax duly and has no black money like many of those millionaires. Know about the plight in detail by clicking HERE.

But I still wouldn’t have written this piece if I hadn’t seen Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, joking and mocking about the scenario during his speech in Japan yesterday. It was a mixture of shock and disgust to see him poke fun at the situation by citing few examples of helpless people. If this isn’t sadistic, what is? (Watch the video below)

That too coming from the PM of a country and that too after knowing about few deaths that took place due to the chaotic process! I guess he realized his folly, so he came up with an emotional speech today. Well played!

If this wasn’t enough, people are comparing the plight of the Common Man with that of our soldiers on the border. These are the same people who are ready to label anyone ‘Anti-national’ at the drop of a hat. So, isn’t using the Indian Army to hide your blunder an anti-national act?

After making innocent taxpayers suffer to this extent (including death), they better make life hell for the corrupt Black Money holders soon. I am sure you know the names. Let’s see when they go to jail.

“It is fine if 100 criminals go unpunished, but it is not fine even if a single innocent gets punished.”

By: Keyur Seta

16Oct/165

5 reasons why banning Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is senseless

By: Keyur Seta

The Uri attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terrorists, which saw 19 Indian soldiers achieving martyrdom, saddened the nation. It also united the people of India above religion, region, caste and what not. However, the incident has also given rise to some intense hatred that is only making things worse.

The biggest example of this is the ban on Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil by Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COWAI) just because it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. This means that the film won’t release in single screens and few multiplexes in India.

Here are 5 reasons why hatred towards the film is senseless:-

ae-dil-hai-mushkil-poster1. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was shot much before the Uri attacks. In fact, the film had even completed its post-production by then. Fawad worked in the film through legal means and was given proper work visa by us. Films with Pakistani actors that released before the Uri attacks didn’t face any issue. Happy Bhag Jayegi, which released on August 26, saw Pakistani actress Momal Sheikh playing one of the important characters. There was no uproar and the film was appreciated. So, will you punish ADHM for its release date? Is it Rocket Science to understand that it takes months for a film to release after the completion of shoot?

When I spoke with Nitin Datar, president of COWAI, and asked as to why ADHM should suffer because of its release date, he had no clear answer to it. Read the news HERE.

2. Last year, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, gave a birthday surprise to Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, in order to develop friendly ties between both countries. This was also the time when Johar was shooting ADHM with Fawad. If you feel what the filmmaker did was wrong, what do they have to say about our PM’s gesture? You can be friendly with their PM but can’t work with their artists? I personally have nothing against Modi’s act. I found it worth appreciating. But this is clear double standard by those portraying Johar as a villain for signing Fawad in his film.

3. Ajay Devgn had signed Pakistani actor Ali Kazmi for Shivaay, which is releasing alongside ADHM on October 28 (read the news HERE). But things didn’t work out due to date issues. Nobody is having any problems with Devgn. After all, he too signed one. It is only Kazmi’s refusal that has turned Devgn into a hero.

4. A section of people and few political parties are justifying the ban since Fawad didn’t condemn the Uri attacks. Even if we assume it was wrong on his part, why make Johar suffer huge loses because of it? Fawad has already received his fee by the way.

5. For those who believe paying Pakistani actors amounts to funding terrorists, the same logic should apply to the money we pay to Pakistan through trade. Why nobody is speaking against banning trade between India and Pakistan? Why art and sports are made scapegoats always?

The issue is not just limited to a film. If Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is indeed banned, it will become an example of senselessness being given more importance than logic and the law of the land.

11Oct/160

Dussehra short story: When will good destroy evil? She wondered…

By: Keyur Seta

Vidya’s final year in college was about to end. She was studying in Commerce in Symbiosis College in Pune for the last five years. Their tenure was supposed to end with the annual day function. Vidya was keenly looking forward to the day as she was supposed to enact a one-act play.

Her performance was met with a standing ovation. The play slammed the practice of forceful marriage of girls and that to at a tender age of early 20s. The subject and Vidya’s passion towards it deeply struck a chord with the audience. Not many from the audience knew that even in her personal life, she is like a silent rebel.

The act made Vidya’s final moments in college deeply memorable, along with loads of bagful of memories from five years. As she was on her way to her home in Mumbai, she had mixed feelings. While she was sad to see her college life ending, there was a sense of joy to reunite with her family – mother, father, elder brother and sister-in-law. While alighting from the train, she had a wide smile reading a text on her mobile phone.

It was joy indeed for her to be back home. She spent the first few days relaxing. There was a sense of contentment she experienced in Aamchi Mumbai, despite the late September heat and all other issues the city suffered from. After she realized she had enough of those restful days, she decided to hunt for a job.

Picture: fsquarefashion.com

Picture: fsquarefashion.com

Vidya’s father, Ramanlal, entered her room while she was busy doing something on her laptop. A single peep on her screen made him realize that she was surfing a job site. He gently sat down in front of her with a smile. Vidya adjusted herself as she became conscious of his presence. She had no idea that his father’s casual visit to her room will change her life forever.

Ramanlal calmly told her that there is no point in searching for a job. Vidya, obviously, was surprised. He elaborated himself saying that her marriage is fixed. Vidya got the shock of her life. As she showed signs of contempt, Ramamlal raised his voice and said that this is their family tradition; a girl is married off when she reaches her early 20s.

Ramamlal further said that the guy is from a good family and the son of their family friend. More importantly, he is from the same community, caste and sub-caste. And being a father, he cared for their status in their biraadri or samaaj. A teary-eyed Vidya explained that she plans to do MBA right now. Marriage can happen later.

But Ramanlal pointed out that girls from their community aren’t allowed to work. She will have to be a wife and her only concern should be to look after her husband. Despite being shocked, she tried protesting saying that she doesn’t even know the guy. But his father cut her short stating that the guy is from a rich family and runs a profitable business. What else does a girl need?

Ramamlal left the room in a hush and ordered his wife, who was witnessing the scene near the door, to make sure she gets ready for marriage. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she asked her mother why did they send her to college then. Her mother said without emotion, “A well-educated girl gets a good husband.” Vidya further asked frustratingly, “But what about my dreams?” Her mother replied coldly, “Your only dream should be to be a good wife and mother.”

Vidya was hell shocked! She just couldn’t believe what happened to her. In the days to come, her parents’ behavior changed towards her drastically. Vidya was numb. She couldn’t believe these are her own parents. She felt as if someone else is impersonating them. She came to know from her cousin that the same thing happened with her. She too experienced the same change in her parents’ behavior when she had refused marrying so early.

This made Vidya recall the disturbing conversation between her parents and brother when he refused to marry so early. Being just 16 during that time, she hadn’t thought much about that incident up till now.

Vidya was insulted by her parents and relatives even if she slightly protested against the marriage. She was trapped. There was just no way out. Finally, she had to give in. Yes, she extinguished all her dreams for, what her parents described as, a heavenly bond.

Picture: voc.org.my

Picture: voc.org.my

The engagement was fixed on the day after Dusshera. It was one day away. Vidya was sitting by her window overlooking the rapidly developing area of Kandivali east. Her phone beeped. Instantly she replied to the message with, “Yes, all set.”

The day arrived. On one hand, all the preparations were made for the engagement. At the same time, the city was gearing up to celebrate Dusshera. Various Ram Leela pandals were all set to ignite effigies of Ranava. The act symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

It was just an hour to go for her engagement. Vidya was seated comfortably by the window. She recalled the time when she read Vicky’s text while getting down to Mumbai from Pune. The message said that his parents had agreed for their marriage. She was then reminded of the traumatic times that followed. Her flashback ended when she had replied to his text with, “Yes, all set.”

Vidya took her eyes off from the window, turned towards her right and smiled. Vicky smiled back and they held each other’s hands warmly. Soon, the flight attended instructed the passengers to fasten their seat belts.

As the plane took off, Vidya’s eyes fell on the effigy of Ravana that was being burnt much below her. She had witnessed this sight numerous times before. But it was only during that moment that she truly understood the meaning of the phrase 'victory of good over evil.'

25Sep/160

Uri Attack Reactions: 7 questions for Social Media Warriors

By: Keyur Seta

More than a week ago, we experienced a mix of tragedy and anger when 17 Indian soldiers were martyred at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir during a cross border attack by terrorists belonging to Pakistan. Needless to say, it is infuriating to see such news and the people behind this should be punished. It is high time Pakistan’s government, especially Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif come out openly against these cowardly acts and stop giving shelter to 26/11 attack mastermind, Hafeez Saeed.

However, this has given rise to demands from the aam junta that range from weird to extremely outrageous. Here are 6 questions to these Deshbhakts who seem to know everything as to how to handle this situation.

 

Picture: Stylewhack.com

Picture: Stylewhack.com

How can you ‘demand’ war?

We have seen people demanding food, clothing, shelter, justice, elimination of corruption, etc. But these days there has been a rising demand for war. In fact, a lot of people have been threatening the government on the issue. I have also read posts where people are giving deadlines to Indian government to wage a war. Seriously? People should understand that waging a war against a nation is not as simple as Bichhoo gang attacking Eagles gang like they did in Josh (1998).

I remember how some leaders from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, went too far in making some sweeping statements of teaching Pakistan a lesson when they were in the opposition. But that doesn’t mean you force them to attack Pakistan just because you are against BJP.

I don’t have any knowledge on how to deal with the situation. But I personally feel that the way other countries, including Afghanistan and Russia, are openly backing India against Pakistan sponsored terrorists is a positive sign.

Will you join the army?

It is easy to sit in your air-conditioned homes and post messages on social media with hashtags like #AttackPakistan. I have only one question to these people – Will you or any of your family members be joining the army to stop bullets from the other side? Some of you would give daily soap reactions even if asked to take the local train to central suburbs during peak hours. The question also goes out to ‘journalists’ like Arnab Goswami.

Waging a war would also mean that thousands of our soldiers would lose their lives. A war victory is a result of such extreme sacrifices. If you love our army, why haven’t you thought of this point?

Ever considered monetary factor?

Do you even know the amount of money we have spent in war? In 1971, it was Rs 200 crore. In the years to follow, the price of war artillery shot up to such an extent that the 1999 Kargil war cost us a staggering Rs 5000 crore PER WEEK. So, it is anybody’s guess as to how much it would cost us in 2016. Are we in a position to spend such unthinkable amount on war? You can imagine the increase in taxes if this happens. See more info HERE.

Fawad Khan (Picture: Dnaindia.com)

Fawad Khan (Picture: Dnaindia.com)

Will war solve the problem?

We won the 1999 Kargil War. But did it stop cross-border terrorism? It resumed after the war and we are still suffering. So, how can you guarantee that waging a war against Pakistan will solve the problem? More importantly, if the war takes place, our army would be fighting against Pakistan Army. The terrorists won’t take part, so finishing them off in the war is out of question. They would resume their activities once the war is over. What difference would it make to them if Pakistan loses the war? They are carrying out guerilla war, for God’s sake.

How is Award Wapsi issue related to this?

A message has gone viral on social media and What's App asking where is the Award Wapsi Brigade. Why no awards are returned as a reaction to the Uri attack? Well, the question itself is laughable. People returned their awards to protest against the government for the intolerance by Right Wing and BJP members. Nobody is returning their awards right now because they don't believe our government has any hand in carrying out the attacks. Do you really feel they are behind Uri attacks? Funnily enough, the question is raised by BJP supporters.

How is Fawad Khan responsible?

Imagine this – We boycott Pakistani artists from performing in India to ‘send across a message’ to Pakistani government. Do you think they would even care? Would they rethink their strategy by this move? The artists are earning here through legal means and it is not against the law to employ Pakistani actors. If you have the guts, try changing the law if you are so sure that it would affect the anti-India forces.

There is a demand for the banning of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees since the film involves Pakistani actors. This is to remind all those people that Happy Bhag Jayegi is still playing in theatres. Nobody has demanded a ban on this film although it has a Pakistani playing one of the leads. This easily proves how they target only films with big stars to earn their 15 minutes of fame.

How different is your mind than that of the terrorists?

I am quite shocked to see well-educated people demanding to kill each and every Pakistani. What are you smoking these days? Terrorists kill innocents. And in reply, you wish to do the same. So, basically there is no difference in the content of your mind and that of the terrorists. I am not at all sorry to say that you aren’t fit to be called human if you feel good to see innocents die. And if you believe each and every person in Pakistan is a terrorist, you seriously need a reality check.

A family mourns the death of a kid killed in the terrorist attack in Pakistan in December 2014. (Picture: America.aljezeera.com)

A family mourns the death of a kid killed in the terrorist attack in Pakistan in December 2014. (Picture: America.aljezeera.com)