Alleging that ‘love jihad’ was the latest tool being used by miscreants to promote anti-national activities, Shri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik said his organisation would launch a nation-wide agitation against it.
Aww…so every Muslim male is a suspect? Every college girl is pliable? What survey? You talk to a couple of girls going out with Muslim men and you have results?
What about those who marry Hindus? Should we assume that those women and men are not anti-national only because they are not Muslims? Who is this Rama Sene to decide on patriotism? Will its chief have the courage to target celebrities who are married to Hindus? Is the issue only of conversion?
On a recent flight, the young woman sitting next to me got chatting. After covering one quarter of the world’s nationalities and half the states of India, she still did not get an answer to “Where are you actually from?” I love that actually. Mumbai is not actual in anyone’s book and these days after the crash-landing saying 'moon' won’t work besides it being too cheesy. I was left with no option but to accept my fate. Muslim, I said, feeling a lump in my throat and everywhere lumps are possible. I mean, it was an emotional moment.
Her eyes widened, and I know it for a fact for she had small eyes. “Oh?”
“Well, yes,” I shrugged, imagining she would now hold herself away, look at my rather nice handbag suspiciously or even the ring she liked. It might hold something damaging. I put on the best jihadi face I could manage, you know narrowing of eyes and wicked grin.
She turned enthusiastically, “Tell me, why don’t you Muslims allow people to marry outside?”
“They do. But there is not a policy decision. Why do you ask?”
“I am seeing this Muslim guy for four years and now his parents say they won’t let him marry a Hindu.”
“As long as he stands by you…and I hope they are not expecting you to convert.”
“I don’t mind that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. What is there to convert? You just say some prayers, no?”
“Well…So, what is their problem?”
“I don’t know. His mother will go to spa and all but she should understand that a Hindu girl is also a human being.”
“The spa won’t teach her that. And if both of you are sure, it should not be a problem.”
“I know it will, so we will continue like that for as long as we can and then go our separate ways.”
“Is it so easy?”
“That is the practical decision.”
She did not think of him as anti-national. She was willing to convert. And the stole she had wrapped round her neck was because her mother wanted it that way.
I had no intention of getting into a discussion on Islam and she was most certainly not up to anything beyond chit-chat. She shared something because she felt that she could get a point of view from a Muslim who looked like she went to the spa. I guess it’s time for me to.
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On what grounds are Bihar schools being forced to teach Urdu? That the initiative comes from the JD (U)-BJP government is surprising, but as the report clearly implies it has to do with getting Muslim votes. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said:
“We will be appointing Urdu teachers in every state-run school to enable the students learn the language.”
This is fascism. What is the percentage of Urdu-speaking people in the state? On what grounds do we assume that all Muslims are conversant with Urdu? A Muslim in Kerala or Gujarat will fumble with the basics of the language. And even in Uttar Pradesh it will be the elite that will speak it with some fluency. In most states, even if people speak Urdu, there will be a regional flavour to it.
There is no doubt that it is a lovely language and must get exposure, but there ought not to be any compulsion. If Bihar wants to expose its youngsters to a wider variety, then why not include Marathi or Malayalam?
The state language is Maithili and Bhojpuri and most Bihari ministers cannot even speak Hindi well. So, let’s cut out the nonsense. It might help if Urdu teachers refused to become a part of this political game.
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L.K.Advani was in Vashi for an election meeting and after all the baloney about water, electricity and roads – yeah, these don’t matter – he came to the crux:
“It is my cherished dream to have a ‘bhavya’ (beautiful) Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.”
Why would the Vashi voter be interested in what happens in Ayodhya? Why would the Vashi voter care about Advani’s dream? How would the Vashi voter know how beautiful it will be? Is Advani an architect? Why is the temple’s beauty of importance? Where will the money come from? Of course, the Vashiwallas will have to continue with water shortage, bad roads and power cuts. So that a man can realise his dream.
The crowd cheered. It does not mean they are thrilled. It is because the candidate had managed to get a few people to hold banners. People are not stupid, but politicians are.
That’s not the end:
Advani also spoke of his other dream, of having American style debates for political candidates, like the presidential debates in the US.
What will they debate? The colour of the sanctum? How much gold to cover Lord Rama with? Will it be a cradle or a throne? Oh, this is an issue – are we going to display the deity as an innocent child or a mature adult? What will better help us market India as a global phenomenon?
Advaniji is like Kumbhakaran*. He must sleep so much for how else would he dream so much?
Kumbhakaran was Ravana’s brother in the epic Mahabharata who was cursed to sleep for months on end. I am implying this aspect of his personality and not the other one in which he ate everything, including humans, upon waking up. Nah. Advaniji comes across as someone who’d be picky about his meals.