I thought people who went against the tide of prevalent thought are fringe elements. Now, from what we see around us, those who can manage to find a herd and sponsors for their ideology are called fringe elements (FE).
Here’s a quick manual on how to be one; as the reference is to the current controversy it will be restricted to Muslims:
- Look at pictures of beard/skullcaps/veils.
- Call friends on devices that they say the religion forbids. Gather in a herd.
- Find helpful sponsors to make and put up posters, effigies, shout slogans.
- Hide all glossy magazines in possession and bring out the Holy Book; play CDs with naats on the way to FE arena.
- Express anger, but talk of hurt (in psychology they call is S&M).
- There is 99 per cent of a possibility that some political group will understand your ‘sentiments’.
- Leave options open.
- The fire will be kept alive even when you are not around.
- Go home to watch yourself on TV. Realise you need to get the look right. Dishevel beard, wear a better cap.
- Set out to battle again. Anger. Hurt.
"Now, I shall wait for the afternoon judgement. But add to this, I think I will have to seek a secular state for me to stay in. And that choice would be a place where it would be a secular state. If I can't find it within India, I will hopefully find another country, which is secular that might take me in. M F Husain had to do it, and now Hassan will do it.”
“I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile. Icon bashing is a great way to be noticed when you are not one yourself. It is happening again and again. Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose.”
- Is he compromising because of these elements?
- Is there political pressure?
- Has he, in fact, seen his own film in a new light and found certain incendiary portions?
- Is he concerned about the money he will lose? (He said he does not care.)
- Has he let down those who stood by him only to please a handful of his “Muslim brothers”?
(c) Farzana Versey