A sick little report appeared in the papers today. No one would think it is sick. They would talk about glory of secularism. No one would want to puke at a subhead that read: “Religion Took A Backseat While Celebrating Rahman, Pathans’ Heroics”
Refusing to get mired in hatred, Rahman chose the path of love and went on to win the biggest cinema award in the world. Just a fortnight before the tune created by the Mozart from Madras became a ballad for many Indians who will hum it for a long time, the Pathan brothers—Irfan and Yusuf—got together in Colombo in the dying stages of a T20 match when the dice was heavily loaded against India. They unleashed scintillating shots to help India claw back from the jaws of defeat to stand head high on the victory podium.
What the hell does this chosen the path of love mean? Even terrorists do not admit they have chosen the path of hatred. Are we being patronising and oh-so-kind that a Mussalman, that too a convert, managed to give up the thought of hatred? And what if the Pathan brothers had not managed to score in a match that was admittedly “loaded against India”?
This sort of reportage in a mainstream publication like The Times of India makes you wonder about all the educated elite and their liberalism. Here goes…
So what is your pick? Rahman or Pathan brothers? No doubt, they are the real heroes. For, they brought smiles and tears of joy in the eyes of millions—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs. True, none of us thought about the religion professed by Rahman and the Pathan brothers. Who cares, they made us all proud.
Great. Now you can pick and choose your miyan bhai, go shopping for him (where are the ‘hers’?), even poke and prod to see if it is in good condition and will do you proud. And don’t you lie that you did not think about their religion because you would not have submitted this nauseating report that got published.
Do we say similar things when Harbhajan Singh manages a feat like this on the field; we aren’t even talking about the rest of the Hindus? How many Hindu, Sikh, Christian Indian musicians have managed to be awarded at international fora and been branded for their religion? (Zubin Mehta does not count and he is always “aapro (our) Zubin”, a belongingness bestowed rather than a grudging acceptance.)
And listen up. There are millions of Muslims and not all get the opportunity or possess the talent or the looks that will make you proud. But before expecting that of others, what about you? What do you have? Look inside your house and see if you have mirrors in the first place, forget an image. Then tell us about what you want from Muslims.
We have as much of a right to fail and not be up on the marquee as the rest of you.
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On cricket, I have just managed to access news on the firing in Lahore on Sri Lankan players and the death of some people.
I do not understand why it is always soft targets that are chosen to make a point – by terrorists and politicians. What has Sri Lanka done to Pakistan to deserve this? What have these sportsmen done?
Am sure there are analyses poring in; it is too early to conjecture much. Could it be the Taliban? Or political rivals trying to make international headlines? Or…
There will be the usual condemning and looking into the matter.
“Uneasy calm” there is. Why have we stopped being angry?